Garden Fresh Ingredient Cocktails Sprouting in Sacramento

By Dawnie August 31, 2011

Fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits in cocktails?

Exploring Sacramento’s fresh farm ingredient cocktails by pedaling through downtown!

By Bethany Heckman, Local Roots Food Tours Guide

Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J St  –  Inside Citizen Hotel
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 492-4400
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm

The Citizen Hotel is a stunning building with an ominous presence in downtown Sacramento so the fact that there is a beautiful bar/restaurant inside is a bonus. The Grange is a farm to table restaurant, offering fresh and local ingredients for each of their dishes. Walking into the Grange you immediately notice their lovely large bar showcasing liqueurs and bottles of spirits. The bartenders are constantly chopping, cutting, and peeling fresh produce: mint, oranges, cucumbers, lemons and ginger. The Grange is a hot spot in downtown Sacramento and known for their fresh summer cocktails. As often as possible they use fresh ingredients to give customers a true taste of garden cocktails. For example, the “Zarzamora,” Don Q rum, Veev acai liquor, blackberry-vanilla syrup, lime, mint. When I spoke with the bartenders at the Grange they let me in on a little secret of a cocktail they were just creating: so new it didn’t even have a name yet. It begins with a 12 year old Zaya Rum blended with a house made fresh nectarine and mint syrup (similar to a smoothie) to bring out the fresh fruity taste of the nectarine. Then, a little fresh squeeze of lemon juice is added and poured as a sipper cocktail.

This farm to table restaurant (what we LOVE here at Local Roots) exemplifies a fresh outlook not only on food but for cocktails. If you were to walk in on any given morning you will see the bartenders creating and imagining new ways to bring fresh California produce to the bar side of the restaurant. So far they score 10 out of 10 in my book! Keep it coming Grange! We love exploring fresh food right along side of you!

Public Market Bar
Inside Sheraton Grand Hotel
1230 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 447-1700
Sunday – Thursday 2:00 PM – 12:00 AM; Friday – Saturday 2:00 PM – 1:30 AM

Because I am lucky enough to live in Midtown, I took it upon myself to ride my bike (very green and responsible of me, if I do say so myself) down to the Sheraton Grand. It was a perfect hot day for me to do some much-needed “research.” I saddled up to the bar in the lovely air conditioning and asked the barkeep about their “Farmer’s Market Cocktails” that I had seen on the board outside. He quickly informed me that they were “the best in town!” After reviewing the pages of drinks, I decided on the Sapphire Raspberry and Rosemary cocktail: Bombay Sapphire gin, muddled fresh raspberries, fresh rosemary and fresh lemon juice… Notice the trend? FRESH? The drink was spectacular! A little raspberry liqueur was added along with a touch of simple syrup. After discussing this growing trend with the bartender, he said, “We live in California! Everyone grows their own produce here! Why not make a cocktail with it?” And with that I whole-hardheartedly agreed. Sheraton Grand has just recently launched this “Farm Fresh” campaign with over 15 new, fun and “fresh” cocktail ideas. The bartender suggested I try them at home too. Each cocktail is freshly made and poured into a handled mason jar, to bring about the feelings of a home-style drink. I loved it. It added the perfect touch to the tastes of the drink. After taking notes on what the Sheraton was serving, the generous bartender suggested I try the Sapphire Iced Ginger. (he gave me a small sample of one he was making for another patron) Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh shaved ginger and muddled ginger with fresh lemon juice and a splash of ginger ale. If that didn’t scream summer, I don’t know what would. The bartender told me that between 3pm-7pm the Farm Fresh cocktails are at a discounted price. $7 for the beautiful hand crafted cocktails. (Normally each run for $11 and oh so worth it!) So it’s just goes to show you, you do NOT need to be a guest at the Sheraton to partake in their lovely, fresh cocktail selections! We will continue to watch the Sheraton shine in downtown Sacramento as a hidden gem! Make a night of it. Try some lovely fresh cocktails downstairs and just climb the stairs to Morgan’s for a fresh, delicious meal made by our own Chef Russell Michel. We are thrilled the Sheraton have adopted the FRESH, Farmer’s Market cocktails. With ideas like this, who knows what will be next on the menu?