The Avondale from The Rum Club PDX

The Avondale- Cachacha, Cynar, Egg White, Pineapple Gomme, Lemon, Bitters

 Pineapple Gomme and egg white cocktails create an amazing smooth cream topper in this earthy and fruit forward cocktail. The Cynar keeps the drink from being too sweet and adds a vegetal depth that pairs nicely with the cachaca. The lemon juice helps the rest of the flavors to pop and keeps the cocktail on the bright side, with a great warm spice nose from the Angostura bitters. An absolutely delicious cocktail. If you like this you might want to try the Elixir de Cognac which also makes great use of egg whites and pineapple gomme.











Sweeten your cocktails with salt not sugar! Averna and Cynar salted

Salt of the Earth:

1 oz. Averna
1 oz. Cynar
Scant pinch of Australian Murray River pink flake salt*
Orange zest

*(You may have to do some experimenting to get the right amount of salt, so start with smaller drinks so you don't waste good booze. If it tastes salty, you used too much salt)

Stir with ice. Strain. Express oils from orange zest. Garnish with zest if desired.

This cocktail was the result of multiple bits of inspiration over the past 6 months. The idea of salting cocktails (beyond margarita rims), has been marinating for some time after reading the excellent, informative, and scientific article from Maks Pazuniak, of beta cocktails and The Counting Room. Essentially, salt mitigates the bitterness of flavors and heightens their perceived sweetness (please read the article for further explanation of the chemical reaction of salts effect on bitterness, as well as links to recipes for other salted cocktails) which has broad ranging implications within the cocktail realm, especially with the plethora of bitters and amari currently available.

Chefs have long practiced the use of salt to pull out sweetness in otherwise bitter herbs, spices, and dishes. This is noted in the second bit of inspiration for the drink, the book The Flavor Bible, which was mentioned by virtually every speaker in the Portland Cocktail Week seminars last year and recently came in the mail. It is a reference book that focuses on the philosophy of flavors, the pairing and grouping of flavors , and is very inspirational when creating new drinks or meals.

The final bit came from Ron Dollete of, who during TDN of Portland Cocktail week paired Averna with Cynar and Bittermens Mole Bitters for a memorable cocktail, though I don't remember the exact proportions. We didn't have Mole bitters on hand so we opted for a 1:1 ratio of Averna:Cynar. Have any salted cocktail recipes you'd like to share?

The Perfect Cocktail - 1 oz. @HendricksGin, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, 1 oz. dry vermouth

1 oz. Gin* (Hendricks's)
1 oz. French Vermouth (Dolin)
1 oz. Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes)

Stir with ice. Strain.

*The recipe called for dry gin, but Hendrick's was calling me.

I was making macaroons and flipping through the Savoy Cocktail Book looking for something in a French theme and noticed that French and Italian was the designation for dry and sweet vermouth respectively. This led to further investigation where I learned that vermouths were often referred to in this way as most French vermouths were white and Italian, red. If you did not already know this and if you have been reading this blog and others, you may have noticed that this is not a steadfast rule as there are red French vermouths (Dolin) and white Italian vermouths (Martini and Rossi). However, this guideline is helpful in recreating some of the older vintage cocktails.
While delicious, rich, complex, drinkable, simple, and sublime, I instantly wanted to tinker with this drink (and already had by not sticking with a dry gin) so I'm not sure that I would consider it perfect, but I am conflicted about disagreeing with Mr. Craddock, though sometimes a name is just a name. I think Punt E Mes and Hendrick's go particularly well together and mix with the fruity Dolin for a full-bodied sip. I was craving some bitterness as the drink is on the sweet side. In the next iteration I added Torani Amer and homemade orange bitters.

Perfect Cocktail #2
1 oz. Gin* (Hendricks's)
.75 oz. French Vermouth (Dolin)
.75 oz. Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes)
.5 oz. Amer Picon (Torani Amer)
1 dash homemade orange bitters

This was a good drink, though quite a different character of drink, with the bitter orange of the Amer and the gentian of the bitters. It also was not quite the flavor I was seeking. A very similar cocktail also worth trying is the Income Tax Cocktail, essentially the Perfect cocktail with orange juice and Angostura bitters.
I eventually settled on

Eye of the Beholder:
1 oz. Gin* (Hendricks's)
.75 oz. French Vermouth (Dolin)
.75 oz. Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes)
.5 oz. Cynar

This was the drink I was looking for. Sweet, bitter, complex, almost a syrupy velvety richness without being cloying. Perfect? I will leave perfection as an endless pursuit.

RPM @EaT @HouseSpirits

The weather was perfect and the house was packed inside and out of EaT. We arrived towards the last hour of the event and almost shed a tear as we were walking up one of the waitresses called out "86 kiwi". I knew this meant I would miss out on the Jaded Kiwi (hand presses skinless kiwi, Aviation Gin, Green Chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, Fee Brothers Peach Bitters, soda), one of the more interesting sounding drinks I was looking forward to trying. However we still sampled some truly excellent cocktails.

Pepper Delicious #2:

Krogstad Aquavit
Handpressed bell pepper
Fresh Oregon Peppermint
Citrus (orange and lemon)

Arielle really enjoyed this drink. As with the cucumber from The Pressgurka Smash of last week's RPM, the red pepper was a (pleasantly) surprising pairing for the Aquavit. The nose was a peppery mint, followed by a vegetal/citrus sip. The swallow was mostly caraway spice, and the tartness of the citrus helped to accentuate the flavors of the red pepper and made great use of local, seasonal produce.


1 oz. Krogstad Aquavit
1 oz. Dry Sherry
1 oz. Cynar
1 Dash Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
Lemon twist

Stir with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass(es)*

This drink is the brainchild of Robert Hess, who considered it one of his "most successful cocktails". I loved it, and as Mr. Hess considered it, "a negroni with more obscure ingredients", it was right up my alley. Nutty amontillado, star anise forward. Cynar on the swallow. Simply delicious.

*The bartender ran out of large cocktail glasses and had stirred up what looked to be enough to fill two large cocktail glasses. However, there were no cocktail glasses to be found, he improvised, and we were the lucky benefactors of this happy accident.