MxMo Local Flavor: Bridgetown Shamble

Posted by TraderTiki on August 10th, 2008 — Posted in Beer, Gin, MxMo

Mixology Monday Local Flavor!

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.

Bridgetown Shamble, large pic Bridgetown Shamble, Detail

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.

Out in Orbit, the Jupiter Cocktail

Posted by TraderTiki on August 3rd, 2007 — Posted in Classic Cocktails, Drinks, Gin, Recipes

There was a post about this, that or the other… oh yes, the obscure ingredient Parfait Amour. Well, having had an unopened bottle on my shelf for quite some time, I finally felt inspired after reading through this archived post on Cocktail Chronicles.

And so, finally hearing the satisfying snap of a newly opened bottle, the Parfait Amour was poured, and yee heavens what came out. A nice soft unfermented, very sweet grape flavor. Which, strangely enough I had no expectation of considering the bright purple coloring of the liqueur. The orange juice fresh, the gin Aviation, and the Vermouth D’aquino Dry. The vermouth is from Trader Joe’s. It was super cheap, and Trader Joe’s usually stocks some high quality stuff. As a vermouth, it’s fine, but I’m no expert in those flavors.

So, onto the cocktail! As it sits in my hand, then down my gullet, the orange and grape interplay in a very interesting manner. Using fresh squeezed orange juice can tend to impart a bit more orange-water than strong orange flavoring, so it’s nice that all the sharp notes took a backseat to let each other play around. It’s light, refreshing, and lightly complex, with the Vermouth and Gin in a “battle of the flowers” as it passes across the tongue. It’s a very nice, well made cocktail, albeit the color is, as I was warned, a bit grey. This is no matter, really, but a bit of flourish in the cocktail is part of the experience. I went with a purple umbrella for garnish to try and bring out the purple in the drink, but it does appear a bit washed out.

Jupiter Cocktail

Jupiter Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin (Aviation Recommended)
  • 3/4 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Parfait Amour

Shake with ice, and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Now, please understand I make no insistence that I have any more knowledge than any other cocktailian, mixologist, or booze slinger out there. But here’s a tid bit I was taught in both bar tending school, and by masters of the art. Before mixing a cocktail, throw some ice in the glass you will be straining into. It helps cool the glass, keep the cocktail cool longer, and adds the much desired beads of condensation, which make the drink look that much more appealing. This pretty much specifically applies to cocktail glasses, as given their wide mouth, are prone to loosing their cool pretty rapidly. Just make sure you throw the ice out before you strain.

And yes, yes.. the Tiki Kon wrapup. Coming shortly. I’ll leave out all the miscellany and just keep to the booze. Slinging for 60 people at your home bar can tend to wear you down a bit.