Iron Bartender Krogstad aquavit cocktails


Thursday night’s Iron Bartender competition was a great success and a ton of fun. I’m not sure how many people came out, but it was well over 200 and possibly closer to 300. The support for the Children’s Relief Nursery was phenomenal. And the fact that everyone got to contribute so much while drinking delicious cocktails made it even better; big thanks to House Spirits for making that possible.

Since this was all for charity, it doesn’t really matter who won. The important thing is that we all had fun and came together as a team… OK, OK, it was Evan Zimmerman. He kicked all our asses once again. The guy’s unstoppable. He’s one of the best bartenders in town and if you haven’t been to see him at Laurelhurst Market you’ve been missing out.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail recipe. It would be even better with two. The first is the one I served in the initial stage of the event, during which we all made drinks with Krogstad aquavit. The second is one I’d hoped to serve but couldn’t make work in this context.

First, the Scandinavian Sour:

2 oz Krogstad aquavit
.75 oz Swedish punsch*
.5 oz Zirbenz pine liqueur
.5 oz lemon
.25 oz Zwack

Technically Zirbenz and Zwack aren’t Scandinavian, but they’re from European and sometimes cold countries so I think that’s close enough! Shake all of the above over ice and strain into a cocktail glass for a complex, refreshing drink.

The next drink is an aquavit hot toddy. It’s a rather nice cocktail, but with no hot water at our venue it would have been very difficult to serve. It will find it’s way onto the Carlyle menu in a few days:

1.5 oz Krogstad aquavit
.75 oz Swedish punsch*
.5 oz lemon
3-4 oz hot water

Pour all ingredients into a preheated snifter and garnish with a star anise. Guaranteed to warm you up after a long day of going Viking.

*Click for my Swedish punsch recipe, made extra smoky by the addition of lapsang souchong tea.

[Photo by Nicole Ishida courtesy of Children’s Relief Nursery. From l to r: Elizabeth Markham, Evan Zimmerman, myself, Neil Kopplin.]


Iron Bartending and whiskey drinks in PDX

Gore Vidal once said that he never passes up a chance to have sex or appear on television. Precisely one of these things I’m willing to do with my friend Neil Kopplin and we’re going to be doing it — appearing on TV, that is! — on KOIN’s “Keep it Local” show later today. We’ll be promoting tonight’s Iron Bartender competition at the Jupiter Hotel and having an Old School Carlyle vs New School Carlyle cocktail throwdown. The show airs between 4-5 on Channel 6 and will hopefully be online soon after. (The last time I was on local television the mysterious “David Grier,” who looks suspiciously just like me, got all the credit. This time I’m determined to keep him off the set!)

Also in local press, today’s Portland Mercury is all about my favorite spirit, whiskey. Included in their whiskey feature is a round-up of local whiskey cocktails, including this blog’s Curse of Scotland and drinks from some of the best bartenders in town. Check it out here.