Honey Som Fizz

Honey Som Fizz:

1.5 oz Bourbon (Bulleit) 
.5 oz Som (Pok Pok Honey) 
.75 oz lemon juice 
.25 oz gum syrup (Small Hand Foods)

Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour into old fashioned glass on rocks and top with soda water.

We have been loving our iSi soda siphon, and making all kinds of cocktails, with an emphasis on accessible, less-alcoholic cocktails for easy drinking lazy afternoons. Pok Pok is one of our favorite Portland restaurants and offers some of, if not the best Vietnamese food in the area. One of the specialties that owner Andy Ricker brought from his many travels searching for authentic ingredients is drinking vinegar, previously only available at the restaurant in SE Portland (and now Whiskey Soda Lounge across the street, Ping in NE, and the soon to open Noi), but is now available for retail purchase in a variety of seasonal flavors for around $15 a bottle, branded as Som. Pok Pok, Whiskey Soda Lounge, and Ping all serve the drinking vinegars topped with soda water, as well as finding some very creative uses for Som in their craft cocktails. We found great success utilizing the honey Som in our tribute hot toddy cocktail, the Pok Toddy, and worked to highlight bourbon and honey's natural affinity in a cold fizz cocktail. The gum syrup is added for balance and mouthfeel, but could be swapped for simple syrup or even add extra Som, as it's quite sweet. However, we found the best balance adding a 1/2 oz. Som as the honey flavor is strong, and we didn't want it to overpower the bourbon. We are looking forward to trying this cocktail again with Bulleit's newest release, a 95% rye whiskey.

For non-locals who are the DIY type, you can make your own drinking vinegars with ingredients that should not be too hard to track down. The trickiest is most likely coconut vinegar, which can be found at most good Asian grocery stores. We made a satsuma drinking vinegar that turned out great by juicing 7-8 satsumas, reducing the juice over a low heat, adding palm sugar, (also available at Asian/Indian grocery stores, though cane sugar could be substituted), and finishing with the vinegar. we have been drinking the satsuma vinegar (3/4 to 1 oz.) topped with soda water during the day, for a delicious non-alcoholic housemade citrus soda (with health benefits), as well as the Darb Cocktail. You don't want the vinegar flavor to be too strong, though it should be noticeable. Start with less vinegar and experiment with amounts for your personal preference. The flavors are limited only by your imagination, and the quality only limited by the seasonality of the ingredients. Do you have a favorite drinking vinegar or Pok Pok cocktail? 

Salvatore's Gift- Bourbon, Averna, citrus juices, @Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, vanilla bean soda

Salvatore's Gift

1.5 oz. Bourbon (Michter's US *1 Small Batch)
1 oz. Averna
1/3 oz. Blood orange juice
1/3 oz. lemon juice
2 dash cherry bark vanilla bitters (Bittercube)
1/4 inch vanilla bean
Top with vanilla bean soda (opt.) (Dry Soda)
lemon oils

Shake all ingredients except soda (if using) over ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with soda. Express lemon oils with zest over cocktail. Discard zest.

This cocktail was created with vanilla as the star ingredient. Bourbon and Averna have a natural affinity and herbaceous richness, and Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon is a top choice and excellent candidate for this drink. Blood orange juice was used for color and flavor, but any orange juice can be substituted. We had to play with the ratios a bit, the first version was made without lemon juice, but the following attempt included lemon juice which helped to brighten the flavors and pull out cherry and cocoa notes and a lively tartness not quite achieved with the blood orange juice alone.

Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters further complement the Averna, and add floral, fruit, and spice complexity as well as further evoking the chocolate notes in the Averna with its own hint of cocoa . For a lighter cocktail, try topping it off with Dry Sodas Vanilla Bean one example from Dry Soda's portfolio that showcase how natural ingredients, lightly sweetend with pure sugar, and champagne-style small-bubble carbonation can yield fantastic and exciting results with endless pairing options.

Derby Cocktail- 1 oz. Michter's Bourbon, 1 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth, .75 oz Creole Shrubb, .75 oz lime juice, mint

Derby Cocktail

1 oz bourbon (Michter's US*1 Small Batch)
1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Vya)
1/2 oz orange curacao (Clement Creole Shrubb)
3/4 oz lime juice
Add mint leaf

Shake over ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Smack mint, then garnish.

This cocktail is from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. The cocktail starts with a candied orange, tobacco, and mint nose. There is a tart/sweet entry followed by spiced orange notes, herbaceous botanicals from the vermouth and the charred oak depth of the whiskey. This is an interesting drink in the limited amount of bourbon, which may turn some away, but it's reservation leads to a different beast of a drink, a bourbon cocktail to be sure, but one to be savored rather than shot down the hatch. The Creole shrubb is an amazing liqueur and holds its own with the tartness of the lime, a top choice among orange liqueurs. This is a good cocktail for fans of sour drinks such as the Pegu Club, whom prefer whiskey to gin.