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Cocktails at Fish Sauce in PDX

"The Renegade is our most-ordered cocktail," says Bui. "And everyone who tries it always orders two." It's made with smoky Teacher's Highland blended Whiskey, tamarind that Bui has shipped in fresh from Vietnam, fresh lemon juice, and spicy ginger syrup.

"The Renegade is our most-ordered cocktail," says Bui. "And everyone who tries it always orders two." It's made with smoky Teacher's Highland blended Whiskey, tamarind that Bui has shipped in fresh from Vietnam, fresh lemon juice, and spicy ginger syrup.

This article was first published on my column for Serious Eats: Drinks

Tommy Klus is a walking encyclopedia of full of cocktail and spirits knowledge,” says bartender Will Ray of Portland’s recently-opened Fish Sauce. “When I met him, I felt like a newborn baby, even with six years of experience.

 The two first met when Ray was apprenticing at KASK and they're now shaking up American classic cocktails with a hint of Asian influence at the new Northwest Portland Vietnamese restaurant. "Tommy wanted the drinks to be refreshing and light—they should complement the complex flavors found in Vietnamese cuisine," says Ray.

This cocktail is inspired by a popular pickled tamarind soda commonly served on the streets of Vietnam. The Two Birds gives this street-side treat the booze treatment with the addition of Combier Orange Liqueur and Sobieski Vodka, served tall with a salty-sweet pickled kumquat.

This cocktail is inspired by a popular pickled tamarind soda commonly served on the streets of Vietnam. The Two Birds gives this street-side treat the booze treatment with the addition of Combier Orange Liqueur and Sobieski Vodka, served tall with a salty-sweet pickled kumquat.

Owner Ben Bui and Klus bonded over their passions for small-batch products, fresh quality ingredients, and home-made mixers fueled by insatiable curiosity for new and exotic flavor combinations. Behind the bar at Fish Sauce, you'll find a bounty of house-made syrups including a gunpowder tea simple syrup and the sweet, tart juice from pickles made by Bui's mother. The drinks incorporate sour tamarind, sweet pineapple, pickled kumquats, and jalapeno charred in Combier orange liqueur.

Funky and vegetal Novo Fogo aged cachaca is the base of this deep and tropical cocktail, mixed with rich Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, bitter Cynar, allspice dram, and pineapple.

Funky and vegetal Novo Fogo aged cachaca is the base of this deep and tropical cocktail, mixed with rich Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, bitter Cynar, allspice dram, and pineapple.

The Luck Dragon is a riff on the Pisco Sour: the bright and fruity concoction is made with Control C pisco, fresh passionfruit, lime juice, egg white, and cane sugar, garnished with Angostura bitters.

The Luck Dragon is a riff on the Pisco Sour: the bright and fruity concoction is made with Control C pisco, fresh passionfruit, lime juice, egg white, and cane sugar, garnished with Angostura bitters.

Preparing the Fire in Saigon
Preparing the Fire in Saigon 2
For this margarita variation, a jalapeno is roasted in Combier orange liqueur, adding spice gently. (The pepper is removed before the liqueur is added to the drink.) The orange liqueur is mixed with fresh lime and orange, agave nectar, and Pueblo Viejo silver tequila.

For this margarita variation, a jalapeno is roasted in Combier orange liqueur, adding spice gently. (The pepper is removed before the liqueur is added to the drink.) The orange liqueur is mixed with fresh lime and orange, agave nectar, and Pueblo Viejo silver tequila.

Bartender Will Ray looking dapper. 

Bartender Will Ray looking dapper. 

Fish Sauce

407 NW 17th Avenue, Portland, OR (map)

503-227-8000; fishsaucepdx.com/

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