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One for the Road: Portland, Oregon

Written by: Simon Ford in

Clyde Common is a bustling and fun bar with great drinks. No surprise, since it was put together by one of the best bartenders in the business, Jeffrey Morgenthaler. It’s a pleasure to watch him at work — he’s efficient, entertaining and mixes a phenomenal cocktail.

50 Best Bars in America

Written by: in Food and Wine

Jeffrey Morgenthaler oversees the rotating cocktail list at this airy “tavern” adjacent to the Ace Hotel. One to try: the Cranky Lass with Scotch, amaro, apple cider, lemon, allspice liqueur.

Case Study | Quinine Syrup

Written by: Toby Cecchini in NY Times Style Magazine

Tonic water has more than just cinchona bark in it: there’s also a dense citric acid base and a certain amount of sweetness countering the quinine’s intense bitterness, as well as various aromatic botanicals, not unlike those found in gin itself. The peripatetic Jeffrey Morganthaler of Clyde Common in Portland, Ore., has had a much referenced recipe on his Web site for years now, and Jim Meehan just published his in his brand-new “PDT Cocktail Book,” out this month.

Happy Hour: The Apple of Your Highball

Written by: Adam McDowell in The National Post

Norwegian Wood: This cocktail comes courtesy of Jeffrey Morgenthaler, acclaimed bartender at Clyde Common of Portland, Ore. It makes use of aquavit, a Scandinavian cousin to vodka infused with herbs and spices.

Roll Out the Barrel! These Old Cocktails Pack a Mean Punch

Written by: Joe Ray in The Independent

Barrel-ageing cocktails took off in the US after a well-known cocktail maker, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, experimented with the practice in Portland, Oregon. But the concept of cocktail ageing was in fact born in the UK. Mr Morgenthaler had himself been inspired by a visit two years ago to 69 Colebrooke Row, Islington, a London bar run by “mixologist” Tony Conigliaro, who pioneered the use of glass bottles to age his creations.

The Hot List: Pomegranate Concoctions

Written by: N/A in

But we couldn’t write a story about pomegranates and not bring up grenadine. While much of what you get now is full of corn syrup and food coloring, the cordial was originally made with pomegranate juice. We got star Portland, Ore., bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler to share with us his tasty and simple version. Try it in the tropical Batida Rosa, which he serves at his establishment, Clyde Common, or enjoy it with a bit of your favorite alcohol. You just may be inspired to create your own myth…

Aged, Not Shaken

Written by: Kevin Sintumuang in The Wall Street Journal

The barrel is a beautiful thing. It’s an object that’s etched into our boozy subconscious—an old-timey icon for fine drink that’s almost primal. It’s pre–frothy beer mug, pre–martini glass, pre–mustachioed bartender. Yet you rarely encounter one outside of a distillery tour. That is, until the craft-cocktail set started to re-purpose the barrels for aging their own drinks. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, head bartender at Clyde Common in Portland, Ore., was one of the first to do it, inspiring bartenders around the globe to experiment. And Tuthilltown Distilleries in Gardiner, N.Y., has kept the trend alive—it started off aging its whiskey in custom-made 2½-gallon vessels years ago because of the ability of those unusually small barrels to age spirits more quickly. Although larger ones are more cost effective, the distillers continue to use smaller barrels, partly because of the unique flavor they produce, but also because of the demand from drink geeks.

A Tale of Two Cocktail Trends

Written by: Virginia Miller in San Francisco Bay Guardian

Thanks to Jeffrey Morgenthaler of southeast Portland, Ore.’s Clyde Common restaurant, the barrel-aged cocktail phenomenon has taken off over the past year. If you’re new to the aging scene, here’s the gist: take an already brilliant drink — Morgenthaler finds his muse in a classic negroni — and age it in a barrel for weeks or months, letting the flavors meld into a more integrated whole.

And barrel-aged cocktails have made it to the Bay Area in a big way. Joel Teitelbaum of Zero Zero launched a barrel-aged negroni of his own earlier this spring. Made with Beefeater gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and aged in an American oak barrel for three months, it’s a sexy, lush version — even deeper than an iconic negroni when you taste the two side by side. Still thirsty? Head in a slightly different direction with Teitelbaum’s negroni bianco: Leopold’s gin, infused Cocchi, and white vermouth.

On a recent trip across the bay to Oakland’s forward-thinking Adesso, I tried a house barrel-aged martini made with Karlsson’s Gold vodka, an already unusual (read: flavorful and high quality) spirit. The white vermouth and vodka meld into a sophisticated, layered martini.

If you see a barrel-aged cocktail on a menu, order it — and quickly, since a bar’s stock of these beauties can run out rapidly. Even better, sample one next to its young version to fully comprehend the difference a little oak aging can make. It’s a trend whose novelty may pass eventually, but the barrel aging technique can put a new spin on your favorite cocktail.

Aging makes for killer drinks

Written by: Gary Regan in San Francisco Chronicle

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, head bartender at Clyde Common in Portland, Ore., also sampled some of Tony’s aged cocktails, and he decided to play with the idea, laying his cocktails down in oak barrels, and thus adding yet another layer to the drinks.

What happens to cocktails when they age? For one thing, they oxidize a little when they are aged in bottles, which results in a tightly integrated, complex drink that shows a tad more complexity than a freshly made mixed drink.

Bar Star

Written by: Rachel Ritchie in Portland Monthly

The results are in! You, our fair readers, have voted Clyde Common’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler your Bartender of the Year. Here, he riffs on Portland’s drinking scene and shakes up the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail.

Aged Cocktails Gain in Popularity

Written by: Robert Simonson in The New York Times

Barrel-aged cocktails are being poured at bars from San Francisco to Boston. They are exactly what they sound like, complete cocktails aged in barrels, just as if they were wine or whiskey.

At Dram in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, an aged Martinez, a 19th-century cocktail founded on gin and sweet vermouth, can be sampled. At the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Roof Club, there’s an cask-seasoned star cocktail, made of apple brandy and sweet vermouth. Temple Bar, near Boston, takes its time with a Negroni.

Barrels give whiskey much of its flavor, and all its color. With cocktails, the wood imparts flavors of vanilla, caramel and certain spice notes. Vermouth becomes a bit oxidized from exposure to air through the wood. And practitioners say the various alcohols integrate in the process.

The trend took off last spring after the Portland, Ore., bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler posted his experiments with barrel-aged drinks, and a few recipes, on his blog (, well read in cocktail circles.

Six-Week-Old Martinis, Anyone?

Written by: Robert Simonson in The New York Times

WITH the precision mixologists take these days in building their more ornate creations, customers have grown used to waiting a few minutes for a drink. For the latest innovation in elite libations, however, they’ll have to wait six weeks or so.

Barrel-aged cocktails are being poured at bars from San Francisco to Boston. They are exactly what they sound like, complete cocktails aged in barrels, just as if they were wine or whiskey.

Old enough to drink

Written by: Julia Kramer in Time Out Chicago

The allure of charred wood has led bartenders to try their hand at aging bitters (Joshua Pearson has a batch of four-month-aged “Christmas” ones in the works at Sepia; the Violet Hour makes 15–17 varieties of bitters, some of which it ages), individual spirits and, most recently — with inspiration from Portland, Oregon, bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler — entire cocktails. Though what goes in the barrel is important (the cocktail’s got to be entirely spirits—and pretty high-alcohol ones that won’t oxidize), so is the barrel itself.


Written by: n/a in Nylon Magazine

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, widely recognized as one of the best mixologists in America, manages the bar at Clyde Common. Embarrassingly, we did not know this fact when we asked him if he ‘knew any good gin cocktails’ on our first night in Portland (his reply: ‘Yes, thousands’). Nevertheless, far too early one morning he made a unique cocktail just for NYLON, the Transatlantic. ‘It celebrates our local distilleries and the Portland palate, which leans toward bitter, complex spirits and liqueurs,’ he says. ‘I think it’s a winner.’ Here’s how to make your own…”