December 9th, 2009 Hannah Feldman | Special Section Stories
 

Potables

Wassail!

     
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Forget Snoop Dogg: If you want your gin ’n’ juice to be really old-school, pick up a bottle of Ransom Old Tom Gin. Local distiller Tad Seestedt paired with cocktail historian Dave Wondrich to reproduce the malty style of gin that was popular in England two centuries ago. $36. Uptown Liquor, 1 NW 23rd Place, 227-0338.

House Spirits has been gaining national attention for its Aviation Gin, but the distillery keeps some of its best goodies just for the local market—namely, the deliciously creative, limited-edition spirits in its Apothecary line. The caraway-inflected aged aquavit is perfect for the holidays, but we also love the sultry sweetness of the aged rum. And at the distillery’s annual Booze Bazaar on Dec. 12, you can pick up a bottle of House’s long-awaited straight malt whiskey ($44). $20. 2025 SE 7th St., 235-3174, housespirits.com.

Steve Smith, the founder of both Stash and Tazo, is the granddaddy of the local tea trade, and now he’s back with his latest venture, Steven Smith Teamaker. These small-batch, boutique infusions are the tea equivalent of microbrews. The Mao Feng Shui is an entrancingly complex green tea, while the pure clarity of the peppermint tea makes this old workhorse prance. $15/box of 15 sachets. Available at specialty grocers including Zupan’s and New Seasons, or at Smith Teamaker, 1626 NW Thurman St., 719-8752, smithtea.com.

Just in time for the holiday season, Clear Creek Distillery’s come out with a new cranberry liqueur. Don’t worry, this ain’t no fortified Ocean Spray: Made with Oregon berries, this rich sipper has a subtly vegetal undertone that grounds the liqueur’s tart fruit flavor. Goes great with apple pie. $30, 2389 NW Wilson St., 248-9470.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Ristretto Roasters will be selling gift packs of two 1-pound bags of your choice of beans at a discount from the normal per-pound price. Give a friend a pound each of the fruity, natural-process Sidamo and Ristretto’s own custom Cowboy Blend—or, hey, keep a pound for yourself to get you through those late-night gift-wrapping sessions. $25. 3520 NE 42nd Ave., 284-6767, or 3808 N Williams Ave., 288-8667, ristrettoroasters.com.

When the boys at Upright Brewing began operations this past summer, they eschewed IPAs and porters, opting instead for Belgian- and French-inspired brews. Their Four and Five are most widely available in 750 ml. bottles, but for the holidays you might want to opt for the darker, rye-based Six. $10, Belmont Station, 4500 SE Stark St., 232-8538, belmont-station.com.

After training with Evesham Wood Winery, winemaker Erin Nuccio has started producing his own wines under the Haden Fig label. Made with Willamette Valley grapes, most either organically or biodynamically grown, both the crisp chardonnay and the bright pinot noir are great values. $14-$20. Cork Bottle Shop, 2901 NE Alberta St., 281-2675, or 1715 NW Lovejoy St., 501-5028.

 
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