Monday, March 31, 2014

California Bookstore Day - the First Round is on Me

California Bookstore Day is happening on May 3rd at a bookstore near you.  It's a daylong celebration of books and bookstores and the neighborhoods and communities that bookstores serve.

Riffing off of Record Store Day - which sings the praises of Indie record stores and the particular cultural vibe that sounds wherever their needle happens to touch a platter - California Bookstore Day aims to do the same.  Aims to remind people of that certain something that good bookstores impart to their customers - and to the cities and towns lucky enough to have them.

I'm a broken record, but we're cooler than any online retailer could ever hope to be - if you value interaction, if you value serendipitous in-store discovery, if you value neighbors employing neighbors and local businesses giving back to their communities every day.

So on May 3rd we're throwing a party and we hope you can be there.  We'll have cool stuff for sale - all kinds of books and art - that you can only find in person when we open our doors at 9am.  Everything's a limited edition and you can check them out here - from books and lithographs to tote-bags and prints.

But in addition to cool stuff, it's going to be a statewide party.  Mainly we want to have some fun.

In Alameda?  We'll be playing all day, and come night-time, we'll be serving up mac and cheese from melt:

The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, because - well, hell, what kind of party would it be without M&C?  Oh, and one of the authors, Stephanie Stiavetti, happens to live nearby.

So there's that.

Me?  I'm mixing drinks.  I wanted to begin the cocktail with apple brandy because my good friends at Green Apple Books are driving forces behind California Bookstore Day.  I've also been sampling Bell-Ringers lately - they're an old cocktail developed by a fabulous bartender at the turn of the 1900's.  Jim Maloney wrote his book, How to Mix Drinks, in 1903, and his Bell-Ringers - cocktails crafted in glasses rinsed with apricot brandy, were born.  And if you don't think apples and apricots go together, well - stop by ye old bookshoppe on May 3rd, in the evening, and I'll prove it to you.

I used California booze - what would be the point otherwise?  California Bookstore Day meets California spirits.  Starting with the apple brandy made by Osocalis down in Santa Cruz - it's lovely.  I remember reading that Daniel Farber, one of the owners of the distillery, appreciates the intensity of California apples and that what he's done is captured California in a bottle.  So I started there.  And didn't leave California when I went looking for vermouth.  Have you tried Vya?  It's a beaut.

May 3rd?  I'll see you.
California Bookstore Day Bell-Ringer:

1 oz. Osocalis Apple Brandy
.75 oz. Vya Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz simple syrup
5-10 drops Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

apricot liqueur for rinse


Shake all with ice & strain into a chilled cocktail glass that's been rinsed with apricot liqueur. Garnish with green-apple slice.

A green-apple slice - see what I did there?



  1. Sold! If I can't get across the bridge on May 3, can I get a raincheck? Thanks for the tip of the, um, bottle.
    --Green Apple

    1. Rain-checks freely given and happily redeemed!