Carlyle’s closing cocktail menu

I may have to make some changes as we run low on ingredients, but here’s the intended cocktail menu for our final two weeks, including three new additions. This will go into effect tomorrow:

Aquavit Hot Toddy – Krogstad aquavit, Swedish punsch, lemon, star anise $8

Antigua Old-Fashioned – English Harbour rum, coffee-orange bitters, sugar $8

Smoky Margarita – Herradura reposado tequila, Cointreau, lime, lapsang souchong syrup $8

Portland Stinger – Branca Menta, bourbon, brandy, lemon, grenadine $9

Thyme in a Bottle — Bombay Sapphire, Farigoule thyme liqueur, lemon, maraschino $9

Erica’s Impulse –Brandy, allspice liqueur, lemon, simple syrup, orange bitters $8

H’ronmeer’s Flame – Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Ramazzotti, flamed orange zest $9

Witty Flip – Brandy, J. Witty chamomile liqueur, lemon, orange bitters, egg, nutmeg $10

Horatio – Krogstad aquavit, Cointreau, Fernet-Branca, orange bitters $9

Curse of Scotland — Ardbeg 10 year single malt Scotch, Drambuie, maraschino, lemon $10

Queen Bee – Vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, honey syrup, sparkling wine. $9

On a Whim – Trust your bartender to make you something good


Portland Stinger in the Oregonian

My love for Fernet-Branca is no secret to readers of this blog, but in cold winter months like this I often find myself turning to its lesser known minty cousin, Branca Menta. The bitter mint liqueur is a great cocktail ingredient for this time of year. Today’s Oregonian features some holiday cocktail recipes from around town and writer Grant Butler kindly included the Portland Stinger at Carlyle:

1 oz Branca Menta
.75 oz lemon
.5 oz bourbon
.5 oz brandy
.25 oz grenadine

Shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve with a brandied cherry.

The recipe is slightly changed from the one Neil Kopplin and I came up with a few months ago and that I offered at Carlyle’s Fernet night. It’s served up instead of on the rocks and places a little more emphasis on the bitter notes in the drink.

For one more Branca Menta drink, see the Menta e Cioccolato. I plan to have that on the menu as soon as I can source the right chocolate.


J. Witty chamomile liqueur event at Carlyle


Tomorrow at Carlyle we’re hosting our next spirits-in-focus event featuring J. Witty chamomile liqueur. This organic liqueur is made right here in Portland and just came out a few months ago; it has winter spice notes that make it a really nice ingredient in cocktails this time of year, as in the flip pictured above:

1.5 oz grape brandy
.75 oz J. Witty chamomile liqueur
.5 oz lemon
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
1 egg

Shake all but the nutmeg hard over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; grate fresh nutmeg on top.

We’ll be offering this and other winter cocktails made with the liqueur tomorrow from 5-7. Founder Jill Witty will be there too to talk about the product, so come on by to warm up with some good drinks (yes, there’ll be a hot toddy on the menu too).


I’ve been borscht’ed!

Today I’m helping kick off guest blogger month at one of Portland’s best and most esoteric blogs, the one and only Iced Borscht. When I was first invited to contribute I said I’d only do it for my usual honorarium of $700, a case of Fernet, and a Scotch egg, but then he named me “one of the top political minds in town” and I lowered my fee to just the egg.

Click over to Iced Borscht for my post about one of Carlyle’s favorite seasonal cocktails, the Erica’s Impulse, a tasty fall drink featuring brandy and allspice dram.


Calvados times two

It’s a good thing this month’s Mixology Monday closes at midnight Pacific Standard Time, because otherwise I’d never have made it in under the wire. First a plugin I installed to make my site faster completely backfired, then literally minutes after that was fixed DreamHost ran into tons of database problems. Now everything is finally working… for the moment. It’s a enough to make a guy hit the brandy.

Luckily, that’s the theme for this MxMo, hosted by Marleigh at Sloshed! (Thanks, Marleigh!)

At Open City, the bar where I work, we have a tea called Chaucer’s Cup from Serendipitea. It’s a tisane made from dried apples and mangos, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and various other fruits and spices. It’s popularly served here infused into hot apple cider.

Chaucer’s Toddy

It’s a tea I rarely drink, but it struck me that the tea and the bottle of calvados (French apple brandy) I’ve been enjoying at home would naturally go together. And so Chaucer’s Toddy was born:

6 oz Chaucer’s cup tea
2 oz calvados
1 cinnamon stick

Chaucer’s Toddy

This one came together on the first try. It’s very basic, with no sweetener or lemon added as is done in many toddies. Either addition could be alright, but the apple in the tea and the apple in the brandy go together so well that there’s no reason to add distractions. Simple, but it works.

This MxMo also gave me the reason I needed to open up a beer I’ve been holding on to for about a year, J. W. Lees Harvest Ale Calvados Cask, brewed in 2005. It’s an English barley wine at 11.5% abv, a serious ale. It pours with a lot of sediment, has just a little carbonation, and is richly sweet, malty, and well-balanced. The hint of the brandy is subtle. I don’t often get to drink Lees’ Harvest Ales, and if I did I might have been able to pick out more of the barrel’s contribution. Even so, it’s a great beer, perfect for capping a winter weekend and following a hot calvados toddy.

[Cross-posted at Eatfoo.]

Update 1/19/08: Marleigh’s got the complete round-up here.