Plum Blossom- 1.5 oz @housespirits Shochu, .75 oz Grapefruit Juice, .5 oz Creme de Violette @pdxcocktailweek @SakeOne

Plum Blossom:

1.5 oz. Shochu (House Spirits Uchi No Kami 48 proof)
.75 oz. Grapefruit juice (ruby)
.5 oz. Creme de Violette (Rothman and Winter)

Shake with ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass.

In the spirit (no pun intended) of Portland Cocktail Week which includes the Great American Distillers Festival, I wanted to create an original cocktail highlighting one of the many high quality local spirits Portland is distilling. This main ingredient in this cocktail is the result of a partnership of two of Oregon's best, House Spirits and SakeOne. The result of this partnership culminated in a limited release of Shochus at slightly different balances and alcohol levels. The one I am currently working with is the Uchi No Kami Shochu, comprised of Moromi of Koji and Milled Rice at 48.04 proof. Moromi is the fermenting rice mash, and koji spores (aspergillus oryzae in English) are propagated on the fermenting rice grains to eventually yield sake. The different stages of the koji growth will affect the overall result of the product, and the master distiller will select the optimal time to proceed to the next step in distilling. Multi-staged Moromis were brought from Forest Grove to Portland where they spent some time being double stilled in House Spirits copper Alambic pot-still "collecting just the finest of the heart cut."

The nose of the cocktail is a wonderful blend of floral and citrus aromas with vanilla, mallow, and pleasant fermented rice accompaniments. The sip is a delicate balance of flavors, and though the Creme de violette champions the finish, it allows the shochu to breath, while providing the necessary bump to the sweetness from the grapefruit juice. The grapefruit lends the neccesary bite to prevent a muddying of the flavors. A very clean, refreshing finish. Very drinkable.

Mezcal Mayhem and the Seis Dedos Del Gato - @giltclub @pdxcocktailweek @dshenaut @jasonlittrell

Seis Dedos Del Gato (Six Toed Cat):

1.5 oz. Hornitos Tequila
.5 oz. Kirschwasser
1 oz. grapefruit
1 oz. lime
3 spritz Chichicapa single village mezcal rinse
House-smoked sea salt.

Our recent venture to Gilt Club yielded one exceptional cocktail highlighting the "mezcal craze" that has surged in popularity among connoisseur bartenders (and customers) seeking something beyond tequila to experiment with. On a side note, there are two excellent opportunities to get your mezcal fix in the upcoming Portland Cocktail Week. The first  event is hosted by Ricky Gomez of Teardrop Lounge, and will feature Ron Cooper of Del Maguey for a tasting and discussion of the history of mezcal at Irving Street Kitchen. This is followed by a March for Mezcal, where Dave Shenaut and Jason Littrell will lead the tour around downtown Portland "where all roads lead to Mezcal". Tickets for both events can be purchased here.  A good article from the New York Times that focused on the resurgence of mezcal, and the bittersweet phenomena of its limitations can be found here, "Hoping Mezcal Can Turn the Worm".

The cocktail had a smoky agave nose almost woody and oily. The sip was also smoky, with pronounced citrus though very smooth. The house smoked salt was a nice accompaniment to the cocktail, working to bring out the smokiness of the mezcal without overwhelming the nuances of the flavors.

Dutch Heaven- 1.75 oz @BolsGenever, .75 oz grapefruit juice, .5 oz Maraschino, mint


Dutch Heaven:

1.75 oz. Bols Genever
.5 oz. Maraschino
.25 oz. grapefruit juice (white)
1 mint sprig

Shake with ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass.

After the Seventh Heaven I thought to experiment with swapping the gin for a genever. A very simple, smooth cocktail emerged. The mint is mellowed as it competes with the mead on the nose. The cocktail had a velvety (though pleasantly so), mouthfeel.The sip is multilayered mint, grapefruit, with the maraschino much less apparent on the swallow in comparison to the Seventh Heaven, again most likely due to the (friendly) competition of the mead and botanical flavors of the genever.

Seventh Heaven @Dr_Cocktail- 1.75 oz @DrinkEnglishGin, .5 oz Maraschino, .25 oz grapefruit juice, mint sprig

Seventh Heaven:

1 1/2 oz. Bols Genever
1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin)
1/4 oz. Maraschino (Luxardo)
1/4 oz. Amer Picon (Torani Amer)
Dash orange bitters (homemade)

I recently received Ted Haigh's (Dr. Cocktail) excellent book, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten cocktails. The recipes are an assortment of old and forgotten cocktails that (at least in PDX) are forgotten no longer. Many cafes, restaurants, and bars in the area have riffs of the Pegu Club, the Seelbach, and the Brandy Crusta as well as many others listed in the book. It is wonderful to see Dr. Cocktails influence reach so far. I started with a cocktail I had not heard of (and there are many in this book) named the Seventh Heaven.

Pleasant mint nose and juniper/botanical forward. The grapefruit mediates the funky maraschino and follows on the swallow to form a bit of a spiciness. I thought about the small cocktail glasses on the recent episode of Mad Men while pouring this cocktail. It only filled half the glass, as the older cocktails were often of much smaller proportions, meant