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Summer Cocktails at Aviary in Portland, Oregon

It's been over a year since we wrote about the bartenders's choice cocktails at Aviary in Serious Eats, and they are keeping things as fresh as ever this summer. Their cocktails continue to be both inventive and accessible and we wanted to feature two that are particularly special. 

The first is the Chavo del Ocho (pictured above). Pineapple and mezcal are already a great combination and the grilling of the pineapple helps to further highlight and complement the smoky mezcal. 

1.5 oz Mezcal

.5 oz lime juice

1 oz pineapple juice

3-4 pieces of grilled/smoked/charred pineapple

Muddle the pineapple in a mixing glass that's half full of ice. Fill with more ice 3/4 of the way, and add Mezcal, pineapple and lime juice. Shake and double strain into a tall Collins glass full of ice. Garnish with a piece of prepared pineapple.

The second is the 87th Southbound. The cocktail is both creamy and fresh with the perfect hint of spice. 

1.75 oz Hangar One Vodka

.5 oz lime juice

1 egg white

A heavy tablespoon or so of avocado

A hefty wheel of cucumber

Tajin to garnish (This is the chile/lime/salt condiment that you will find in pretty much every Mexican store in town)

In a mixing glass half full of ice, muddle the avocado and cucumber until well incorporated then fill the rest with ice. Add the vodka, lime and egg white and shake vigorously for at least 90 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and sprinkle Tajin atop the foam and garnish with a slice of cucumber.

What cocktails are you mixing up this summer? 

High Desert Swizzle

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Portland summers are a thing to be cherished. It's always a treat to see the city explode with smiling faces as a city that only experience sunshine 3 months a year, we know how to enjoy ourselves when it's nice outside. One of our favorite drinks for sunshine sipping is the High Desert Swizzle. The drink was first introduced to us at Kask by former resident lead bartender, Tommy Klus. The smokey Vida mezcal makes for a perfect companion to the bright and tart strawberry shrub. If the smokiness of the mezcal is too much for some tastes, try mixing up a Strawberry Shrub Pisco Sour.    For the smoke monsters out there, you will love this craft cocktail. Crushed ice is one of the keys to making this cocktail great, and we were excited to try out our new ice crusher from Barproducts.com. It works like a charm, is quieter than hammering away at a Lewis bag, AND you take take it camping for crushed ice cocktails in the woods! Yes, we are guilty "glampers". Mix one up, and let us know what you think. 

High Desert Swizzle: 

1.5 oz Del Maguey Vida mezcal

.75 oz strawberry shrub (recipe below) 

.75 oz fresh lime juice

.25 oz heavy demerara simple syrup (can substitute white sugar) 

Add all ingredients to Collins glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Use a swizzle stick or long spoon and "swizzle" until the glass becomes frosty. 

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. 

 

Mezcal Mayhem and the Seis Dedos Del Gato - @giltclub @pdxcocktailweek @dshenaut @jasonlittrell

Seis Dedos Del Gato (Six Toed Cat):

1.5 oz. Hornitos Tequila
.5 oz. Kirschwasser
1 oz. grapefruit
1 oz. lime
3 spritz Chichicapa single village mezcal rinse
House-smoked sea salt.

Our recent venture to Gilt Club yielded one exceptional cocktail highlighting the "mezcal craze" that has surged in popularity among connoisseur bartenders (and customers) seeking something beyond tequila to experiment with. On a side note, there are two excellent opportunities to get your mezcal fix in the upcoming Portland Cocktail Week. The first  event is hosted by Ricky Gomez of Teardrop Lounge, and will feature Ron Cooper of Del Maguey for a tasting and discussion of the history of mezcal at Irving Street Kitchen. This is followed by a March for Mezcal, where Dave Shenaut and Jason Littrell will lead the tour around downtown Portland "where all roads lead to Mezcal". Tickets for both events can be purchased here.  A good article from the New York Times that focused on the resurgence of mezcal, and the bittersweet phenomena of its limitations can be found here, "Hoping Mezcal Can Turn the Worm".

The cocktail had a smoky agave nose almost woody and oily. The sip was also smoky, with pronounced citrus though very smooth. The house smoked salt was a nice accompaniment to the cocktail, working to bring out the smokiness of the mezcal without overwhelming the nuances of the flavors.

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