May the Fourth Special Event in SF with Smuggler’s Cove

What a fabulous time in San Francisco yesterday for the special event at Sessions restaurant on the Lucasfilm campus. The special “May the Fourth” event was a partnership with Smuggler’s Cove and featured some special Star Wars themed cocktails on the menu and the inclusion of Smuggler’s Cove merch, silent auction items, and rum tasting alongside the merchandise and wine tasting from Lucasfilm and Geeki Tikis.

We really enjoyed our meal at Sessions, so much that we’re planning to come back. The patio dining suited us just fine.

Mai Tai Fighter and Blue Harvest

As for the cocktails: we need Princess Leia to give gold medals to the bartenders from Smuggler’s Cove. I started first with the “Mai Tai Fighter” which is a standard 1944 Mai Tai with a “dark side” float of OFTD. Oh, such an amazing Mai Tai. By far the best so far in 2021.

Equally impressive was the “Blue Harvest,” a riff on SC’s Captain’s Grog. Blue Harvest was the codename for the original Star Wars movie and the inclusion of Rum-Bar Silver replacing the dark Jamaican rum was a huge plus for this cocktail. I will feel no shame ordering this at the Cove, it’s just that good. The “Rebel Pilot” was a stand in for a Jet Pilot and was quite excellent, as was the Kessel Run with rum, bourbon, and coffee liqueur.

Rebecca Cate and Martin Cate from Smuggler’s Cove

Additionally, it was so nice to see familiar faces at the event. We had a great time socializing (wearing masks) after dinner. We are now really looking forward to Smuggler’s Cove’s reopening (in June?).

Formidable Dragon with Wray & Nephew Swag

Smuggler’s Cove is running a special on their Formidable Dragon to-go cocktail. There is Wray & Nephew Swag available with purchase, a promotion to celebrate the use of Wray Overproof and sister brand Appleton 8 Reserve in the cocktail. It’s a delicious cocktail and the merch makes it extra fun.

I chose these fine W&N beach slippers, which will come in handy next week on vacation.

The promotion is available for a limited times, is get thee to The Cove before it is too late.

Smuggler’s Cove To-Go Cocktails

Mrs. Mai Tai and I took a drive to SF and got some fab cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove.

I’ve been impressed with the quality of the take-out cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove, which have been consistently excellent throughout their to-go period. These cocktails aren’t the cheapest, but man they’ve been fantastic and importantly better than I could make at home. Remember that post a few weeks ago where Mrs. Mai Tai and I tried three different Painkillers made with fresh ingredients? Not as good as the Painkiller we had from the Cove, and not even close.

The Tradewinds was my order, pictured with some take-out sushi from another restaurant. I’ve never had this amazing cocktail made with coconut creme and apricot liqueur before and now I have serious FOMO. So good.

Now, if only Smuggler’s Cove would offer a to-go Mai Tai!

Amazing Cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove

The Dead Reckoning and Rosalita from Smuggler’s Cove really did the trick for us tonight. So flavorful and plenty boozy, both featuring ingredients I don’t have at home.

  • Dead Reckoning: Let this drink guide you to a new destination. Rum, pineapple, fresh lemon, vanilla liqueur, maple, tawny port, Angostura bitters
  • Rosalita: As beautiful as it is delicious, this cocktail contains rum, lime, house-made orgeat, house-made hibiscus liqueur, pear liqueur, seltzer, bitters.

Smuggler’s Cove Cocktails To Go

Finally made it up to the city to get some to-go cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove. The menu outside the building highlights which cocktails are available, an aid to those walking up. We had done our order via online and ahead a couple days and the reminder text alerts for the order worked great.

This weekend, the Cove was doing a promotion with Pusser’s Rum and the regularly available Painkiller cocktail was made with the higher ABV Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof. This was for Mrs. Mai Tai who said it was delicious and potent. And we got to take home some Pussers swag as well.

I picked up the Fog Cutter, a Trader Vic’s cocktail I’ve gotten into this year. The Cove uses Oloroso Sherry, which is different than the Cream Sherry I have at home. Pretty good cocktail, though now that I’ve tasted both I do prefer to the Cream Sherry.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Mai Tai gave the Smuggler’s Cove “meal option” a rave review. When you order cocktails to go you have to order one of two soups. Julie said that the vegan soup was outstanding, just as good as any she’d expect to get at a good restaurant.

Luau Lounge: Outdoor Tiki at Pier 39

Traveled Sunday to SF and along the way we went over to Pier 39 to check out the new patio experience at the Luau Lounge. I’ve had some mixed experiences over the years at the Luau Lounge, but it is always good to see when businesses are trying to hang on and maybe even thrive in COVID times. Hence the Luau Lounge taking over the former stage space at the end of the pier.

The set up looks good, with tables spaced out well. The cocktail menu still includes a few tiki favorites, along with mainstream cocktails, beer, and wine that are necessary for a tourist restaurant. Food has been good here when we’ve visited before.

We didn’t stay for a drink or meal, though. We’re still a little hesitant about the outdoor dining with strangers, but mostly for us on Sunday at noon was lack of shade. I think there will be many times during the day where the sun won’t be too bad, but our timing wasn’t great.

If you’re in SF and hankering for some tiki, the Luau Lounge seems like a reasonable choice right now.

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