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Thursday, March 25, 2010

This Week’s Mercury Food Booze Section: Spring!

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 3:33 PM

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This week, we drool over some delicious Spring inspired cocktails from some of Portland's best bartenders. I love doing this kind of story because I never know what I’m going to get from our local talent. I say I’m looking for springtime cocktails and they look toward their menus and send me (and you) something nice.

This time around, I found a common theme among the offerings: Gin. It makes sense. The bright botanical nature of gin is definitely reminiscent of the warming season, especially when you get into the class of what’s being called “new American gin.” Unlike London dry gin, many new American gins have a tendency to be more dynamic, emphasizing the floral above the juniper. A local favorite in this category is House Spirits’ Aviation gin, which makes an appearance in the Country Cat’s (7937 SE Stark) Fine and Dandy.

Grappa makes an appearance in two of the Lush Life cocktails. What I know of grappa is that it’s distilled from the leavings in wine presses after the grapes have been juiced. It’s potent stuff. An acquired taste, if you will. But I’ll tell you what: In the hands of Beaker and Flask’s (727 SE Washington) Tim Davey, it becomes part of a startlingly floral spring cocktail known as the Triple Lindy. The recipe he provided is still in development. I’d suggest stopping by to see how things are progressing.

Finally, I received a bit of advice from bartender Shane K. Feirstein of GrÜner (537 SW 12th). I was unable to print it in the article, so I will quote it below.

A note to your readers and all home cocktailers: Measure your ingredients when cocktailing! Buy a cool set of jiggers, easily found on the cheap at goodwill or only slightly less on the cheap at one of the restaurant supply stores in town. Jiggers look cool and are fun to use. Careful measurement will make it easier to follow recipes, and will allow you to serve all your guests equally delicious cocktails and get buzzed at the same rate.

Amen. Happy Spring, and happy drinking!

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