Altar- Chi Herbal Martini

Altar Chi Herbal Martini

Lowtails (low-alcohol cocktials) and non-alcoholic "mocktails" are appearing on more and more bar menus, and Altar makes it easy for home-bartenders to create their own craft lowtails at home.  You don't want to add too many other elements as the flavors can quickly become "muddied". Chi is a complex blend of cherries, mint, ginger, juniper, and sumac making it a natural fit for a herbaceous gin. Explore the rest of the herbal blends http://www.altarco.com/.  

Inner Peace:

2 oz Altar- Chi Herbal Martini  

.75 oz Gin

.5 oz Lemon Juice

.25 oz Cherry Heering

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15-30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. 

 

Bakon Bloody Mary - Bloody Good

Bakon Bloody Mary

I know I know, bacon vodka. For some, it sounds like the greatest invention ever. For others, their worst nightmare. While we agree that it is WEIRD, particularly on it's own, it truly makes one of the best Bloody Mary's we've had. There is an fatty, buttery mouthfeel that needs some heavy spice to cut through the mix. Enter Dimitri's Bloody Mary Seasoning in Chipotle-Habenero flavor for the mix, along with local salt mavens, Salinity Salt Chipotle Finishing Salt for the rim. These take your Bloody Mary from ordinary to extraordinary with a fiery kick. 

Try mixing up a Bakon Bloody Mary for yourself, and let us know what are some of your other favorite Bloody Mary recipes.  

2 oz. Bakon Vodka

1-2 tsp Dimitri Chipotle-Habenero Bloody Mary Mix

6-8 oz Tomato Juice

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15-30 seconds.  Wipe rim of glass with cut lime. Gently roll lip of glass in salt placed in a shallow bowl. Pour contents of cocktail shaker unstrained  into glass.

Optional: Garnish with celery, bacon, or pickled veggies. 

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

Strawberry Shrub Pisco Sour

Strawberry-Shrub-Pisco-Sour

Strawberry season just came into full swing in Portland, making it the perfect time to mix up strawberry jams, syrups and cocktails. One of our favorite ways of preserving the harvest is to make a "shrub", also known as a drinking vinegar. This will keep the fresh fruit flavor and also add a tart zing to your drinks. The Pisco Sour is one of our favorite cocktails, and the pisco plays very nicely with the strawberry shrub. Macchu Pisco is an ideal mixing pisco, as it's made from 100% Quebranta grapes (non-aromatic variety), making it the perfect backbone for cocktails. Try the Strawberry Shrub Pisco Sour, or mix up your own variation and let us know what you come up with. 

Strawberry Shrub Pisco Sour

1.5 oz Macchu Pisco pisco

.75 oz Strawberry shrub

.75 oz. Lemon juice

1 egg white

Fresh cracked black pepper

Garnish with fresh strawberry

 

Strawberry Shrub:

1 container of strawberries

1 cup of sugar

Slice strawberries and remove green stem. Cover in sugar and place in fridge overnight. Stir once of twice to keep sugar from collecting on the bottom. Add 1 cup of vinegar. Strain through cheesecloth.