This is the first of the four runners up of the Forbidden Island Cocktail Contest, Corpse Canonizer, by Kevin aka Paranoid123! This drink is on the specials menu at Forbidden Island from now through November! This one’s a real lipsmacker. It starts off spicy, then moves into the florals of the gin and St. Germain. I’m wide awake after this one, and will certainly be back for another. Cheers to the runner up!
- 3/4 oz Martin Miller Westbourne Strength Gin
- 3/4 oz Orange Curacao
- 3/4 oz St Germain
- 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- dash Herbsaint
- dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with Lemon twist
Thanks to Kevin at Save the Drinkers for hosting this round of Mixology Monday. The topic this time around is local flavor, which I’m expecting to be represented pretty strongly, considering the drink blogging populace of the Pacific Northwest.
Walking through the suburban streets of North Portland, there are a lot of places to grab a quick bite. There’s the Mock Crest Tavern, where you can get a Blues Bird and a cheap beer, or the Flavour Spot, with their infamous 9-piece bacon waffle, and let’s not forget King Burrito… well, let’s forget the horrible indigestion it can cause (but is so worth it). But the best place to eat here is about 1 to 8 feet from the ground.
Everything grows here… well, okay, citrus has a bitch of a time, but that’s what clay pots and greenhouses are for. But if there’s anything that seems to represent Oregon best, it’s the rich abundance of berries. Everywhere you go, it seems, there are brambles just waiting to be picked. Little children walk around the streets with rich purple stains on their hands and mouths, and little baskets holding whatever couldn’t fit in their tummies. The most famed of Oregon’s Berries is the Marionberry, coming from Marion County. Unfortunately, it’s just a bit late in the season for these jewels of the vine to hit my local New Seasons, so I had to suffice with some good old McMinnville Blackberries.
But what to pair them with that represents local flavor? Well, you can’t move an inch in Portland without hitting a brewpub or distillery, so the hard part wasn’t really finding something local but choosing something local. My eyes quickly darted to a 6 pack of BridgePort Brewery Haymaker, an extra pale ale known around these parts as Liquid Sunshine.
With my yammering on about Portland, of course I’m going to have to add something from House Spirits to the line, and naturally I fall to Aviation Gin for that endeavor. So, with the combination of these, and a few other components becomes my Bridgetown Shamble.
- 1 1/2 oz Aviation Gin
- 1/2 oz Cane Syrup
- Bridgeport Haymaker Extra Pale ale
- 6 Oregon Blackberries
- Grapefruit Bitters
Place Blackberries and Gin into a 10 oz. glass and muddle until all the berries have burst. Add Cane Syrup and fill glass with cubed ice. Pour beer into the glass, stir gently with a bar spoon, and dash aromatic grapefruit bitters on top.
It’s a touch on the sweet side, which I would normally cut with a lemon, but the beer adds a light hoppiness that balances it well. Though, this could easily be served with a lemon wedge. Next time, for sure. Seeing as my wife just noted this as her favorite drink ever, there may be quite a few more next times, until the Haymaker runs out, that is.
Okay, now about the name. Initially I was thinking I was so clever in naming my development the “Bridgetown Bramble“, but apparently some other joker beat me to the punch on that one. Okay, well, it’s got Bridgeport beer in it, right? How about the Bridgeport Bramble? Well, as they say, great minds think alike. So, since it is a sweetened (and fortified) beer combination, which makes it some sort of a Shandy… plus the Blackberry which is is denoted with Bramble… yes, the Bridgetown Shamble! Yes, my college english classes is finally paying off.
To quote Trader Vic, “Fog Cutter, hell. After two of these, you won’t even see the stuff “. Trader Vic is credited in his Book of Food and Drink as the originator of the Tiki Classic, though in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, famed bartender Tony Ramos recalls its origins at an eponymous restaurant in Hollywood. No matter where it came from, this is a tall and tasty kick to the noggin. Vic describes it as “delicious but a triple threat. You can get pretty stinking on these, no fooling” This drink combines about four ounces of rum, brandy, and gin, with a float of sherry, and some tropical juices and flavorings.
This drink favors ice, and plenty of it. As big and tall of a vessel filled with cracked ice as you can get. Modern versions call for a higher ratio of orange to lemon juice, but the original formulation, with some nice homemade orgeat, is about as fantastic as it can get. This is a great drink, and a lesson for those of the “syrupy sweet” school of tiki drinks.
Just a note, Kaiser Penguin also has a great post on the Fog Cutter, and its many variations. This drink has been through a few remixes in its time, and is currently on most Trader Vic’s menu, and a few other classic menus, as the Somoan Fog Cutter. The difference is anyone’s guess, but it still packs a potent punch, no matter how you name it.
The Fog Cutter is another entry on the special menu on Tiki Third Tuesday at Teardrop, Feb 19th.
I’m back home from my trip to California. That was far, far too little time to spend with so many places I didn’t get to visit. But don’t worry, I tried to bring back as much booze in my bloodstream and baggage as I possibly could.
Tuesday night was spent at Bourbon and Branch with some family who live in town. The decor is gorgeous, the drinks are fantastic, and really any place that starts off with an appetizer drink gets a thumbs up from me. We kicked off the evening with the starter, which was something with Sparkling Wine, Benedictine, and a touch of Kirschwasser. But I already knew the first two things I would be ordering. First up was the Black Manhattan, with Vya Vermouth and house-made coffee bitters. It was smooth and calmly sweet, like a good Manhattan should be. I’m going to have to start off a batch of Coffee Bitters myself, as they were quite nice. Alongside that concoction, I had a bit of the Rittenhouse 21 yr Rye, which was absolutely astonishing. I can honestly say my palate just isn’t experienced enough yet to fully appreciate it, but the aging was just right, and the characteristics of the Rye really stood out.
I was soon convinced, after some excited discussion about their own barrel of Buffalo Trace, to try their Harvest Manhattan, which used their own Bourbon infused with Apples and spices, and a raisin and spice infused Vya Sweet Vermouth. This drink was, as I had to drunkenly describe, eminently quaffable. So smooth and delicious, with the apple, bourbon and raisin all coming out so nicely, I could’ve filled a Collins glass and downed it, it was just so satisfying. The night ended, as we were redirected to the Library, with a Last Word. Can’t go wrong with that one, and they made mine just right. The place was class to the nines, and I can’t wait to go back and sit at the bar.
Another exciting stop while in CA, and outside of the confines of a liquor controlled state, was at John Walker and Co. I was recommended the place by Martin, and I was not disappointed… well, there was no Creme de Violette, but I can forgive. Great thanks to Lance for letting my know that the TSA has a limit on alcohol you can bring back (5 Liters, nothing over 140 proof… so about 6 bottles). So, knowing I could only bring back so much I had to choose wisely. I think I did well, but I can’t stop thinking about what I had to leave behind.
That’s BlueCoat Gin, Genevieve, Laird’s Bonded Straight Apple Brandy, Vya Sweet Vermouth, and two bottles of Batavia Arrack. I will be one poor but happy mixing fool this holiday!
I still haven’t told of my adventures to the Island of Alameda, but I think that deserves its own time and place.
Yes, once again it is time for another Mixology Monday. This round is hosted by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and the topic, one of the grandest reasons for celebration of all, Repeal Day!
I took a little bit of a look at the local temperance movement, and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. See below:
I’ll just put this out there. If lips that touch liquor shall never touch hers, well I’ll be making out with a Manhattan all day long. Those poor bottles didn’t deserve such a horrid fate, but I’d put dollars to donuts a few of those bottles mysteriously disappeared once the Temperance Worker’s back was turned.
It turns out Portland had a very unique history with temperance and prohibition, as noted at the Oregon History Project:
Prohibition came to Oregon in 1916, earlier than the rest of the United States… Before [Prohibition] was passed, Portland obtained approximately twenty-five percent of its general operating funds from liquor license fees, and the city proved unable to replace all of that money. The police department used its basement as a warehouse for confiscated liquor, and only destroyed as much as the public demanded. Vice squad members sometimes delivered cases of liquor to city hall, and most speakeasies paid corrupt police officers for protection and tip-offs before liquor-raids.
The city of Portland, Oregon was even cited in an address to congress by Andrew Furuseth, a prominent labor leader, in 1926:
When the prohibition amendment was passed and the Volstead Act was enacted, about three months after that I came through Portland, Oreg. Before that I had seen drunkenness there, dilapidated men, helpless, and in any condition that you do not want to see human beings. This time, three months after this act was passed there was an entire change. The men walked around from one place to another looking for employment, seamen and others. And they were sober. And I became an ardent advocate of the Volstead Act.
Two years afterwards I came through,… and went to the very same place for the purpose of looking at the situation, and the condition was worse than it had been prior to the passage of the law. As long as the prohibition legislation was enforced, could be enforced, as long as the bootlegging element had not been organized, and not get the stuff, everything looked well. But the moment that they could get it they got it. And they will find it when nobody else can. They will find it somewhere. If it is to be bought in the vicinity any where they will find it. And the condition is worse than it ever was, because the stuff that they drink is worse than ever.
A number of the bars that were acting as speakeasies during prohibition still stand and serve today. At Huber’s, you could get a Manhattan in a coffee cup, The Alibi (then known as Max Alibi, and far prior to its Tiki splendor) was quietly slinging drinks in the kitchen, and while the “Dry” saloons operated upstairs, the real barkeeps kept shop down below in the infamous Shanghai Tunnels.
Of course, if you’re talking Tiki, one of the surest celebrators of Repeal Day must have been a gent named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, who more than likely financed his first bar, Don’s Beachcomber, through bootlegging rum. No polynesian pop-culture tiki bars had yet opened before prohibition, but Repeal Day surely helped spark the fire. During Prohibition, Cuba became America’s Saloon, and American tourists to the island brought back tales of Rum and Lime concoctions served at La Floridita.
Thank goodness those days are over, and the booze now flows through the streets and alleys free and at will, ready for taxation and libation. But now that we’re free to do so, what to drink? Well, not being one to be entirely thrilled by names, but altogether fascinated by the branding, a quick peek into Vintage Sprits and Forgotten Cocktails brings about the Monkey Gland. This comes to us from Harry’s New York Bar, in Paris, which at the time was a great getaway for those career bartenders driven out of the U.S. during prohibition. Named for a surgical procedure dreamed up by a Russian Doctor (of which there is plenty of information here), which became known via popular songs, and your regular circular file news in the 1920s.
- 1 1/2 oz. Dry Gin
- 1 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
- 1 tsp Grenadine
- 1 tsp Absinthe (sub with Pastis, but DO try it with Absinthe!)
Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with whatever you can find that would be reminiscent of a monkey gland; a true Maraschino cherry does quite nicely.
This drink is at first a tinge difficult, with the Absinthe and Gin fighting for dominance. Give it a few minutes though, and it becomes a lovely symphony, altogether not too sweet, not too herbal, but a nice combination of the mellow citrus, sweet Grenadine, herbal Absinthe, and gruff Dry Gin.
Craig and I will be warming seats at TearDrop Lounge this Wednesday, December 5th. There’ll be Prohibition-Era cocktails, gangster films, and a wee bit of trivia. The prohibition drinks will be $5 for those with the password…. moonshine.