Negroni Week: My Favorite Cocktail Recipes and an Exclusive Etta + Billie Product!

image from Imbibe

When I think of ordering a Negroni, my mind is usually telling me it’s time to sit and relax. Take a load off, savor the moment, which is hard to do with a 1-year old baby boy!
The Negroni is the perfect cocktail for these kinds of moods. They’re a bit bitter, strong, and subtly sweet. For one our favorite weeks at Etta + Billie, Negroni Week, I wanted to share some of the most interesting ways you can enjoy this iconic cocktail, where to get them, and also share some exciting E+B news!

Classic Negroni: Junior. Mission, SF

Exterior of Junior in the Mission District of San Francisco

Located just a hop and a skip from my house, Junior is my favorite local spot to sit n’ think for a while with a good, herbaceous Negroni. The interior is beautiful, the colors are contemplative, which makes for the perfect environment. Here are the ingredients for the Classic recipe:

Interior of Junior, located in the Mission District of San Francisco. A full display of the bar.
image from EaterSF

Classic Negroni
1 oz. Gin (my favorite is St. George’s!)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Campari
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Rocks Glass
Garnish: Orange Peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Kingston Negroni: Outerlands, Outer Sunset, SF

Interior of Outerlands, a restaurant in the Outer Sunset District of San Francisco.
image from EaterSF

If you take the N-line outbound to the beach, through layers of fog, you’ll find this wonderful gem of a restaurant called Outerlands. Although they’re known for many things (like their amazing grilled cheese!), the bartenders introduced me to the Kingston Negroni, and now it’s my favorite place to get it. Using Jamaican rum instead of gin, I was pleasantly surprised by the rich, spicy combination. Definitely the kind of drink you want to have with a friend, savoring all the flavors of your Negroni and sharing deep conversation. Here are the ingredients for the Kingston Negroni recipe:

A Kingston Negroni on the counter of Outerlands in midday


Kingston Negroni
1 oz. Jamaican rum (my favorite is Smith and Cross!)
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: orange peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Mezcal Negroni: Hello Stranger, Uptown Oakland

Interior of Oakland's Hello Stranger in the Uptown District. a Large L-shaped bar with cool lighting and plenty of space to move around
image from EaterSF

Across the bridge, Hello Stranger is my favorite Uptown bar for a Negroni. On the weekends this place gets busy, but during the week you can always count on a mellow scene with great music. Honestly, what brought me to this place was word of their original creation: the Hell’s Belles Negroni. With earthy mezcal, herbaceous rosemary (they even torch the rosemary sprig!) this version surprised me in the best way. It’s an experience you must check out if you’re in Oakland. Here are the ingredients for the
Mezcal Negroni:

The Hell's Belles mezcal negroni sitting on the bar at Hello Stranger in Uptown Oakland
image from EaterSF

Hell’s Belles
1 ¼ oz. mezcal (Hello Stranger uses Wahaka espadín)
1 ½ oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa
½ oz. Campari
Tools: barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: grapefruit twist, rosemary sprig
Stir all the ingredients with ice to chill, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Twist a piece of grapefruit peel over the drink, then pierce the twist with a rosemary sprig and use as garnish. (Optional: Use a kitchen torch to flame the rosemary sprig until it smokes; extinguish the flame before serving.)

New Etta + Billie product: Negroni Soap!

Etta + Billie Negroni Soap displayed on a table with other bar tools, as well as a hand holding a negroni cocktail

Just in time for Negroni Week, I made a small batch of soap inspired by one of my favorite classic cocktails, the Negroni! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and bitter and a little boozy. Visit our Instagram page for more Negroni Week updates, as well as our website to purchase your favorite new cocktail soap.

Etta + Billie Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Foodie Dad

I’ve pulled together a few gift ideas for that foodie dad in your life. Perfect for your pop or your honey!

A collection of some of our favorite gifts for the cool dad in your life. Etta + Billie Beard and Face Oil and Cedarwood Soap. Pyknic Always Down for Tacos Tshirt, Mouth Foods Hot Sauce Gift Box. Gift certificate to his favorite local record store.
  1. Upgrade dad’s bar cart and help the environment at the same time with the reclaimed glass decanters from Reclamation Etchworks | $59
  2. They may not all believe it but guys need skincare too. Especially when it smells damn good and keeps their face soft and beard manageable. This will change your couch snuggling game. Etta + Billie Beard + Face Oil| $28
  3. Dad’s love tacos. It’s a fact. Pyknic Foodie T-Shirt | $29
  4. Keep his hot sauce on point with this collection of small-batch hot sauces from US-based indie food makers. Mouth Foods | $69.50
  5. Our Cedarwood soap is equal parts fresh and woody, conjuring up memories of meals around the campfire. The perfect choice when you’re trying to wean your loved one off the Irish Spring. Etta + Billie Cedarwood Soap | $14
  6. Does your dad love mixing up his favorite pancake recipe with solid tunes in the background? Not sure which record to get him? How about treating him to some quality time at your local record store? Grab a gift certificate so he can pick the perfect album to play during his next breakfast prep. SF pops hit up Tunnel Records + Beach Goods.
Etta + Billie All Natural Palm Oil Free Cedarwood Soap

Everyone Around the World Loves Donuts!

Whether you spell it DOUGHnut, DOnut, or call it something completely different (“Sfenj” in Morocco!), there’s one thing that pretty much the entire world can agree upon: we absolutely LOVE a puffed pastry.
If you’ve been following Etta + Billie for a while, you know that I don’t hide my love for these pillowy miracles (see exhibit A).

Exhibit A.

So, in celebration of National Donut Day (mark your calendars, this amazing holiday always falls on the first Friday in June), I thought it might be fun to share with you all some “donuts” from around the world!

MoroccoSfenj. These little guys are fried and sprinkled with sugar, or soaked in honey. The perfect Moroccan pastry for morning tea!

Morocco's version of the donut: Sfenji.

South AfricaKoeksister. These are made by frying the dough and then immediately dunking them in ice cold sugar syrup. Yum!

South Africa's version of a donut: Koeksisters.

IndiaVada. These can be made from dal, lentil or potato flours rather than wheat flour. Vada is always served with chutney. In North India: sweet & sour chutney. In South India: coconut chutney.

India's version of a donut: Vada. Vada can be made from dal, lentil, or potato flours rather than wheat flour. In Southern India it's served with coconut chutney. In Northern India, it's served with sweet & sour chutney.

Iran: Zulbiā (aka Jalebi) – This is a Persian fritter that’s made in pretzel or circular shapes. These are made with Saffron syrup and Rose Water. Yes, please!

Iran's take on the donut: Zulbia, also known as Jalebi. A fritter made in pretzel or circular shapes.

Czech Republic: Koblihy. Koblihy are usually filled with jelly or a vanilla custard. They’re so pillowy!

The Czech Republic's version of a donut. These are usually filled with a jelly or vanilla custard.

Latin America: Churro. No list could be complete without one of my favorite treats, the Churro. Although its origins are in Spain and Portugal, this tasty treat found its way through most of Latin America. Dip them in chocolate, stuff them with cream, or coat them in cinnamon sugar!

Latin America's favorite fried treat: the churro. Churros are coated in cinnamon sugar, dipped in chocolate, and sometimes stuffed with vanilla cream.

San Francisco: Dynamo Donuts. To bring it all back home, I just had to add a local favorite, and a staple pastry in the Etta + Billie studio: Dynamo Donuts. My favorite one is the Coconut Lime-filled donut!

San Francisco based donut shop Dynamo Donuts. Artisan donuts made in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Obviously there’re so many other types of donuts around the world, but hopefully you enjoyed how some different cultures love their fried doughy goodness. Have you tried any of the pastries we mentioned? Is there a different style of fried dough that you absolutely love? Let me know, I would love to hear about it!

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is in ten days! May 12th celebrates motherhood and the influence of mothers in our lives. 

The old school Mother’s Day celebrated the Greek mother goddess Cybele. The modern-day Mother’s Day in the United States was started by peace activist Anna Jarvis who thought a day should be set aside for all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

So what should you get for the person who has done more for you than anyone? 

Here are some ideas:

Lavender Gift Set
A floral bouquet of lavender to soothe and calm after a doozy of a day. Great gift for mothers of young children. 

Local Food Tour
Find a local food tour, tasting, or class in your area for a fun outing with your foodie mom.

Travel Kit
A luscious gift for those roaming mamas! Choose your lip balm, body spray, and skin balm.

Organic Facial
Sign mom up for an organic facial or massage. Organic facials are gentler on your skin while providing a deep clean.

Grapefruit CardaMOM Body Wash
Turn her shower into a spa for mom with this bright infusion of pink grapefruit with a touch of cardamom. This body wash is sure to waken and revive.

Local Farm Box
Splurge on a CSA of organic, clean, and seasonal produce straight from the farm for mom this Mother’s Day.


In the Kitchen: 5 Fancy Looking but Totally Easy Easter Brunch Recipes

There are many things to celebrate on Easter, but one of my all-time favorite parts of the day is the incredible holiday brunch gathering. The kind of brunch you don’t see on a normal day. The kind that makes your eyes wide, mouth water, and sets your stomach growling!

Ready to be hailed brunch royalty? Here are some scrumptious recipes to put you on that pedestal: 

French Toast Casserole 

Flavorful and delicious, this french toast bake takes 15 minutes of prep the night before. Impressive dish, without the stress. 

Brioche with Prosciutto, Gruyere, and Egg

Fancy will be your name after you serve your guests this open-faced fried egg sandwichon toasted, buttery bread. Top with your favorites like frisee salad, prosciutto, and add some pretty garnish. 

The World’s Easiest (VEGAN) Sticky Buns

Soft, tender, and fluffy! These sticky bunsare perfectly spiced and loaded with pecans! This delectable treat gets better with each bite. 

Apricot-Bourbon Glazed Ham

This tangly glaze by the one and only Martha Stewartcarmelizes into a gorgeous amber coat for a bone-in presentation that is sure to impress. Sweet, tart, and smoky, this ham is a stunning centerpiece. 

Easter Brunch Cocktail: Lavender & Grapefruit

You can’t leave brunch without an impressive (but simple) Easter Brunch Cocktail. This drink is hard to mess up with only TWO ingredients! Lavender-infused vodka and grapefruit juice! Okay three ingredients – you do have to infuse the vodka with dried lavender prior to the day. But totally worth it! 

In the Kitchen: International Women’s Day edition!

At a time when we have more mompreneurs, boss women, and female leaders than ever!,we are celebrating the women who broke social conventions and the blazed the way for us. 

This month is Women’s History month, a time to honor the past and present women who inspire the future. Today, we are honoring women who are influencing the kitchen. Here we spotlight a few amazing female chefs. 

1. Christina Tosi, author of “Momofuku Milk Bar” cookbook

Christina Tosi is the chef, founder and owner of Milk Bar. After working in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants, Christina founded the dessert program at Momofuku, where she later created the concept for Milk Bar, resulting in a culinary empire of her own.

Milk Bar is known for its familiar yet unexpected desserts including Crack Pie®, the Compost Cookie®, “naked” layer cakes with unfrosted sides, and Cereal Milk Soft Serve, among other playful and craveable treats.

Christina is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series Masterchef and Masterchef Junior (on FOX), and was recently the subject of an episode of Chef’s Table, the Emmy-nominated docu-series on Netflix. She’s made headlines in New York Times, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Forbes, The Today Show, among others, and she’s graced the covers of Adweek and Cherry Bombe. 

2. Belinda Leong, chef & co-owner of B Patisserie

Belinda Leong began her career as a pastry chef at Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco in 1999. After eight successful years, she left the restaurant for Europe to stage at some of the most esteemed restaurants and patisseries in Paris, Barcelona, and Copenhagen. After two years in Europe, Belinda returned to the Bay Area and became pastry chef at Manresa Restaurant, a two star Michelin Restaurant, in Los Gatos, California before opening b.Patisserie.

At her new bakery, which is co-owned by San Francisco Baking Institute co-founder Michel Suas, Leong offers everything from elegant layer cakes to a 10-hour apple tart to rustic butter cakes. Her signature item is the Breton pastry kougin amann—and if some New Yorkers notice a familiarity in the undulating top and flaky layers, it’s because Dominique Ansel also staged at Fouchon, though at the Paris location. 

3. Pim Techamuanvivit, chef & proprieter of Kin Khao

In Thailand, to eat is to eat rice. So, colloquially, when we say “kin khao” we mean “to eat” or “let’s eat,” – kinkhao.com

Born and raised in Bangkok, Pim took a circuitous route through the world of food–from writing, teaching, to jam making [ahem, award-winning jam making]–before finding her way back home to the food she grew up with. Longing for Thai food of richer quality and variety in the U.S. Pim is now on a mission to liberate her beloved Thai cuisine from the tyranny of peanut sauce. Kin Khao is her first (and hopefully not last) restaurant project.

4. Jessica Koslow, chef at Sqirl

Jessica Koslow started her daytime-only restaurant, Sqirl in 2011 and its been at the top of of the Best-of-LA lists ever since. She started with jams and has expanded to breakfast and lunch, including her popular rice bowls. 

5. Marianne Despres, chef & owner of El Sur 

El Sur was started in 2012, by Marianne Despres, a classically trained chef with roots in Argentina and France. Upon graduating from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, she continued her culinary training in some of the world’s best kitchens including Potel et Chabot and the French Laundry.

After running a successful catering business in the Bay Area specializing in fine French cuisine, Marianne realized she most enjoyed cooking and sharing the food she grew up with, specifically the empanadas from her childhood. Marianne developed the recipes for El Sur’s empanadas using old-fashioned techniques and the finest local ingredients.

In the Kitchen: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

From Craftsman and Wolves

These are the best chocolate chip cookies EVER! Seriously. I know there are a ton of blog articles out there claiming to be the real deal, but none of them have ever made me feel the way about a cookie like I do when I’m waiting on the Craftsman and Wolves to get out of the oven. 

Think ooey gooey hot Valrhona chocolate wrapped in a salty-sweet cookie batter with REAL vanilla and sea salt. I mean oh.my.goodness! Take it to the next level with a dip in some almond milk and I’m done for the day!

Have I convinced you? 

Get the Recipe: Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe Roundup: Cozy Winter Dishes

I admit it: I’m pretty anti-traditional when it comes to resolutions. People generally pick something and then beat themselves up about not doing it, or just have a hard time incorporating it into their lives because it’s something really intense – like going from never exercising to setting a goal to go to the gym 5 days a week! It’s not very sustainable or easy to accomplish. 

But I also love that the New Year sparks the imagination for improving your healthy and happiness. And it’s one of my favorite times of year to try out new (somewhat healthy) recipes. 

I’m talking about the kind of meals you eat while wearing fuzzy socks. These Winter recipes are the ultimate in soul-warming comfort food. And healthy (ish) too! 

So, park yourself in front of the fireplace and chow down on these amazing cozy dishes. After all, the New Year is about improvement, not deprivation. 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowl

Pepper-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Apple Crisp in a Mug

Where to Go? What to Eat? Manhattan, NY

Manhattan is known for many things—theater, shopping, dining, sightseeing, you name it—making it a very popular spot for both visitors and residents. With everything New York City has to offer, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Where should you go? What should you see? Where should you eat?

Sylvia Parker, owner of Magpie and a native New Yorker, has you covered! Sylvia’s shop—located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan—offers unique, beautiful, and practical gifts that are frequently handmade, organic, and locally made and designed. “We’ve been on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for six years,” says Sylvia. “We love our neighborhood for its mix of people, our proximity to two wonderful parks (Central and Riverside), the cultural richness, and old-time architecture.”

river and manhattan skyline

Where to Go?

American Museum of Natural History

Just a few blocks away from Magpie lies the American Museum of Natural History, a city landmark with world-famous exhibits. “I’ve always loved the old-fashioned dioramas and the giant blue whale suspended from the ceiling there,” Sylvia remarks. One of the largest museums in the world, the AMNH offers spectacles and exhibits for children and adults alike.

Central Park Rambles

A wooded area within Central Park, the Rambles are a restored area of the park that have been fitted with nature trails, gardens, and bird feeders. Located between 73rd and 78th streets, the Rambles offer a beautiful outdoor space full of both native and exotic plant species as well as views of a pond where visitors take out rowboats when the weather is nice.

Shakespeare Garden

Also in Central Park is the Shakespeare Garden, located near the Delacorte Theatre, the site of the annual “Shakespeare in the Park” series held in the summer. A less-frequented part of the park, this serene and picturesque part of the park is perfect for a relaxing stroll on its winding paths. Full of seasonal flowers, the garden is particularly lush in the spring and is a popular spot for outdoor weddings.

Museum Mile

A fifteen-minute walk across the park takes you to Museum Mile, which features one block after another of incredible museums including the Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt, Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “which I consider one of the best (if not the best) museums in the world,” Sylvia adds.

Riverside Park

With four miles of park, from 72nd to 158th street along the Hudson River, Riverside Park is frequently considered one of the best waterfront parks in Manhattan. With sunset views, a bike path, outdoor cafes in the summer, a skate park, and other sports courts and fields; this park is a must-see when visiting the city.

food and drinks

What to Eat?

Zabars and Fairway Market

Two longtime favorites, Zabar’s and Fairway Market are both famed for their selections of cheese, coffee, and foodstuffs from around the world.

Orwashers, Maison Kayser, and By the Way

“Orwashers and Maison Kayser have particularly delicious bread and pastries,” notes Sylvia. “I also like a bakery called By the Way that sells homey gluten-free and dairy-free cakes and cookies.”

Murray’s Sturgeon

Murray’s Sturgeon, a gourmet deli, sells everything from dried fruit to smoked fish and has “the sweetest counter service ever.”

Amelie Wine Bar

A French bistro that was recently cited by Michelin, Amelie has phenomenal brunch and dinner menus as well as a wine list that is updated daily.

Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta

Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta are sister restaurants that both have terrific happy hour food. Pizzeria Sirenetta serves Neapolitan pizzas and rustic Italian fare while the Mermaid Inn is known for their seafood.

Jin Ramen

Another good spot for happy hour food, Jin Ramen offers delicious Japanese food and—of course—multiple kinds of ramen to choose from.

Shake Shack

The second Shake Shack to have ever opened its doors, this Upper West Side staple is popular among tourists, residents, and folks who work in the neighborhood. “There is always a long line outside for the burgers at Shake Shack.”

Amorino and Van Leeuwen

It’s also a good neighborhood for ice cream lovers,” Sylvia notes. “Amorino sells Italian-based gelato, while Van Leeuwen is local and features vegan ice cream in its shop.”