We both love living here in the Pacific Northwest, the region has tons to offer: a vast range of landscapes and climates, amazing produce and seafood, gorgeous summer weather, and of course a wealth of distillers and other craftspeople who make the booze we like best. Oh, and rain, if you like that sort of thing :)
So when Slow Food decided to host a cocktail competition featuring handcrafted regional ingredients, we certainly had to throw in a couple of submissions. We picked up several new shrubs at the farmers market, tasted through our local spirits to pull out a couple to experiment with, and made sure we were well stocked with our favorite local liqueurs. And then we started to assemble some drinks…
We decided to start with a delicious local rye from Mischief. We tried it with a few different mixers, and it worked very well with a fruity black current shrub. We added a little sugar to make the acidity pop, and then some bitters to add some depth to the mix. Definitely something worthy of saluting the Cascadian flag with :)
- 1 3/4 oz rye (John Jacob from Mischief)
- 3/4 oz black currant lavender shrub (Dr. Pickett’s)
- 1 bar spoon simple
- 3 dashes lime bitters (Scrappy’s)
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a glass. Garnish with bourbon cherries.
- Nose: Sweet black currant, lavender, sweet oak, lime. Tang from the vinegar. Hint of orange.
- Palate: Sweet & sour black currant and lime on the front. Orange, sweet caramel/vanilla rye, faint lavender on the mid-palate. Rye spice and punch of sour orange bitters on the finish. Vegetal, woody lavender notes on the after taste.
Next we decided to make something with one of our go-to gins, the Ebb+Flow from Sound Spirits. It worked well with a watermelon-violet shrub we picked up. Just those together was a little dry and a little funky though. We added some local limoncello, which sweetened things up and rounded out the flavor, but it was still a touch flat. A good slug of ginger liqueur moderated the funkiness, and a splash of Branca Menta added some spice and an interesting finish. Named for the official start of summer hereabouts.
- 3 oz gin (Sound Spirits Ebb + Flow)
- 1 oz watermelon violet shrub (Dr. Pickett’s)
- 1/2 oz ginger liqueur (New Deal)
- 1/4 oz limoncello (Letterpress)
- 1/4 oz Branca Menta
Stir with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- Nose: Lemon, juniper, savory watermelon pickle, ginger, violet
- Palate: Cooked sweet lemon & savory watermelon pickle intro. Juniper, coriander and big bite of ginger on the mid-palate. Start to get the violet at that point which carries into the finish. Medicinal mint, juniper, black pepper, and ginger in a warm, spicy finish.
So these are what we’ll be submitting. I’m sure competition will be fierce, but cross your fingers for us :) At very least, these are both tasty cocktails that make the most of some of our local ingredients. We hope you are inspired to try them out or experiment with what’s being produced in your neck of the woods. Cheers!