11/16/2012 12:23 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

La Maison Cointreau Sets the Scene From Belle Epoque to Belle Poitrine

San Francisco is seriously turning orange these days. (Did you peek at Market Street on Halloween?) The enfants de la patrie at Cointreau, the venerable orange liqueur from the San Francisco of Europe, brought a little more of the hue to town with their signature zest for beverages from the Belle Epoque. Transforming a shabby-chic SOMA antiques warehouse into "La Maison Cointreau," they entertained a decorative swath of the demimonde for three nights of conviviality, cocktails, and, on opening night, a certain brand enchantress known as Dita Von Teese. A rare library of 19th century cocktail recipe books had been set up in one room, overseen by some very gamine 'librarians' who only looked stuffy compared to the deshabille of Dita.

Nearby, sexy sixth-generation scion Alfred Cointreau offered mixological instruction on concocting the perfect Sidecar, Devil's Own, Palomita and other all-too-palatable potions, all using his namesake elixir. At the appointed hour, guests gathered in a nouvelle nightclub for the evening's entertainment. Johnny Rodgers played a series of filled water glasses to charming effect, perfecting that trick that banished you and your cousins from the children's table many Thanksgivings ago. Charismatic chanteuse Lady Rizo got the crowd revved up with her signature brassy-classy songbook, in the style of a present-day Piaf.

A bit of Nicole Renaud's accordion set the bal-musette mood before the always-divine Dita took the stage, attired in a '40s-era ensemble of glittering Swarovski-covered flowers anchoring a cream-colored bolero and skirt. (We were a teensy bit disappointed that Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden Corsetry had not had a hand in this costume, although she herself arrived in a tight laced fringed fantasy that had every drag queen in the room reeling.) Since the raven-haired ravisher removes the rest rather quickly, we got over it before the shimmying started and the fan dance began to reveal her perfectly proportionate charms. Alas, Supervisor Scott Weiner's Castro cover up law meant we were only treated to her nearly nude pulchritude, but some is much better than none. La Maison Cointreau had treated us to an evening of pithy perfection that gave its own twist to a certain set of orbs reminiscent of all things orange.

In the tangerine dream: artist manqué Jeff Koons, fine art photographer Sidney Erthal, Richard Lambert, Torso Vintage's John Hadeed, chanteuse Veronica Klaus, cocktalian Kyle Ford, burlesque expert Liz Goldwyn, Daniel Deephouse, Hooman Khalili, Yelp's Nish Nadaraja, Rachel Mann, Mackenzie Burdick, Tatiana Sorokko, Bernadette Langlais, Jenny Georges, rakish roué Richard Titus, incognito actor Conrad Franks, fresh from rehearsal of his own cocktail cabaret, party perfectionist Rosie Lila, Ray Boyle, Ali Tashini, Frank Jakuba, Rommellyn Fisher, Bacca DaSilva, Ebay's Amanda Miller, and many more fans of all things Cointreauversial.


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