Food & Drink

10 Cocktails Made With Local Spirits You Need to Drink Right Now

Published On 01/11/2017 Published On 01/11/2017
Sagebrush Old Fashioned
Sagebrush Old Fashioned at Tasty n Sons | Courtesy of High-Proof PDX

Sagebrush Old Fashioned

Tasty n Sons

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Spirit: Ransom Wine & Spirits' Old Tom Gin
Tasty n Sons takes this revival spirit, developed after the popular fashion during the 1800s in tandem with David Wondrich, one of the cocktail world's foremost experts, and combines it with savory sage in the Sagebrush Old Fashioned. Old Tom Gin, which is made much sweeter than London Dry gin through its distillation process, is combined with maple, sage, and Boker's bitters. If our state were sippable, this piney, prohibition-era drink is what it would taste like.

The Fireside

Blood Moon

The Fireside NW

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Spirit: Dogwood Distilling's DL Franklin Vodka
Ask for the Blood Moon at The Fireside NW -- a cocktail that’s a slightly bitter and savory with balanced notes of citrus. DL Franklin Vodka, made with a corn base (instead of potato) and filtered through coconut-husk charcoal makes for an intriguing blend of activated carbon, limestone, and lava rock, which gives the spirit a smooth creaminess that's not found in most other vodkas. It’s mixed with Cocchi Americano, Dolin Blanc, Blood Orange & Lemon Thyme shrub, Slivovitz Plum eau de vie, and garnished with a blood orange moon.

Courtesy of Alan Weiner

Charred Orange Wood Alaska # 1

Trifecta Tavern

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Spirit: Dogwood Distilling's Union Gin
The flavor in Trifecta Tavern’s Charred Orange Wood Alaska # 1 comes primarily from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. Bartender Colin Carroll and the team use to speed up the barrel-aging process by charring different types of wood and then infusing the chips into the cocktails made with Union Gin, a versatile, traditional London-style dry gin, yellow chartreuse, fino sherry, and orange bitters. Charred Orange Wood Alaska # 1 is smoky, bitter, and sophisticated all at once.

Courtesy of Park Kitchen

Portland Meets the Big Apple

Park Kitchen

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Spirit: Clear Creek Distillery's Clear Creek Apple Brandy
Portland Meets the Big Apple is Park Kitchen bar manager Curtis Day’s inspired take on a classic Manhattan with an Oregon twist. Clear Creek’s two-year barrel aged Apple Brandy is steeped with piping hot roasted hazelnuts (or Filberts) for a few hours. The strained mixture is used as the base for a Manhattan (sweet vermouth and bitters) that's as close to apple cider as a cider-less cocktail comes.

Charles Campos

Nature Nurture


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Spirit: Clear Creek Distillery's Clear Creek Plum Brandy
Superbite's Nature Nurture will force you to re-think your misconceptions about plum brandy as a liquor meant just for your grandparents. Clear Creek Plum Brandy, concocted faithfully after the classic French eau-de-vie, is made from fruits grown in the Hood River Valley, and mixed with IPA, Benedictine, plum brandy, lemon, and sage to make up this lovely floral drink.

Courtesy of High-Proof PDX

Moko Ono

Sandy Hut

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Spirit: New Deal Distillery's Mud Puddle Bitter Chocolate Vodka
Born-again Sandy Hut uses New Deal’s popular chocolate vodka in Moko Ono. Surprised as you may be of flavored vodka not being absolutely disgusting, Mud Puddle takes on merely the essence of a dark chocolate instead of the undrinkable syrupy, overly-sweetened stuff we've come to associate with flavored vodkas. This drink is the perfect boozy eye-opener for those who don’t care to go the Spanish coffee route. Alongside Stumptown Coffee’s cold brew, there’s Amaretto and Carolans Irish Cream.

Karen Locke/Thrillist

Pacific Harvest

Bit House Saloon

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Spirit: Aria Portland Dry Gin
If Portland had a booze darling, Aria might be it. The English-style gin has taken off over the last few years, finding itself behind the bars of many of Portland's finest drinking establishments, including Bit House Saloon. Routinely updating its menu with fresh and innovative cocktails, Bit House will soon offer the Pacific Harvest. This not-too-sweet seasonal cocktail is made from a subtly crafted mix of Aria Gin, Pine Zirbenz, Lillet Rosé, Starvation Alley cranberry, vanilla, and a squeeze of lime.

Courtesy of Provenance Hotels

Bluebird Toddy

Driftwood Room

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Spirit: Townshend’s Bluebird Alpine Liqueur
Driftwood Room has mastered the art of the anti-normie toddy. A cohesive mixture of Appleton Estate Rum, Townshend’s Bluebird Liqueur, honey and lavender syrups, and hot water is anything but basic. Alpine Liqueur's bevy of aromatic spices adds a depth of flavor not found in your average hot drink.

Karen Locke/Thrillist

House Manhattan


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Spirit: Indio Spirits' James Oliver Rye
The House Manhattan at Paydirt is everything we want in a Manhattan and with local rye: James Oliver Rye -- Indio's flagship spirit, Carpano Antica, bitters, fancy cherry, served up.

Karen Locke/Thrillist

Green is Trending

SideCar 11

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Spirit: Rose City Distilling's Rose City Vodka
Green is Trending at SideCar 11 is an adult Ecto-Cooler that may hopefully help ward off gout this winter. Rose City Vodka is muddled with spinach and cucumber, lime, sugar, and Dolin Genepy for the greenest cocktail you'll drink this season.