Two of my favorite people in the whole world, Shahirah and Toby, recently came back to San Francisco for a couple of months by way of Australia (Melbourne to be exact!). Sad they aren't moving back, but happy to be able to spend some quality time with these two!
Now, Shahirah recently asked me and two of our other friends to help her plan out the food and drink situation for her 30th birthday she and Toby were hosting at Ampersand in the Mission, which of course we were all more than happy to help out.
My main task was to figure out the drinks we would be providing to the guests. Now, since this wasn't just some casual gathering, I wanted to serve a signature drink that the birthday girl would love. Lucky for me, I remembered meeting Chris Cardillo from Lo-Fi Apertifs at Elevate Ensemble, which basically deserves its own post so I'll share more about that amazing event another time.
While I was at the event, I gulped down a few of the Lo-Fi cocktails Chris created for all the guests, and they were so smooth and refreshing. The beauty of using their Apertifs is that it makes it easy to create easy-to-make drinks for large parties without compromising quality or taste.
I emailed Chris and he went above and beyond and sent me not just one recipe, but a bunch of recipes to choose from to share with the birthday girl! She ended going for the Gentian Amaro and we made the Gentian & Ginger, which was a total hit with everyone!
At first, people were a little apprehensive about trying out this drink. I get it. It's new, different and could possibly be too sweet or taste weird. I am, however, very persuasive and got everyone to try it out by handing them the drink the minute they walked in. And no joke, I had everyone coming back for seconds, thirds....I mean we finished the bottle and guests raved on how much they liked the cocktail. It wasn't overly sweet and the combination of the mint and ginger beer complemented the flavors of the Gentian Amaro Apertif perfectly.
Not only was I in charge of the signature drink, but I put it on myself to also be in charge of the birthday cake. Shahirah isn't one for cake, but I told her she needed to have one for when we sang Happy Birthday to her, so I baked one for her to match the venue with some fresh edible flowers from the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.
Shahirah is the queen of cheese & charcuterie, so for her birthday we didn't expect anything less than this. She had shared with us she had seen this set-up at an event she went to back in Australia and wanted to re-create it for her party. Just our luck, our friend Lily had a ton of butcher paper for us to use for this set-up. It was definitely a big hit!
Overall, the party was a total success! Seriously, I'm so happy that Chris was able to help me out by sharing the cocktail recipe with us for my friend's birthday. If you are in need of some cocktail inspiration for this summer, check out Lo-Fi Apertifs. I promise you won't be disappointed.
PS - Special thank you to the team at Ampersand! Your venue is beautiful and a great place to host a party.