Sonoma Beverage Programs Highlight Seasonal Flavors

Harvest time in Sonoma highlights the bounty of this world-class food and wine destination. It’s also an opportunity for local bars to strut their stuff and showcase seasonal flavors.

Here, Foodable TV shares a fresh sheet of five of Sonoma favorite top-flight bars.

Glen Ellen Inn | Glen Ellen, CA.

In food and wine-centric Sonoma, out-of-the-way Glen Ellen Inn slake the thirst of loyal regulars and appreciative visitors with a heady list of seasonal martinis. Consumers flock for creative concoctions like ‘Exotic Erotic Martini’(vodka, apple, jalapeño essence, sugar rim), Girl Scout’ (vodka, Godiva chocolate, peppermint schnapps, on the rocks), ‘Haute Chocolate’ (jalapeño vodka, chocolate liquor, cheery, cayenne), ‘Sexy Beast’ (aka: dirty Gin Martini, straight up, with olives), ‘Twisted Sister’ (vodka, St. Germain, champagne, lemon juice, vodka, and lime), and ‘X-Rated’(vodka, Blood Orange, Mango and Passionfruit.)

Barkeeps stock the back with plenty of premium vodkas and gins for those who like their martinis straight up. At last count, vodkas topped out at nearly forty top-drawer labels like Absolut, plus exotics like Sweden’s Pinky Grain with rose petals, Russia’s Imperia Grain, and Idaho’s Blue Ice Potato. Premium gins run the gamut from England’s Boodles, to San Francisco’s Junipero, and Oregon’s Uncle Val’s.

Sigh Sonoma | Sonoma, CA.

Non-traditionalists and adventurers will want to to pop the cork on an assortment of casual, international libations like Poema Brut Cava from Spain, Tomassi Prosecco from Italy, and Siete Fincas Dulce Natural sparkling from Argentina. On a pragmatic note, guys can ‘take one for the team’ on date night while enjoying brews like Modelo, Paulaner, and Stella Artois by the pour.

FARM Restaurant | Napa, CA.

Cocktails at FARM Restaurant  | Yelp, Kristy E.

Cocktails at FARM Restaurant | Yelp, Kristy E.

The Carneros Inn’s FARM Restaurant caters to discriminating world travelers and locals alike, proffering a mix of ‘thoughtful and comprehensive’ Old World, sustainable, organic, and/or biodynamic and boutique wines, plus a heady homage to local artisan winemakers and heirloom vineyards. The thirty-three page wine and cocktail menu even includes a section entitled “OUR NEIGHBORHOOD | Wineries and Tasting Rooms that you can bike to,” along with map of wineries in the area.

FARM’s stellar craft cocktail list taunts the tastebuds with combinations like “Napa Crush,” a mixture of Grand Marnier, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui, St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur, and Frozen Grapes. A local favorite? “The Farmhand,” a fusion of Leblon Cachaca, Lemon, Lime, Agave Nectar, Fresh Basil, and Sierra Nevada ‘Hop Hunter’ IPA.

Willi’s Wine Bar | Healdsburg, CA. 

Honored as one of San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area’s Top 100 Restaurant for the past four years, Willi’s Wine Bar, part of the Stark Reality Restaurants Group, fills out its tipples list with uncommon extras. Flights veer into new territories like Germany and Austria Wines with Character, ‘It’s All About the Blends’, and ‘Pinot Noir Staff Picks.’

Willi’s “Private Stash” indulges guests with an array of ‘off-list’ bubbles, Spanish, Italian, Rhone, Bordeaux, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. In addition, a smorgasbord of delectable dessert wines, draft and bottled beers, ales, IPA’s and ciders, all aim at attracting a broad spectrum of consumers.

Sonoma Coast Spirits | Pentaluma CA 

Fourth-generation distiller Jill Olson credits her Italian heritage for her decision to start Sonoma Coast Spirits. As a girl, she watched her grape-growing grandfather use the leftover skins, pips and pulp from wine making to fashion home-made grappa. The lessons never left her, nor her desire to create unique craft beverages using fresh, local ingredients. Sonoma Coast Spirits provides consumers premium pourable cocktails, available through local specialty retail outlets. Flavors include Lemon Drop Martini, Mango Tango, and Pomegranate-Lime.

For fall, Jill and Doug unveil two new craft cocktails to celebrate the season: Whiskey Sour and Salted Caramel Espresso, with Ginger Liqueur to follow. Crisp, refreshing, balanced, and affordable, at 16% alcohol they pack enough punch to drink by themselves, or to dress up other beverages.