Coming up daisies

I’m a huge fan of the whole class of Daisy drinks, but this one seems just about perfect for summer: not too sour, not too sweet, not too boozy. Be sure to shake this thoroughly so it sips ice cold. And if you haven’t tried the Caña Brava rum yet, I definely recommend it. Via Bartender’s Choice app. 

Daisy de Santiago, Charles H. Baker, Jr., Gentlemen’s Companion

Kentucky summertime

I bought Paul Clarke’s The Cocktail Chronicles more than a year ago, but I’m just starting to dig into its pages.  I’ve been very impressed so far: you get a great combination of new recipes, classic recipes, and a lot of interesting stories about cocktail life in general.  The drink I pulled today only made me like the book even more.  I rarely have fresh strawberries on hand, but I was lucky to have a couple mostly-fresh strawberries on hand to make this delicious sipper.  The simple syrup really brings out the sweetness of the strawberry, which in turn is a great foil for the spicy ginger beer.  It’s a beautiful day out here, and it’s a perfect compliment to this lovely drink.  (And if you’re wondering, yes, that is an Alien pint glass.)

Kentucky Buck, Erick Castro via The Cocktail Chronicles

Peace on earth

It’s been a long time since my last post, but I’m coming back online with a bang.  Last night my husband and I attended the Peace, Love, and Cocktails event, part of the annual Feast Portland food festival.  Like Toast and Proof, Peace Love, and Cocktails combined the best parts of food, drink, and mingling with like-minded folks.  It was hosted by House Spirits Distillery and featured some of their great products, including Aviation Gin.  We also had the bonus of some fantastic bartenders mixing drinks on-demand, including the fantastic Jim Meehan, formerly of PDT in New York and currently of Mixography, Inc. here in Portland.  I’m a huge fan of Jim’s work, so getting to meet him in person turned me into a bit of fangirl, I admit.  His cocktail for the evening, Bee’s Ransom, was a tart and slightly edgier riff on the Bee’s Knees.  Another standout for me was Jeffrey Morganthaler’s Triple Lindy, an incredibly refreshing combination of gin, lemon, and ginger.  This was perfectly balanced and ideal for the gorgeous Indian summer evening (80 degrees and clear skies in mid-September?  I LOVE autumn in Portland).  Accompanying the cocktails was a great selection of bites, including an elk brasaola that had me returning to the food table a number of times.

I admit, as someone who works from home, it’s sometimes difficult to summon the will to get dressed up and leave the house, especially for a long, traffic-y drive into the city on a Friday evening.  But this event was completely worth it and reminded just how much I enjoy the cocktail adventure I’ve been on for the past few years.  The weather, company, and delicious drinks and nibbles all reminded me that getting out of the house can yield fantastic results.  Cheers!

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A gorgeous day and fantastic drinks at Peace, Love, and Cocktails

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Local spirits and talent behind the stick

Viva la daiquiri

Happy Daiquiri Day, everyone!  As you may know, a simple daiquiri is one of my favorite cocktails, especially in the summer.  When you find your perfect proportion (for me it’s 2 oz white rum, 3/4 oz lime, 3/4 oz simple), there is nothing more refreshing than sipping a daiquiri while lounging in/near the sun.  Lately I’ve started to play with my standard daiquiri recipe, and today I thought I would do a bit of a variation on Papa Hemingway’s favorite version of the daiquiri.  It’s a hair on the sweet side, so next time I might tweak the simple down and the grapefruit up. Since we’re having a typical Northwest cloudy summer afternoon, I’ll just need to imagine the sunshine and let the daiquiri work its magic.

Hemingway Daiquiri variant

Summer tease

As happens every year , we’re getting a week of gorgeous, perfect spring weather before the rain reclaims the region. It’s sunny and 75 degrees out, and I can think of nothing better than a daiquiri. I bought this rum a few months ago after hearing it made a great daiquiri, and boy does it hit the mark. Such a simple drink and yet so satisfying and summery. I had to force myself to sip it slowly and really savor it, much like we try to savor this glimpse of spring.   

  

Raspberry zinger

I just keep finding new ways to enjoy ginger. I bought a good ginger syrup (because I don’t have the time or patience to grate that much ginger root), and it mixed beautifully with the raspberry in this bright, summery cocktail. My only complaint is that the bourbon gets lost just a little.  

Monongahela Mule, Death & Co.

Kentucky tiki

This drink proves that a little bit of a lot of components can make something delicious. We start with some common tiki flavors (lime, orgeat, cinnamon syrup), but the addition of the bourbon and a single muddled strawberry resulted in a well-rounded, bright, summery beverage.  

Warehouse C, Death & Co.

Friday freedom

It’s been a long day after a long week, but this drink hits the spot perfectly. You’d think it was a daiquiri, but it’s a touch sweeter than a daiquiri and there’s a hint on anise on the finish. Just enough complexity to keep me interested, but not so much as to tax my weary brain. My only criticism is that it’s too easy to drink.  

McKinnon, Bartender’s Choice app

Punch drunk

Today’s drink is from Jerry Thomas’s 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks, by way of the Bartender’s Coice app.  This tastes just like a slightly souped up sangria (by the way, if you’re not putting cognac in your sangria, you’re missing out). I wish I had a pitcher of this to enjoy outside with our brand new patio set.  Summer and sangria truly are the best of friends.  

St. Charles Punch, Jerry Thomas, How to Mix Drinks