Thursday, May 27, 2010


So getting settled in a new city is never easy, but as far as my time here is concerned it has been as agreeable as I could hope for. Such a great cocktail scene here, the tiniest dive bars are firing Corpse Revivers from their wells, and the people pouring them are fantastic.

Recently I've had the pleasure of joining the lovely Ms. Bartlett for a sampling of Teardrop's new menu overhaul, vodka recipe experimentation/pig explosion at Gilt, a Amaro & s'mores at Laurelhurst Market, and bumped into some new friends while enjoying a Chauncey cocktail at Beaker and Flask. I still find it hilarious sometimes how small of a town it seems here. Frequently as I'm introduced to someone their reply is "You're from Chicago, right?", and I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with my accent. The major difference I've seen here so far is that cocktillians take their craft super seriously; not to say that the barmen of the midwest don't have a similar zeal, but technique is more important here than reputation. Looking forward to learning all I can from some crazy talented people here. Taking this time to dust off some bad habits, working on my 'hard shake' stance, and watching 'The Last Dragon' for extra focus...Sho-nuff.

Irving Street is coming together these days, starting to flesh out my first northwest cocktail list. From my limited explorations and my short time in the scene here I feel that there is a niche left unfulfilled in the local beverage market. While the cocktails are certainly craft there seems to be a lacking culinary edge around town. After having the good fortune of working with Mr. Pikus (formerly of Alinea) at Perennial and listening to him geek out about molecular gastronomy I think there may be an opportunity to bring some of that ideology to Portland. Might be a slow build but I think by the end of summer we could be doing some pretty rad, simple, molecular cocktails at Irving. First thing's first though, focusing on balanced drinks that can be executed efficiently for the summer business volume. This weekend I'll be heading to the big farmer's market and Monday I'll be spending the holiday working on tinctures, syrups, potables, and perhaps some alginates. Fortunately the Pearl clientele is a lot like the Lincoln Park & Gold Coasters I'm familiar with...I'm sure we can awaken the 'Dirty Bird' crowd to some interesting libations here as well...

Chauncey Cocktail

3/4 oz Copper Fox Rye whiskey
3/4 oz Martin Miller's Westbourn Gin
1/2 oz Carpano Antiqua
1/2 oz Germain Robin brandy
dash Regan's Orange bitters

stir and strain, no garnish required

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