My liver is already threatening to leave me as Portland Cocktail Week draws near. Next week the Great American Distiller’s Festival gets bigger than ever, preceded by several days and nights of fun events organized by the Oregon Bartenders Guild and the Drink.Write cocktail writers conference.
I’m personally involved with several of the events. First up is Thursday Drink Night Live, in which participants will improvise cocktails and compete for a spot at the Portland Cocktail Invitational. Somehow they’ve talked me into emceeing the event live on camera with no script and lots of alcohol in the room. This could be dangerous.
If I’m still alive on Saturday morning we’ll kickstart the day with coffee cocktails. I’m moderating a panel with guests from Intelligentsia, Water Avenue, and possibly a couple other roasters, discussing all aspects of coffee and its role behind the bar, and serving up a drink or two. They’re passionate about great coffee and promise to bring some fun things to demo, so I’m very excited to hear their thoughts. (Relatedly, here are my suggestions for seven spots to caffeinate during Portland Cocktail Week.)
On that same day is the first round of the Portland Cocktail Invitational. It’s a great group of bartenders competing and I’m thrilled to be invited back. This time I’m fortunate to be mixing with Encanto Pisco, which opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities. We’re changing the format to allow more sampling of the drinks by the audience, so this is guaranteed to be a good time.
Bols will be involved in a few events as well. On Wednesday, mixologists Chris Churilla and Adam Robinson will be pairing cocktails with a four course meal prepared by Chef Alyssa Gregg at Spints Alehouse, including cocktails made with Bols Genever and Galliano. This is not to be missed. Then on Saturday, experience the history of gin and genever at the Juniperlooza! seminar.
That’s just the beginning of events going on next week. There’s also a masquerade ball, a March for Mezcal, a tiki party, a full slate of informative seminars, and much more. Go get the full schedule and tickets here.