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Albert Law

Get Lit With Manischewitz Slushies and Sufganiyot Cocktails for Hanukkah

Fiorella Sunset and Bar Nonnina are rolling out a Hanukkah cocktail menu on Sunday, December 18

It’s been hard to miss the explosion of over-the-top Christmas pop-ups across San Francisco and the Bay Area in recent years. What might have started with one or two bars covering every square inch in wrapping paper and glittery bows has since spawned a seasonal cottage industry built on eggnog cocktails and lots (and lots) of tinsel. This year, there are so many Christmas-themed bars running Christmas-themed menus, it’s almost a given guests will have the option to sip on something ol’ Saint Nick would enjoy during the holiday season. “No one blinks at a Christmas menu,” says Fiorella bar director Dan Burns.

But Christmas isn’t the only big holiday on the calendar, of course. This is why Fiorella, the mini-chain of neighborhood Italian restaurants that got its start in the Richmond District, has something fresh on offer. For the first time, the restaurant’s Inner Sunset location (the only one will a full liquor license) will roll out a Hanukkah cocktail menu to go alongside its Hanukkah food menu, which the restaurant has served annually for the past few years. Fiorella owner Boris Nemchenok says the idea for the cocktail menu was a natural development on the heels of the popularity of the Hanukkah food menu over the years. “As an immigrant from the Soviet Union, I really wanted to showcase a little bit of my background and history,” he says. He raised the idea to Burns, who then put together a list of Hanukkah drinks.

M&H (milk & honey)
Albert Law
Sufganiyot cocktail
Albert Law

Burns says most of the options on the five-drink menu take inspiration from familiar dishes, including sufganiyot, the filled doughnuts typically enjoyed during Hanukkah, and charoset, a paste made with fruit and nuts that’s usually eaten during the Passover seder. The sufganiyot-inspired drink riffs on a white Russian cocktail, combining vodka, strawberry, creme de cacao, and cream with a cinnamon-sugar-salt rim. Meanwhile, the M&H — short for milk and honey — is a wintery mix of apple brandy, lemon, honey, and Brucato Woodlands amaro that sports a honey and hazelnut rim dipped in pistachio apple powder.

Two of the cocktails feature Manischewitz, the most ubiquitous brand of kosher wine. In the main restaurant, diners can order a Borough Park Sour, which swaps the traditional dry red wine float for the sweet kosher wine. Upstairs at Bar Nonnina, the hidden cocktail lounge on the restaurant’s second floor, the popular Slushie di Modena, made with hand-shaved ice, will flip into a Manischewitz Slushy for the Hanukkah holiday. Built on a gin base, the drink also includes Amara d’Arancia Rossa Amaro, Manischewitz, strawberry and pomegranate essence, and lemon.

Finally, the restaurant will serve a Bloody Miriam made with Khren e Svekla, a house-infused beet and horseradish vodka, garnished with pickled beets. Nemchenok says he always has a bottle of homemade infused vodka on the table on New Year’s Eve, so this cocktail feels particularly personal. “I think the kitchen and Dan have created something special,” Nemchenok says. “So come enjoy the holiday at Fiorella — it only happens eight times a year,” he says with a laugh.

Manischewitz Slushy
Albert Law

Fiorella’s Hanukkah food menu is available at all three locations from December 18 through December 26. The Hanukkah cocktail menu is available only at Fiorella Sunset.

Fiorella Sunset

1240 9th Avenue, , CA 94122 (415) 404-6997 Visit Website
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