Thursday 20 December 2012

Winter Cocktails: Teardrop Lounge in Portland

Portland will be making its first appearance on this site today! Having finally been able to visit for my first time this year, I was blown away by the amount of great food and drink available (and also by the number of strip clubs, but that's not really relevant). The cocktails were consistently great, as was the coffee, and of course the prices (no tax is as fun as you think). Taking a tour down Distillery Road and seeing the impressive number of great spirits being made in one city was also exciting. House Spirits Distillery stood out to me in particular, with Krogstad aquavit and Aviation gin, and their delicious and fresh-tasting coffee liqueur. The number of high quality bars in the city is exciting as well, with Clyde Common, Kask, Rum Club, Beaker & Flask, The Driftwood Room, and Teardrop Lounge - just to name a few. It is with great pleasure that I am able to share some holiday drink recipes from the most latter of these names, one of the best bars in the U.S., the Teardrop Lounge.

Teardrop has an amazing program with a focus on fresh and high-quality ingredients, adopting as they say the "Golden Rule of the kitchen: the finished product relies entirely upon the quality of source ingredients." Their
diverse menu has a nice collection of original drinks, obscure classics, and those made by friends in other renowned bars. Each of the three menus offer a punch for the table, an excellent and fun way to start your drinking evening.

Bartender and co-owner Daniel Shoemaker has graciously contributed a total of four holiday drinks along with recipes. I will separate these into two separate posts for easier absorption.

First up is the Long Time Coming, a pisco-based cocktail with three house-made ingredients: a cherry digestif, a port redux, and truffle bitters. Daniel shares his recipes for each of these ingredients below, and I hope you find them as creatively inspiring as I do!
Following that is the Humble Pie, a mix of blended Scotch and applejack with Christmas spice flavours like pimento, ginger, and peppercorn.

Long Time Coming
2 oz Campo de Encanto pisco
¾ oz Cherry Digestif*
½ oz Port Reduction*
8 drops Truffle bitters*

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  
No garnish.  

*Cherry Digestif
8 Quart cherry pits, topped with GNS, stored in cool place for 1 month, agitated daily.  Strain, add:
40 g dandelion root, toasted                                                
15 g gentian, toasted
40 g cedar chips, toasted                                    
8 g rhubarb root, toasted
40 g dong quoi                                                            
3 g horehound
15 g Cherry Bark                   
Steep all ingredients for an additional 24-36 hours.  
Strain, bottle.

*Port Redux
750ml Ruby port
1/4 oz cane sugar
6 cloves
2 star anise
15 green cardamom pods
1 Indonesian cinnamon sticks, crushed
Bring all ingredients to a light simmer, stirring occasionally until total liquid has reduced by 1/3.  
Allow to cool to room temperature, strain & bottle.

*Truffle Bitters
1 lb unsalted butter
½ oz Oregon black truffles
2 – 750 ml high-proof rye
½ cup toasted quassia
1/8 cup rose hips
1/8 cup sweet orange peel
1 tablespoon grains of paradise
1 tablespoon angelica
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
Clarify butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan at low heat for 1 hour.  Remove from heat, pour over thinly sliced truffles.  Let steep for 1 hour.  Strain through sieve into large, non-reactive container.  Pour rye in with butter, let steep airtight for 6 weeks. Freeze overnight to let separate. Strain off butter & all solids, returning rye to container. Add rose hips, orange peel, & qussia. Let steep for 10 days.  Add remaining spices & seasonings, let steep for 3 more days. Strain, add 1 tablespoon caramelized sugar syrup. Pour through funnel into oak barrel (treated with fine sherry for previous 6 weeks). Let age for 3 months. Strain, filter through brita filter & bottle.

Humble Pie
1 oz Laird's bonded applejack
1 oz Famous Grouse blended scotch
1/4 oz ginger syrup (2:1)
1 teaspoon rich demerara syrup (2:1)
4 dashes pimento dram
1 dash Angostura bitters
2 grinds black peppercorn
Candied ginger
Stir all ingredients with ice, strain over a large ice cube in a  rocks glass.  
Garnish with a piece of candied ginger on a small skewer. 

Stay tuned later tonight for two more holiday recipes from the Teardrop Lounge!

More Holiday Drinks!
[[ Teardrop Lounge Part 2 ]]

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