Friday, April 24, 2015

Tiki at Home: Mai Tais and Pina Coladas

I'm really getting into home bartending. While I love going out, sitting at the bar, and letting someone else prepare me a delicious cocktail, I'm also embracing the challenge of making high-caliber drinks at home. For one, it's decidedly cheaper! And it's fun to explore the world of liquors and liqueurs. 

After a recent spate of delicious Mai Tais (at Maison Premiere in Brooklyn and Eventide), I decided I wanted to tackle making the best version at home. Fortunately, many before me have done the heavy lifting of figuring out which rums are best for the drink. 

Original Roomie A. picked up Appleton Estate, a Jamaican rum, aged for 12 years, and the Clement Creole Shrubb, a rhum agricole infused with orange peels and spices (both available at RSVP in Portland). The other uncommon ingredient in a Mai Tai is orgeat syrup, a simple syrup infused with toasted almonds and orange flower water. You can make your own, but A. went to Vena's Fizz House and bought B.G. Reynolds'. I'm still eyeing Small Hands Foods version, but we have enough to last us a while now. 

Once you've dropped some dough at RSVP, the hard part is over. Now you just need to make up a turbinado (aka sugar in the raw) simple syrup of one part sugar to one part water and squeeze some limes. 

The Best Mai Tai 
Adapted from Rum Dood

2 oz. Appleton Estates rum
1/2 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb
1/2 oz. orgeat syrup
1/4 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with paper umbrella, lime wheel, and mint spring. 

For good measure, we had a backup drink for after those easy-drinking Mai Tais disappeared. I'd previously frozen pineapple juice in ice cube trays after a mid-winter pick-me-up Pina Colada session. I combined those, some Myer's rum, some Cream of Coconut, and some lime juice in the blender. After some questionably unsafe techniques were employed with a small saw, screwdrivers, and a rolling pin, we hollowed out some coconuts and enjoyed our tropical drinks out of them. 

It's almost summer, I can feel it. 

Have a good weekend! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tiki Cocktail Love + Rum Riots Events

I've become pretty obsessed with all things tiki lately (well, as it relates to drinks, at least). And I know that in the bartending world, I'm probably at least five years late to the party. I just said to a friend in the beer industry that I heard goses were "so in." She cut me a look, and said, "yeah, like three months ago" - meaning more that by the time the mainstream hears about a trend, the industry is off and running to the next new thing. But I'm still tiki'ing over here - I don't think we've jumped the shark yet! 

For those of you who might need some background, tiki culture first came to the U.S. in the mid-1930s, and then became trendy in the 50s and 60s after WWII. Many men returned home after spending time in the South Pacific, and the tiki culture reminded them of the "exotic" lands they'd spent time in. Combine it with the SoCal mod scene, and you've got the perfect mix of scenester escapism. (Note: avoid racism and cultural appropriation by focusing on the fantasy of paradise and not so much the tiki sculptures that Maori people hold sacred.) 

But by the 80s, the drinks had gotten all syrupy and overdone (so I hear) and were due for a makeover. The craft cocktail renaissance of the 00s kicked out the corn syrup and brought the Mai Tai, the Zombie, the Pina Colada back into balance. 

Mai Tais at Eventide Oyster Co. 

My favorite place to get tiki drinks in Portland is, hands down, Eventide Oyster Co. I gravitate towards the rum tiki drinks - so I enjoy the Mai Tai, the Walking Dead, and on occasions, a Scorpion Bowl. In addition to Caribbean rums, flavored syrups, and fresh juices, Eventide's bartenders complete the effect with great garnishes like paper umbrellas, bendy straws, and fresh fruit. Sipping on one becomes very "Calgon, take me away." 

I'm working on building my home tiki bar (OK, I should say, Original Roomie A. is building one on my behalf), so I'm looking forward to the Tiki Cocktail Seminar during the Portland Rum Riots events. Briana Volk of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club is organizing a fantastic weekend of workshops, dinners, and themed events at bars around Portland, May 30th through June 3rd. 

The Tiki Seminar is taught by friends of Briana's, who bartend at the tiki bar The Yachtsman in Philadelphia. It's at Hugo's on Saturday, May 30th from 1-3pm, and snacks are provided by Eventide. The tickets are limited to 40 and going fast, so if you want to go, grab one now. 

If that event sells out or you can't make it, dry your tears on a bar napkin at one of the other fantastic events. Maybe you want to learn about the intriguingly weird-tasting Italian liqueur Chartresue? Or cocktail books with bartender John Myers and Don Lindgren of Rabelais Books? Maybe you want to help to judge a shot and a beer competition? It's all there for the taking. Briana has done the community a fantastic service by putting these events on in our little town, so let's get out and support them! 

View the full Rum Riots schedule of events at

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Look: The Honey Paw

The Honey Paw, the much-awaited "non-denominational noodle bar" from the owners of Hugo's and Eventide Oyster Co. is now open. They are open from 11 a.m until 10 p.m. today through Monday at 78 Middle Street (next to Eventide). 

A big thank you to the staff and owners for having us in. Here's what I had during my visit: 

Pickle plate with housemade daikon radish kimchi and a medley of bread and butter,
mushroom, and compressed daikon pickles. 

Tofu and crab fritters - and pink wine!

Rice and potato dok with beef rendang and pickled cauliflower.

From a subsequent visit: fried whole black bass over pineapple fried rice
with cilantro salsa verde and "secret" sauce aka ketchup and soy

Magic shell soft serve!!

Friends + family menu

The Honey Paw on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BBF Travels: Eating in Brooklyn, New York

Phew. Now that I've looked back on these photos of my weekend in Brooklyn, there was a lot of eating and drinking. As usual, we were just killing time between meals. We visited Original Roomie A.'s favorite spots around her friend's apartment, where we were staying in Williamsburg. My special request was Smorgasburg, the outdoor food festival that happens every Saturday in the warmer months, and Mission Chinese, but other than that, A. curated our spots. 

It's hard to avoid comparison of Brooklyn and Portland, in that you think to yourself, what's all the hype about here? Things are different in Williamsburg, for sure, but at the same time, I was again reminded why Portland's food and drink scene is so impressive. The food we enjoyed at the hip spots could have come from several restaurants in Portland - I didn't once think, "oh, this could never work in Portland" or "you can't get X this good in Portland." Aside from the chopped salad restaurants that we're lacking, our Portland darlings like Duckfat, Eventide, East Ender, and Central Provisions could all hold their own against the similar Williamsburg restaurants in which I ate. 

But the waits for a table are shorter in Portland, and you'll never have to stand in a vestibule overhearing an annoying conversation about how a gaggle of 20 somethings should just go to that rooftop bar and order bottle service (yes, yes, you should go and do that - please). 

So speaking of waiting in line, we started with Mission Chinese in Chinatown, and arrived early (5:15) to find a short line. We only waited a few minutes before we all filed in and were sat. Mission Chinese is a fun spot, with dim lights, loud club music, and bizarre decor. 

We ordered a pickle plate, beef tartare, kung pao pastrami (below), and salt cod fried rice. The kitchen sent scrambled egg and scallion dumplings, which along with the beef tartare were the standouts. The liberal use of sichuan peppercorns and their mouth-numbing effect failed to impress us; it just interrupts your ability to taste the food. But our Evil Twin Mission Goze, a salty, sour beer, paired really well with the food. 

But overall, we were not in love with Mission Chinese - it was fine for what it was, but if we'd waited over two hours (as the wait is during prime time), we would have been aggravated. 

Later in the evening, we enjoyed lovely cocktails at Maison Premiere, an adorable French oyster and cocktail bar. There's a long list of absinthes, the bartenders wear delightful old-timey outfits, and the cocktails were fabulous. I had a Mai Tai and A. enjoyed a Lexington Crusoe: Plymouth Sloe Gin, Malort, pacharan, lemon, pineapple, and blackberry. 

We checked out Sweet Chick, a new Southern-style restaurant to enjoy a late-night drink. There's a entire section of the menu dedicated to chicken and waffles, so I loved the place immediately, even though the entire bar seemed to be covered in a fine layer of Aunt Jemima. 

A. enjoyed a gin and limeade cocktail while I was drawn to the Scythe and Sickle: tequila, mezcal, pineapple juice, lemon, and spicy agave bitters. 

The next day, we headed to Smorgasburg, the outdoor food festival. It was extremely windy, so we didn't stick around for long - we were afraid we were going to witness a decapitation by flying sign, so we headed out after a few snacks. 

We enjoyed a duck bun from Bite Size Kitchen (above) and a hotdog topped with mango relish, cucumber, peanuts, cilantro, and fish sauce from Asiadog

For a late lunch, we tried Rabbithole. The staff was so friendly there - the host exclaimed, I want to go to Maine! after he asked where we were from. We enjoyed a BLT with avocado and an eggs benedict florentine in a sunny window overlooking their sweet patio area. 

Later in the afternoon, we went to Greenpoint to Keg & Lantern, where my college friend is the brewer. We tried a variety of styles in a flight: a Scottish ale, a wild American white ale, a coconut porter, and a rye IPA on cask. 

PJ showed us around the neighborhood a bit, taking us to Torst, the craft beer bar from the brewer of Evil Twin. I enjoyed an Other Half triple IPA in the chic bar - I didn't even know TIPAs existed! Of course I was in. 

Next, we headed to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster, a really fabulous small seafood restaurant with a fresh fish counter in the front. Their menu is simple and the types of fish in each preparation change frequently. Of course, I got to engage in one of my favorite activities since moving to Maine: laughing at the price for a steamed lobster when out-of-state. Here? $29. Tee. 

We enjoyed oysters from Mass, Maine, and Virginia before chowing on some delicious hake tacos. Then we said our goodbyes to my friend and headed back to Williamsburg - to Brooklyn Surf Bar, an adorable tiki-themed bar with sand on the floor (!!!). 

The next day, however, the tiki drinks haunted me, so we headed to The Commodore, a dive yacht bar, for fried chicken on a biscuit. A little Ferris Bueller's Day Off and a mimosa and I was good to head to Red Hook for some distillery tours. 

Red Hook is just the cutest little part of Brooklyn. There's no convenient train stop, so there's hardly anyone there (except for in the IKEA!). There's tons of industrial space that allows for distilleries, wineries, and food vendors, and then little artisan shops too. 

We started at Van Brunt Stillhouse, where the nicest duo gave us a tour and a tasting of their whiskeys. They make cocktails in the distillery's tasting room, and in the summer, with the large windows open, I'd never leave. They'd have to make me an intern or something, since I'd be there all.the.time. We loved it. 

After tasting at Widow Jane distillery and a walk around the water, we were worn out, so we headed to Fort Defiance for a final snack. We shared a muffaletta, deviled eggs, and I enjoyed an extremely fluffy Ramos gin fizz. 

After all that eating, drinking, and walking, I was ready to come home! Once again, I ate my way through Brooklyn, and returned to Portland with a fresh appreciation for why I love living here. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cocktails with Royal Rose Simple Syrups

I love Royal Rose's flavored simple syrups - I use them in cocktails, and I mix with soda water for lightly flavored homemade sodas. Their unique flavors add give cocktails unexpected depth (like in my favorite Saffron Sour at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club), and you can feel good about their use of natural, organic ingredients. I've always had several bottles on hand ever since they came to Maine, launching with a cocktail party in a Biddeford mill building in 2013. 

Emily and Forrest, the couple behind the products, have since moved their manufacturing to Brunswick and continue to add new flavors. Emily offered to send me the newest flavors, and I immediately began searching for recipes using the unusual ingredients like fenugreek, anise, and jasmine. 

Turns out their bottles come with some of the best recipes for their products; the one recipe I found on my own was a bit of a flop in my mind (I've included it anyway, in case you think it runs towards your tastes). 

The anise simple syrup is made with both star anise pods and fennel seeds, in addition to cane sugar and lemon juice. The syrup is subtly anise-flavored; I know many don't like the stuff, but this syrup is a good gateway into the world of licorice flavors. It's not overpowering, but sweet and a little tart, and blended very well in the Love Below. It would make a great summertime or brunch cocktail.

The Love Below
From Royal Rose Simple Syrups

1 oz. light rum
1 oz. peach or orange juice
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Anise Syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Combine rum, juices, and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Ad ice and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass or champagne flute and top with prosecco.

The Rose Connelly brings out the earthier notes of the syrup; I didn't get much anise at all. If you think its a little sweet, as I did, an additional squeeze of lime will bring it into balance.

Rose Connelly
From Royal Rose Simple Syrups

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/4 oz. St Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Anise Syrup
1/2 oz. lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice. Serve straight up or on the rocks.

After a few missteps, I ran out of rye whiskey, so I turned to Knob Creek for the Fenugreek Is Not Fennel! cocktail. And indeed, it's not fennel, but rather has a sweet, molasses type flavor in a syrup - it's actually used to make the flavoring that flavors artificial maple syrup.

Fenugreek Is Not Fennel!
From Royal Rose Simple Syrups

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Fenugreek Syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

The only misstep was, again, when I tried to find my own recipe - this Michigan Sweat Lodge sounded promising, although it was a Maine Sweat Lodge when I made it, since I used Maine wild blueberries. The harsh, bitter notes of Cocchi Americano and Campari combined and overtook any other flavor, however. If you just love the bitter end of Campari, this cocktail is for you.

Maine Sweat Lodge
Adapted from Chicago Reader

6-8 Maine blueberries
1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101 rye whiskey
1 oz Cocchi Americano
.5 oz Royal Rose fenugreek syrup
.5 oz Campari
dash Angostura bitters

Muddle blueberries in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add spirits, fenugreek syrup, and bitters. Add ice, and stir until it's chilled and the flavors are incorporated. Strain into a chilled martini or old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a smoked blueberry.

Stay tuned for recipes using the Jasmine, Ginger-Lime, and Orange-Vanilla flavors!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

April Portland Spirits Society Tasting: Salvage BBQ

I love Salvage BBQ so much, but I always think of their great barbecue, sides, and craft beer selection. So I was surprised when a Portland Hunt & Alpine Club bartender suggested them as a place with a great bourbon selection. 

I was casting about for opinions on where to host our next Portland Spirits Society event - and Salvage is a great place to host a big group, whether for a meetup or a party. The casual counter service and picnic tables lends itself well to coming and going, casually dropping in, and mingling. 

So our next women's whiskey tasting will be at Salvage on Wednesday, April 15th at 6pm. We'll be ordering from Salvage's large selection of bourbons and discussing what we taste, while we get to know other women interested in whiskey.

Plus, their delicious trays of fatty meats and fried sides can provide a solid base for all that booze! 

Join us for a night of casual bourbon education and delicious food. The event is pay-as-you-go and you can drop in anytime after 6pm. If you're a facebooker, RSVP to the event there. 

Buffalo Trace bourbon cocktail at Timber

And a few women and booze links: 
  • This woman offers "Nosing Services" to craft distillers to help them evaluate and blend their whiskeys. "The Sniffer," by Wayne Curtis, The Atlantic

  • Heather Greene, whiskey sommelier at The Flatiron Room in Manhattan, knows her shit and still faces sexism in the industry.

  • The Portland Rum Riots, May 31-June 2, will have lots of great liquor education events. Details on the special Portland Spirits Society/Rum Riots event coming soon! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wintertime Canning: Hot Pepper Jam

Canning hot pepper jam in the middle of winter is the perfect pick-me-up. It's nice to put up a quick little project that doesn't rely on perfect in-season produce, and this jam refreshes the canning pantry which is starting to look a little thin this time of year.

These are local Maine peppers though; I promised A. that we'd can one day last summer, and we both bought the necessary supplies. I, as is my tendency in the summer, overbooked my evening and had to bail, so I recommended that she freeze the peppers until we had time to can. Well, a good seven months later, we did. 

A. froze the peppers whole, so we thawed them partially before chopping. We also found we'd bought some habanero peppers to substitute in for some of the jalapeƱos to make it hotter. This jam came out delightfully spicy, sweet with a tangy kick. A. says it's great with cream cheese and bagel chips.

Hot Pepper Jam
Adapted from Sure Jell

1-1/2 cups red peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 2 medium)
1-1/2 cups green peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 2 medium)
1 cup jalapeƱo peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 5 large peppers, 1 habanero)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl, divided
1 box Sure Jell For Less or No Sugar Needed Pectin

Wash 8 4-oz. jars, lids, and screw bands. Set lids and screw bands aside. Fill boiling water bath canner halfway with water and heat on medium heat. Add jars to canner.

Chop peppers; wear gloves when chopping hot peppers. Bring peppers, vinegar and water to a boil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching. Measure out 1/4-cup sugar into a separate bowl, and mix in pectin powder thoroughly.

When pepper mixture boils, add sugar-pectin mix and stir to dissolve. Return to a roiling boil and add remaining sugar. Stir to dissolve and return to a full rolling boil. After mixture boils, remove from heat. Ladle into 4 oz. jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims. Apply dome lid and screwband until fingertip tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let cool, check seals, and store for up to one year.

Yield: about 4 cups (8 4-oz. jars)

For more information about safe home food preservation visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

First Look: Reopened East Ender

I eagerly stopped into the East Ender on Middle Street in Portland last night for happy hour. I'm an unabashed fan of Karl and Bill's cooking - last seen coming from the bright orange Small Axe food truck. The two were so generous with their time, allowing me to profile them for my book and for no fewer than 5 Phoenix/Dig articles. 

I was momentarily sad when the two sold their food truck, but cheered up immediately when I learned it was because they were looking to move into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The news came at the end of last year that they would be taking over the East Ender on Middle Street. Well, the wait is over; they opened yesterday for lunch and dinner with a special happy hour menu between the two. 

Their cocktail list is impressive, unique without being intimidating. Between our party of five, we managed to order almost every one on the list. I tried the Haitian Divorce first, a warm, rich mix of Rhum Barbancourt (Haitian), Cruzan Blackstrap rum, Cynar, pineapple and lime juices. 

Sitting on Middle Street, with the sun setting an hour later than the days before, we all agreed it was the perfect drink to mentally transport us to warmer climes. The High Noon did the same thing with its refreshing mix of mescal, triple sec, Campari and grapefruit (or at least I think that's what was in it). 

We sampled a few of the bar snacks - fried vegetables in a Bagna Cauda sauce ($8) and the chicken liver croquettes topped with pickled onion jam ($9). They were both outstanding. The happy hour menu (served 3:30-5:30 Monday through Sunday) also had a selection of cheeses, mussels, a BLT, and the infamous cold-smoked burger. It's back! Hooray! If at any point, you can't find me between 3:30 and 5:30, I'll be at East Ender, taking a burger and $2 Miller High Lifes to the head. 

The redesign of the space might seem a little plain compared to the teal and cow-spotted decor of the previous East Ender but it's a welcome change. It's now grey and black, with lighter wood accents. The lounge area's mini fireplace has been removed and replaced with a banquette. I can't imagine there's less seating upstairs, but it seems roomier than before. 

Like I said, I'm predisposed to like everything Karl and Bill do. But even if that weren't the case, I'd be planning to frequent the East Ender. It's in the perfect spot in a nice little restaurant row. Between Eventide, the Honey Paw and East Ender, I may never have to leave Middle Street again. 

Dinner menu

The East Ender on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Portland Spirits Society Tasting: New England Distilling

I'm intimidated by the world of spirits in a way that it doesn't occur to me to feel about food. Sure, the world of food has it's high-end restaurant with their hard-to-pronounce ingredients and arrangements made using tweezers. But in the end, we all have to eat, and that need, I think, is a great equalizer. Taste is subjective, which means a dish can be perfectly executed, and you still might not like it. And that's OK - I don't think it means you're a rube or a philistine. 

But when it comes to cocktails and spirits, there is definitely a hierarchy. Digesting a cocktail list can feel intimidating. The world of spirits is seemingly endless. I ask people in-the-know what their favorite whiskeys are, and they rattle off a long list of names I've never even heard of. Oh, and you can't even get half of them in Maine, so good luck following up on that. 

There's different styles within a type of spirit: do you like London dry gin or Genever? Do you taste the unique botanicals on the finish? Is that cinnamon or coriander? There's a whole world of liqueurs, amaros, digestifs, aperitifs... oh, you haven't had Fernet? It's an industry (read: insider) favorite. And you say "coachy americano" instead of "koh-kee americano"? *snort*

And then there's bullshit (please excuse my French) like this: Your bartender might secretly hate you. I'll spare you the rant, but after reading a throw-away piece like that, it certainly doesn't make you want to go to a bar and try something new. 

Rum boxes waiting to be filled at New England Distilling

I have hesitated to write fully about my recent experiences exploring spirits on the Blueberry Files. I know that you come here for news about the Portland food scene. But I have been thrust into the world of spirits (I won't say unwillingly), writing my next book about the history of alcohol in Maine. It's been a positive experience - I believe that we are incredibly fortunate to have such kind, approachable bartenders and distillers in Maine. They aren't the ones continuing the air of mystery around their products. 

I started the Portland Spirits Society to have a social excuse to learn more about alcohol and was very happy to find that other people are looking for a more formal experience too. I mean, hell, anyone can give themselves an "education" in booze, just plunk down at a bar and start ordering. It's what I did when my editor assigned me a piece on tequila for the Phoenix

So I've decided to give into my desire to use this blog as a place for my thoughts on alcohol. It's the only way I can continue to create content here without feeling like I'm wasting valuable time that should be spent writing my manuscript. I like writing here, but ultimately it's a hobby. And hobbies should definitely not inspire a sense of guilt. 

If you come here exclusively for food-related stuff and are disappointed that my writing has taken a boozy tack, take heart in the fact that my deadline is quickly approaching, and one day I'll have the time to go out to eat again. But until then, I hope many of you are excited to explore the world of spirits, those both from Maine and away. I've been trying my hand at home bartending, and while there are tons of fantastic cocktail blogs (even in Portland - check out Three Sheets Mfg. for the real deal), I'd love to be able to share my evolution. Hopefully you'll find that it's approachable, and we can get over our intimidation together. 

The next Portland Spirits Society event (ladies only; sorry, dudes) is out at New England Distilling, 26 Evergreen Dr. Portland, which is near Allagash Brewing. Distiller Ned Wight will give us a tour and then we'll sample is Maryland-style rye whiskey, New England-style aged rum, and his unique gin (we can learn about gin styles together!). Hope to see you. 

Barrels of rye whiskey ageing at New England Distilling

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Women! and Whiskey! at Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

It was a great sight to see - over 30 women sipping whiskey, chattering about what they smelled and tasted. Paula Truman of Bow Street Distributing lead the event, summing it up best when she opened her talk with, 'Women! Whiskey!' The Portland Spirits Society women's whiskey tasting had a simple premise, not meant to be bigger than women drinking whiskey, with a little bit of learnin' on the side. 

We sampled four whiskeys, an Irish whiskey, a rye, a Bourbon, and a Scotch. We learned what characterized each one, came up with a few smell and tasting notes, but then, most importantly, enjoyed our samples and caught up with friends, new and old.

Paula (left) and A. at Portland Hunt & Alpine

The Four Roses small batch Bourbon stood out, a blend of four whiskeys from the Kentucky distillery. 

I was thrilled to find that the Scotch Portland Hunt & Alpine Club's owner Andrew Volk had selected for us was a mild, not-too-smoky, honey-sweet variety. I am truthfully kind of scared of Scotch.

From left to right (but pictured in the opposite order that we enjoyed them), we drank: 
  • Edradour 10 year Scotch whiskey
  • Four Roses small batch Bourbon
  • Jim Beam rye whiskey
  • West Cork Irish whiskey

I'd love to have a night dedicated to each one of these spirits (yes, even Scotch), learning about the different styles, regions, methods... What about gin? Tequila? Rum? Let's do it all. 

The next Portland Spirits Society event is a tour and tasting at New England Distilling, where they make rum, rye whiskey, and gin, on Tuesday, March 10th at 5:30pm (RSVP on facebook). 

After the event, A. and I went across the street to Sonny's, where I enjoyed a Pisco Sour. I can't get enough of egg white drinks lately. This one was a fine nightcap.