The second annual Portland Cocktail Week (it's actually only three days, but you can always start drinking a few days early) hits town Thursday. It's more a conference for professional mixologists, but cocktail nerds of all stripes are welcome. In addition to seminars on the finer points of cocktail crafting, there are plenty of drinking-focused events, including a whiskey party at Ground Kontrol, a Yacht Rock and rum concert at Lola's Room, a single-malt scotch cocktail dinner at Beast, a battle between robots and bartenders at the Jupiter Hotel and more. The festivities also coincide with the Great American Distillers Festival, where small-batch distillers from across the country come to Portland to share sips of their spirits.
To celebrate, we asked Beaker & Flask bartender and Oregon Bartenders Guild honcho Brandon Wise to create a cocktail especially for us. "Here's a cocktail inspired by our beloved Willamette Week," he writes. "A slightly bitter, boozy libation all jacked up on the great things about Portland. What says Willy Week more than a subtly sweet, knock-you-on-your-backside, take-no-prisoners blast of liquorous flavor? Buy the ticket, take the ride…."
Willyâs Wild Ride
1.5 oz. Ransom Old Tom Gin | 1 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth | .25 oz. Fernet Branca | .25 oz. Deco Coffee Rum | A dash Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters | Rinse of House Spirits Krogstad Aquavit
"First pour a splash or two of the aquavit in an Old-Fashioned glass and add a couple of ice cubes to let it coat the glass. Build the rest of your ingredients in a separate mixing glass, add ice and stir for 15 to 20 seconds. Discard the aquavit and ice from your glass and strain the contents of your mixing glass into the aquavit-laced glass. Drop in a BFC—a Big F—in' Cube of ice. (You can buy silicon ice molds online—they're rad and they're cheap!) Garnish with a swath of orange using a vegetable peeler and squeeze the peel to express the oil over the drink before you drop it in. Cheers!"
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