The ladies of the Portland Spirits Society had another great time on Monday night at Eventide Oyster Co. where we slurped oysters and enjoyed learning about and sampling Vermont's Caledonia Spirits. I may or may not have spilled vodka on the floor right out of the gate, before I'd even had enough/any to justify such a thing.
We learned about the process of making the vodka and gin, both made from honey (which must be so expensive). The vodka is distilled until it has a neutral flavor, while the gin has some honey added back into it, giving it a lovely floral characteristic. The Tom Cat gin is "rested" gin that is aged in charred oak barrels, giving it a most delicious smoky sweetness. It's one of my new favorite craft spirits.
Here's Jeff from Barr Hill, looking a little bit like he didn't know I was taking his picture (that's exactly what's going on here). After a brief spiel from him, we tucked into oysters on the half shell, fried fish, and some of those amazing chickpea fries (aka fried panisse)—seriously don't overlook them the next time you're at Eventide.
Lastly, we enjoyed two cocktails with the spirits: a negroni with the gin and a gin and tonic with the Tom Cat and Eventide's housemade tonic. Negronis are not for me, I must finally admit, but the G&T with the aged gin was fantastic. It tasted almost like an Arnold Palmer.
Many thanks to Eventide Oyster Co. and Jeff Cole for the hospitality!! Ladies, stay tuned for info about our next Portland Spirits Society event (even better, sign up for the e-mail newsletter to be the first to hear about it) and in the meantime, get your ticket to Splashed Bash, Dispatch mag's friendly competition celebrating local bartenders and craft spirits on May 13th.