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I had a great day at the office today. Actually, my colleagues and I were out of the office ... at the new St. Jack restaurant in Southeast Portland talking about Oregon's alcohol industry. When I began planning this program, I thought, what better place to talk about beer, wine and spirits than at a bar! So I sought a bartender who knows his bitters from his flips. That led me to one of Portland's top craft bartenders, Tommy Klus.
Klus bartends at Teardrop Lounge and St. Jack. He was the perfect libation ambassador to walk us through some lesser known cocktails and spirits. And he's a great source of information regarding Oregon's craft spirits industry.
Klus recently won first place in the NW Food & Wine Fest Cocktail Competition. His winning drink was the Feliz Nog y Nog, a natural for the holiday season. Here's the recipe (he gave me his cheat sheet card he used during the competition):
Feliz Nog y Nog (Tommy Klus)
Note: build dry (i.e., no ice in the shaker initially)
1.5 oz Mud Puddle (New Deal's Cacao Vodka)
.75 oz Maury wine
.75 oz cinnamon syrup
.5 oz Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
.25 oz lemon juice
.5 oz heavy cream
Shake dry, then with ice.
Finish with nutmeg/cocoa stencil.
Spiced Pear Punch
6 oz. roasted pear puree (recipe below)
6 oz. Old Tom Gin
6 oz. ginger liqueur
6 oz. Cognac
3 oz. fresh lemon juice
18 oz. prosecco (use a dry, fruity one)
Ice block (frozen in 1 qt. container)
Combine all ingredients except the prosecco in a pitcher and chill for several hours. When ready to serve, place ice block in a punch bowl and pur chilled mixture over. Top with chilled prosecco, float garnishes and serve immediately.
Roasted Pear Puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, halve and core 5 ripe pears. Arrange in a roasting pan with 4 tablespoons of demerara sugar, 4 ounces of brandy or Cognac, 6 cinnamon sticks, 8 star anise and 12 cloves. Cut 1 vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape out the seeds and add them to the roasting pan along with the pod. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the spices and vanilla bean pod, then purée the pears and liquid in a blender or food processor.
Klus also recommends this punch featured in David Wondrich's book, Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl:
USS Richmond Punch
Jamaica Rum, 1 qt
Brandy, 1 qt
Strong black tea, 1 qt
Port wine, 1 qt.
White sugar, 3 cups
Curaçao (Grand Marnier or Gran Gala), ½ pint
Before serving, add 10 bottles of soda-water to 3 qts of stock. Use plenty of ice.
Nutmeg sprinkled on top is welcome.
Prepare an oleo-saccharum with the peel of the lemons and the sugar. Stir in 18 ounces of strained lemon juice and the tea (made with 4 teaspoons of loose tea or four bags, infused for no more than five minutes). Add the liquors, strain, bottle and chill. To serve, pour into Punch bowl halfway full of ice cubs and add 1 liter chilled seltzer for every quart of stock.
SOURCE: Mary Louise Hoyt Barrol, Around-the-World Cook Book, 1913
Happy mixing! And cheers to a great holiday season!
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