Because I’m a runner, my brunch beverage of choice is usually Gatorade, but once in awhile it’s fun to set a festive table without resorting to the Bloody Mary and Mimosa standards. This recipe for San Francisco Cocktail comes from an unlikely source: The Pear Tree cookbook from the Junior League of Knoxville, Tennessee (1977). The cocktail is paired with sausage casserole, artichokes benedict (which replaces eggs with artichoke hearts), cinnamon apples made with bottled cinnamon drops (does anyone recognize this ingredient?) – and, inexplicably, bran muffins!
I skipped the rest of the menu and chose the cocktail because I wanted something light and lemony to remind me that spring is coming and I will be able to run once again in a singlet instead of three layers of tech shirts. I also remember my sister, who lived for many years in San Francisco. I had to visit two liquor stores to find white port, but now I keep a bottle in my refrigerator because it’s good plain, too – just not for post-run recovery!
San Francisco Cocktail (1977)
Makes 1 drink*
3 ounces white port [I used Burmester brand]
1 ounce rum
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Maraschino cherries or fresh strawberries [I used fresh raspberries]
1. Chill the port.
2. Add the rum and lemon juice. Stir well.
3. Serve over ice, garnished with a cherry, strawberry, or raspberry.
*To make a pitcherful, increase the quantities and mix together the port, rum, and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.