Web Toolbar by Wibiya

Cocktails at Kask in Portland, OR

El Diablo- Mark McMinn has week working on perfecting the Diablo cocktail since he first learned how to make it at Patterson House. His latest rendition at KASK calls for Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, Combier cassis liqueur, house-made ginger syrup, and a splash of soda.

El Diablo- Mark McMinn has week working on perfecting the Diablo cocktail since he first learned how to make it at Patterson House. His latest rendition at KASK calls for Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, Combier cassis liqueur, house-made ginger syrup, and a splash of soda.

This article was originally published in my column on Serious Eats:Drink-Portland. 

At KASK in Portland, the spirits in each drink are not unique for the sake of being unique, nor obscure merely for hipster-cred. The team at KASK is passionate about finding the best quality and creating simple (generally 5 ingredients or less), yet remarkably tasty cocktails that Bar Manager/Beverage Director Tommy "Tweed" Klus says are "approachable, with a hint of geekiness".

 

The Leather Canary- This original cocktail from Nathan Gerdes smooths the transition from cooler weather with bitter, bright and sweet flavors playing in harmony. The cocktail is comprised of Old Overholt Whiskey, Gran Classico, Combier Pamplemousse, Punt E Mes, and a grapefruit twist.

The Leather Canary- This original cocktail from Nathan Gerdes smooths the transition from cooler weather with bitter, bright and sweet flavors playing in harmony. The cocktail is comprised of Old Overholt Whiskey, Gran Classico, Combier Pamplemousse, Punt E Mes, and a grapefruit twist.

Lead Bartender Mark McMinn said his background working as a barista for 10 years led him to pay close attention to detail. "I like introducing people to new spirits; it's fun to watch their minds expand", said McMinn. He used to judge recipes by how he thought they might taste based on the ingredient list, but years of experience have taught him to taste everything before making a judgment call. "Knowing that anything can be made well is one of the most exciting parts of the job", said McMinn, "...but you need to know how everything—good or bad—tastes first."

Bootstrap Buck- Tommy Tweed created this cocktail for the opening menu at KASK. The blend of Cruzan Blackstrap rum, lime, demerara sugar syrup, Fentiman's ginger beer, and freshly grated nutmeg has been a favorite ever since.

Bootstrap Buck- Tommy Tweed created this cocktail for the opening menu at KASK. The blend of Cruzan Blackstrap rum, lime, demerara sugar syrup, Fentiman's ginger beer, and freshly grated nutmeg has been a favorite ever since.

The newest addition to the KASK team is Nathan Gerdes, who previously ran the bar program at H50 Bistro. Gerdes began his bartending journey by mixing up Screwdrivers and White Russians for his high school friends. An unrelenting inquisitiveness (and sweltering kitchen) drove Gerdes, a former pasta chef, out of the kitchen and into the bar to learn and hone his skills, and to do what he loves best—socializing and conversing with others.

 

Moscow Mule- What do these bartenders really want to drink in the summer time? A classic, refreshing Moscow Mule. At KASK, they use locally distilled Medoyeff vodka, lime, house made ginger syrup, and the spicy Fentiman's ginger beer.

Moscow Mule- What do these bartenders really want to drink in the summer time? A classic, refreshing Moscow Mule. At KASK, they use locally distilled Medoyeff vodka, lime, house made ginger syrup, and the spicy Fentiman's ginger beer.

The White Lady cocktail is a classic—a silky, luscious yet crisp cocktail made with Small's gin, lemon, Combier liqueur, and one egg white.

The White Lady cocktail is a classic—a silky, luscious yet crisp cocktail made with Small's gin, lemon, Combier liqueur, and one egg white.

Mark McMinn

Mark McMinn

Tommy Tweed

Tommy Tweed

Like coconut milk? One cold and one warm holiday cocktail recipes! @tallerjen @PopeHouseLounge @DonQRum

With the slew of holiday cocktail options currently offered on various sites all over the web we thought we would contribute one overlooked holiday treat that is a great alternative for those who don't enjoy classic eggnog (as well as those who do), and one cocktail created by a local Portland Bartender, both utilizing the creamy, exotic attributes of coconut milk.

Coquito, is essentially Puerto Rican eggnog, and much like eggnog, there are many variations. Similar to punches, part of the joy of creation is tailoring the recipe to your taste, so use this as a general guideline and feel free to experiment to create your favorite Coquito version. Use coconut cream if you can find it, though we used high quality coconut milk from our favorite Thai grocery store, which contains a thick layer of cream on top of the more watery milk, and it worked very well. We also used a combination of Ceylon and Mexican cinnamon, as the Mexican adds a spiciness absent in the Ceylon. The recipe below yields quite a bit, and it is generally sipped out of shot glasses or small cups, so the recipe can be equally divided down without compromised results. Don Q Cristal is a great rum for this recipe as it is remarkable smooth and very light in flavor so that it doesn't overpower the other spice ingredients.

DonQ Coquito

2 cans (30 oz.) coconut cream

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 or 2 cups DonQ Cristal

1/4 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tbsp. ground nutmeg

 

Mix all ingredients in a blender on high. Refrigerate. Serve cold, sip and enjoy. Yields about 3L of coquito.

 

 

The second cocktail is from  Jenn Hegstrom of Pope House Lounge and received top marks at the recent cocktail competition Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka Portland release event at Teardrop Lounge.

Choco-nut Cozy

1.5 oz. Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka
.5 oz. Di Saronno Ameretto
Heater Whole Milk/ Coconut Milk 3:1 ratio
Hot Chocolate Mix

Served hot in clear coffee mug. In separate container mix heated milk, add hot chocolate mix, still until well combined. Add Belvedere Unfiltered and Amaretto. Top with Coco-Orgeat whipped cream. Garnish with fresh shaved chocolate and toasted coconut.

We regrettably do not have a photograph of this delicious libation, as we were too busy slurping it down to remember to take a picture, but Geoff of Drink Spirits did, as well as other cocktails and recipes from the Belvedere event that can be found at DrinkSpirits.com. Simply put, you need to make this drink.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Copyright © 2013 Portland Craft Cocktails. All Rights Reserved.