The Perfect At-Home Cocktail Tour of Oregon’s Distilleries
Oregon is no stranger to the craft beer boom. But in the midst of its small-batch revolution, another boozy change is brewing: the rise of craft distilleries -- and with it, a cocktail renaissance. In a selfless -- some may say heroic -- attempt to learn more about these distilleries, we put together a collection of cocktails to show off liquors from every corner of the state. So until you can go back to in-person distillery crawls, here are seven must-try concoctions you can mix up to get the taste of Oregon right at home.
Pendleton is Canadian whisky made from glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood, giving every bottle a local touch. It's also the preferred drink of cowboys (no, seriously, it's the official spirit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), so you can celebrate Oregon's western heritage as you sip.
2 ounces Pendleton Whisky
3 ounces apple cider
1 dash Angostura bitters
Splash ginger ale
Pour ingredients into a rocks glass with ice. Stir briefly. Garnish with an apple slice.
Located on a 24-acre farm in Tumalo, Oregon, Crater Lake Spirits is best known for experimental vodkas, with flavors like hazelnut espresso and sweet ginger. However, they also make a more traditional and award-winning reserve series of gin, vodka, and rye.
Perfect Pepper Bloody Mary
2 ounces Crater Lake Pepper Vodka
4 ounces tomato juice
½ ounce Demetri’s Bloody Mary Spice Blend
Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled. Pour contents, including ice, into a celery salt rimmed glass. Garnish with celery stalk, lime, olive, and any other ingredients of your choosing.
Freeland Spirits is a women-owned and -operated distillery, serving up a bunch of funky dry gins, cocktail kits, and other spirits through their "booze-thru" in Portland. Devotees can also join the Barrel Club or the Fan Club for a private barrel of liquor or a monthly subscription box, respectively.
Maple Cinnamon Old Fashioned
2 ounces Freeland Bourbon
2 bar spoons maple cinnamon syrup
5 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice about 3/4 of the way up. Stir with a bar spoon for 35-40 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Mt. Hood & Columbia River Gorge
Clear Creek Distillery focuses on Old World-style liqueurs and brandies, but they're probably best known for their "pear-in-the-bottle" brandy. Their signature bottle is made by slipping a glass bottle over pear buds as they grow, creating the spirit world’s closest thing to a ship in a bottle.
Pear Brandy Sidecar
1 ½ ounces Clear Creek Pear Brandy
½ ounce triple sec
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Shake brandy, lemon juice, and triple sec with ice. Serve in a coupe glass with a sugar rim.
Stillwagon Distillery is about as small-batch as you can get while maintaining consistent quality and real ingredients. Their rum, made from blackstrap molasses and aged for at least two years, is the distillery's crowd pleaser.
1½ ounces Stillwagon “The Devil's Own” Cranberry Rum
2 ounces cranberry juice
Splash of grenadine
Combine the rum, cranberry juice, and grenadine in a hurricane glass filled with ice. Top with club soda.
As if handmade spirits weren't enough, Thinking Tree Spirits took it a step further: handmade stills. Using their custom-welded pot stills, Thinking Tree distills farm-to-flask gin, rum, and vodka with complex yet adaptable flavor profiles.
Gifted Gin Southside
2 ounces Gifted Gin
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
6 fresh mint leaves
½ ounce simple syrup
Combine the gin, mint, lime juice, and simple syrup in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Located just outside of Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve, Marble Caves Distillery combines micro-batch distilling with picturesque gardens. Apples and pears grown on-site are used for their brandies, and grappa is made from a neighboring vineyard's leftover grapes.
Spice 75 (Makes six servings)
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon allspice
6 ½ ounces rum
3 ounces lime juice
Warm brown sugar in a pan with allspice and a small amount of water (roughly 1 ounce). Cook gently until the sugar is dissolved, then let it cool. Strain through a coffee filter. Pour 2 ounces of the spiced syrup into a shaker along with the rum and lime juice. Shake with ice and strain into six flute glasses. Top with champagne and garnish with an orange twist.