Sometimes living in Eugene, Oregon means that you have a smaller circle of people who share similar interests as yourself. Driving an hour and a half to Portland is always an option, but sometimes you just wish you could play at home.
A select few of us local cocktail enthusiasts gathered today to experiment with obscure seasonal produce, dabble in an enormous library of rare liquors, and eat some wonderful cocktail-hour-inspired bites. It was a reawakening for me in a sense, as I spent the day remembering things that I had forgotten.
For instance, I had forgotten how much I love scallop ceviche. But then our wonderful chef for the day added a grapefruit gelée to the dish and I realized that I’d never tried anything so delicious.
The discussion was spirited (pun totally intended) as we deliberated over bottles and measurements. I really enjoy discussing the merits and differences of bourbon and rye while drinking scotch and holding a bottle of tequila.
We discovered that watermelon juice is much harder to create cocktails with than we could have possibly imagined (Herbsainte and vodka with watermelon juice – what was I thinking??) but we also learned that seaberries are both available to us here and quite versatile to mix cocktails with.
I love endive, smoked salmon, and creme fraiche. I had just neglected to try them all at the same time. Now I like them all three times more. Muthafucka, this palate is clean!
We played with housemade organic blackberry syrup and all smacked our foreheads in shame when we collectively remembered that bourbon loves to be mixed with fruit. We also remembered that ginger beer can take a bourbon and fruit mixture and reinforce the drink’s structure and balance. I’m going to make a point of not forgetting this again.
Pea purée in phyllo cups can make a perfect little nosh. About ten times I was reminded of this.
Ryan reminded us how fun it is to lance a champagne bottle [video, press to play]:
Unfortunately, I remembered that it was getting late and all of this research would have to be continued at another date. Be sure to check out what we found out you can do with seaberries!