One of the most amazing recent dishes to smack the local foodie scene upside the head: Mission Chinese Food's Chongqing chicken wings, the little crispy limbs buried in so many "explosive" chili peppers that one bite actually numbs your entire mouth. It's the weirdest, most viscerally addictive experience on our menus. But what if we told you it was also available in cocktail form? Wow and ouch! The Alembic's Nine Volt leapt onto the ever-innovative Haight Street bar's summer cocktail menu this year (crafted by bar manager Danny Louie) and zapped us to attention. Served with white Szechuan peppers — yep, sourced from Mission Chinese — but gorgeously balanced with Aviation gin, green tea, and grape juice, this baby gives out a recharging tongue-in-the-socket thrill without any battery-acid stomach repercussions. Here's hoping the Nine Volt sticks around through winter: we could use the heat.
1725 Haight, SF. (415) 666-0822, www.alembicbar.com