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Back to Basics

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Eugene bars cater to classic tastes. By Vanessa Salvia (reprinted without permission) I don’t drink much. Between being a student and a parent, I can’t bring home the bacon or fry it up in a pan if I’m soused half the week. But when my editor told me to taste and write about popular cocktails, | Read More

The Blood Orange

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Here’s a good one for the season – the complex flavors of it make it one of the few citrus cocktails that would be truly appropriate on, say, Christmas Eve. I had a drink by the same name years ago in San Francisco, and tried to recreate it when I got back home. This is | Read More

Bourbon Renewal

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This one was named after a band that my business partner, Tony Figoli was in a long time ago. I thought the name was absolutely brilliant, so I decided to do up a drink to commemorate the band – and my favorite spirit at the time. I think the creme de cassis really works well | Read More

John Kerry to Servers: ‘I’ll have the tuna.’

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Marche restaurant was rocked by celebrity once again, as Democratic hopeful (let’s face the facts, we’re all pretty hopeful at this point) John Kerry and his enormous entourage of Secret Service agents, aides de camp, press corps peeps, and well-wishers descended upon Marche tonight. And I have the photos right here! I know that the | Read More

Shirley Temple-Black

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This one goes back to the days of the Vet’s Club in Eugene, when I came up with it one night. The drink is good, but fairly unremarkable. What really gets you is the name. My friend Rob came up with the name one night when I told him about the new drink that tasted | Read More

Goodbye, John Davis

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There’s been a lot of loss around me lately. My dog moved away, my ex’s mom was diagnosed with cancer, my college department head died of Alzheimer’s, and now this. Of all the people… John Davis was the guy that you always had something good to say about when he was alive. Now that he’s | Read More

Tomato Daiquiri

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I was lying in bed one night a couple of years ago, and trying to come up with some new, exciting drinks for Red Agave’s cocktail menu. This was in the late summer of 2002. Anyway, tomatoes were very much in the twilight of their season, so I thought it would be fun to come | Read More

Oh, Pear!

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I just loved this one for its francophile name. Images of a British nanny shaking cocktails as some sort of penance plan in hell kind of make it all worthwhile. Here’s the recipe:  

Kentucky Christmas

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I love this drink’s name. I can’t remember how I ended up creating this one for Red Agave’s cocktail menu, but once I discovered how well the sweetness of the whiskey plays against the tartness of the cranberry juice, I knew it was a winner. The fresh cranberries are obviously optional, as they’re in season | Read More

The Espresso Alexander

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This is a pretty specific drink to Oregon. It uses Bend Distillery’s Crater Lake Hazelnut Espresso Vodka as a base. I suppose you could fool around with some other liquors/liqueurs to approximate the flavor. This is a really popular dessert drink, and has been ever since I created it at Bamboo.

The Jade Gimlet

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Once again, contrary to popular belief, I did not invent this drink. It was created by Wendy Watson at Marche, specifically for the Bamboo cocktail menu. It was one of our more popular drinks – a definite chick drink. I hate it when bartenders do a half-assed job on the sugared rim, make it too | Read More

Cozumel

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This is just a little variation on a traditional Cosmopolitan, but with a half-sugared rim, and hibiscus juice in place of the cranberry. It’s a pretty popular libation at Red Agave.

The Richmond Gimlet

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Ah, the Richmond Gimlet, one of the best summer drinks to ever come out of the emerald hamlet of Eugene, Oregon… Its soft flavors imbued with fresh mint, mingling with the herbaceousness of gin and the tartness of lime have made this drink a Eugene classic for many years now. It was created for Daniel | Read More

Movie Stars! Here! At My Little Bar!

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Our brush with famousness tonight had the whole kitchen in a tizzie. I should have gotten some photos, but I thought that would have been, well, sort of a lame thing to do. I don’t know, politicians are something else, as they are merely giant killer robots, but actors are just regular people. Not giant | Read More

Red Agave

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Contrary to popular opinion, I wasn’t the first person in the world to add tamarind paste to a margarita. However, I did name it, and perfect the recipe for the restaurant, so I’m including it here. I’m sure there are a lot of people who would love to get their hands on this recipe.