a craft-cocktail experience to remember

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Say the words "craft cocktails" and "pregnancy" and in almost all instances people will say they don't go together. Too often we hear that when it comes to the social scene women who are pregnant/nursing aren't able to really enjoy a night out without the drinks. This last weekend proved that that simply doesn't have to be the case anymore. 

On Sunday we partnered up with Airbnb to showcase their new Experiences function with the service. Most people now are familiar with Airbnb, and the ability to book unique places to stay, but now through the Experiences function, guests are able to book unique experiences hosted by locals in the area. These can be anything from activities in nature to fine dining experiences, you name it. We choose to experience the Craft Cocktail experience here in San Francisco, hosted by the Dorian, a restaurant situated in the heart of the Marina in a beautiful Victorian manor-like setting.

We arrived are were invited upstairs to their private dining section where we were greeted by Jacob, who was going to be our mixologist for the afternoon's experience, and he asked if we would like to start with a glass of champagne. Olya is pregnant, and I am in full support of her during this time so we politely told Jacob that we would need to stay alcohol-free, but still wanted to observe and learn all the aspects of the cocktails. To my pleasant surprise, Jacob not only made us feel good for our choice to be "virgin" for the afternoon, but throughout the experience he crafted the afternoon to highlight and point out that virgin cocktails, or mocktails, as they are referenced now, don't have to be boring. Far from it!

From martini's to collins builds, We got to experience the full afternoon with a treat of delicious drinks, and we even got our opportunity to mix up a few of our own, all alcohol-free. With a little guidance from Jacob I got to rekindle some of the bartending skills I used while in college. We created an original mocktail using Dorian's in-house lavender syrup, bitters, lemon juice, and soda water. Finally garnished with some cherries and a sprig of lavender. When asked what to call the drink we decided on Spring Fling. Jacob also created a new drink that was perfect for Olya with cucumber syrup, yuzu, grapefruit, bitters, and still water. Olya dubbed it the Pregnancy Perfect. :) 

Apart from the drinks, we got an inside look into some unique history behind many of the drinks we know and love. Did you know that the recipe for Chartreuse is held by only a few French monks at any given time? This stems back from a time when the French government became jealous of the monks that produced this very popular liqueur and seized all their assets and the monks fled to Spain where they continued to produce under a different name to wide-spread success. The French government began making a liqueur and marketed it as the same Chartreuse, but soon after the people recognized it was not the same and the endeavor went bankrupt. The monks were invited back and given back their property and to this day they remain to produce the liqueur with their secret recipe. You can read the whole story here.

I just have to say a thank you to Airbnb for putting this great feature into the app and to Jacob with the Dorian for giving both Olya and I a great afternoon to remember. One of the best parts about the experience is that it showed that we don't need to stress about going out on the town or hang out with friends that want to go for drinks. We can let our friends know that they can still invite us along, the fact of wanting to be alcohol-free doesn't need to get in the way at all of having a good time. Plus, with our crazy hectic schedules, it's so nice to have some fun time to ourselves and being able to change the routine gives us that nice addition to make life more complete.

Have you had any experience yet with Airbnb's Experiences lately? We'd love to hear about them. Until next time. -Justin


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* Thank you Airbnb for partnering with LivingNotes for this post