Random Recipe

Featured

Categories

Portland Bar Review: Victoria

Have you ever wished for a friendly, neighborhood bar with a good tap beer selection, fantastic craft cocktails with a nostalgic flair, and delicious food where you can eat, drink, and socialize on a nice patio, huddle in a quiet corner, or muscle up to the bar to watch all of the action behind the stick? North Portland's Victoria Bar checks all of the boxes! We absolutely love the drink menu that features Princess Bride themed cocktails with names like The Cliffs of Insanity and The Six Fingered Man. Lisa Victoria Hare is creating some amazing flavors in her Lightning Bar Collective space. We recommend trying the Pit of Despair cocktail (if it's on the menu yet). We can't wait to return!

Final Say

There are a handful of cocktails in our experience that anyone reading this should recognize, or at the very least, drinks you should try. One example is the Last Word—a forgotten classic until it was unearthed by Seattle bartending legend Murray Stenson of Zig Zag Café. To the uninitiated, its bold and unusual flavor profile featuring both Luxardo maraschino liqueur and Green Chartreuse can be a revelation. The fact that it is citrus-based makes it accessible, and if you are a self-proclaimed gin hater, it is a drink that can definitely open your mind to the wonderful possibilities that a good craft cocktail can offer. Don't feel like you need to make the Last Word before you try today's feature, but if you haven't had the pleasure you are certainly missing out. Knowing one drink can also serve as a convenient benchmark for judging another.

As good as

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Cold Brew & Tonic

Normally, we don't reach for tonic when we want a cocktail. The old G&T may be a popular choice, but we think it's because people don't know what else to make with gin. It's a shame because many of the best classic cocktails call for gin—not vodka—not only because vodka was unknown in the pre-prohibition era, but because gin brings something extra to a cocktail that simply isn't there otherwise—and we don't mean juniper. It may be a requirement in gin, but not all brands choose to emphasize juniper flavor, allowing other botanicals, citrus and even spice to play the center role. Yet, even with strong, piney examples, gin is transformed by other ingredients in a way that can be hard to explain to people who think they are gin-averse. But tasting is believing.

On a recent trip to Minnesota to visit some of our former haunts, we happened

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Portland Bar Review: Bible Club

Remember back in college when you used to tell your parents you were going to meet some friends at "The Library", but instead of studying, that was the name of a local bar you were visiting? Well, last week, we finally made our way to Bible Club. Of course, it's not a place of worship—unless you place the vintage art of craft cocktails above all else!

Visiting Bible Club is like stepping back in time to an era when alcohol may have been taboo, but you'd be willing to break the law to experience a libation made just for you by a professional using the right tools, ingredients and technique. It's a speakeasy in every sense, with an unassuming residential facade that hides an authentic, antique atmosphere within. Attention is paid to every detail, from the 24k gold ceiling and antique decor to the use of period bar tools

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

How To Make Nocino from Unripe Walnuts

The Italians seem to know a thing or two about making great drinks. Whether you fancy a bitter amaro, sweet vermouth or liqueurs like maraschino—it's hard to imagine cocktails without these essential ingredients. It should come as no surprise that the same folks whose cultural traditions brought us homemade limoncello also invented a fantastic liqueur made from walnuts. We are referring to Nocino, a delicious and spicy sipper with a complex bittersweet flavor and a tantilizing aroma.

In order to make this wonderful elixir, you need to harvest black walnuts while they are still green—before they are actually nuts. Traditionally, Italians harvest them just after the summer solstice, so depending on where you live, now is probably a great time to gather your supplies. For us, that means finding a friend who has a black walnut tree, or wandering through the neighborhood and knocking on doors for permission.

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Portland Bar Review: Ataula

The commercial area around NW 23rd has plenty of reasons to attract folks interested in shopping, dining and drinking, and thanks to Ataula, it also has a fantastic restaurant that is home to delicious tapas and paella—as well as a great cocktail program. Chef Jose Chesa puts his passion to work in the kitchen but isn't afraid to wander the tables to ensure everyone is enjoying their meals. We weren't sure where to start, so we let the staff take care of us with an impromptu tasting menu of the chef's choosing. If you love Spanish fare, put Ataula high on your list of destinations. The bar program is also expertly managed by Angel Tata who adds a touch of Spain to most recipes and makes a fine Sangria to boot! We also loved the Elixir de Amontillado.

Pama Frost

Happy New Year!

Over the years we have done plenty of experiments with ingredients, often recommending to our readers that it's okay to adopt a playful attitude of trial and error when it comes to recipes. Sometimes it's a result of substitutions for not having the right ingredients, but more often it comes down to personal taste. There are recipes that call for very specific proportions, but most of the time it makes more sense to taste the result and adjust as necessary. For instance, adjustments are almost always expected when balancing sweet and sour. One never knows how much acid is present in a volume of citrus juice, and personal taste can affect what you consider "balanced". We tend to lean toward the sour side, but we understand that some recipes are meant to be sweet. Time and experience can transform your idea of a good cocktail.

Today, we

Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .