A Recipe for Mixing and Mingling with Neighbors

For many folks, socializing with co-workers, family and friends comes easy, but some feel they come up short when figuring out how to connect with neighbors.

At Bay Meadows, there’s ALWAYS an occasion to rub elbows with neighbors. From sharing tips at the community garden to holding pot-luck dinners at the communal table to shooting hoops at Paddock Park and more. Getting to know each other comes naturally here.

PLUS, among the perks of living at Bay Meadows are an active social committee and occasional organized mixers. During the holiday season, Bay Meadows held an interactive mixology workshop inviting residents for an evening of cocktail tips and tastings with local bartender Ryan from nearby Paul Martin’s American Grill. (HOT TIP: Paul Martin’s has a delicious happy hour, 3-7 PM each day and it’s only a 10-minute walk from our community!)

Paul Martin's head bartender and San Mateo native Ryan.

Paul Martin’s head bartender and San Mateo native Ryan.

Ryan packed his custom cocktail utensils and set up bar for the night at Bay Meadows, showing off his mixology chops to about a dozen residents. Jim, a systems manager at Genentech, loved the Apple Jack Martini so much that Ryan gave him a batch of his homemade muddled cherries at the end of the night.

Ryan has been head bartender at Paul Martin’s for two years, overseeing a cocktail program of a dozen signature libations, some crafted with the restaurant’s own house-infused spirits. A San Mateo local who also enjoys teaching people new skills, Ryan was in his element, introducing the Bay Meadows community to trade secrets.


Kathrin, a Bay Meadows resident who teaches occasional yoga pop-up workshops in the community, is pictured above (left) enjoying the Cucumber Refresher with her neighbor. A key technique takeaway in this beverage was muddling. The group was impressed to learn that muddling is a precise technique. Ryan emphasized that when you muddle herbs for a cocktail, you’re simply trying to wake up the aromas—not pound the herbs into a paste. So don’t pummel that basil or mint when muddling.

Before too long, residents were joining in the act, trying to muddle, shake, stir and craft their own creations, following Ryan’s steady hand and yummy recipes, of course. By the end of the evening, residents had made – or at least tasted – a Bay Meadows Old Fashioned, an Apple Jack Martini and Homemade Egg Nog.


Perhaps you’ll want to share the following simple beverage with your friends and neighbors this holiday season:  Cucumber Refresher. It’s a cross between a sophisticated limeade and an upgraded mojito.

  • .5 ounce EFFEN cucumber vodka
  • .5 ounce elder flower
  • .5 ounce cane syrup fresh lemon juice
  • Muddled cucumber
  • Topped with ginger beer

Another favorite was Ryan’s homemade Egg Nog. Who doesn’t love Egg Nog during the holidays? It can be topped with brandy or left non-alcoholic. Paul Martin’s serves this delicious Egg Nog by request only during the month of December, so put an alert in your calendar to order it during the next holiday season.


An ideally located community, Bay Meadows is only 10 minutes from Palo Alto, 20 minutes from San Francisco, and has 3 airports (SFO, OAK, SJC) within 30 miles. Bay Meadows is also located on Caltrain, which makes travel and commutes that much easier. Talk about convenient! Bay Meadows is the centralized place to reduce commutes, meet friends and play.  Looking for ideas of where to ride? Check out our bike map here.