Crunch Time: Chicken Karaage and Whiskey Recipe Pairing

by Julia Wayne

Chef Mutsuko Soma is hard to find on an ordinary day, but the chef-owner of the Kamonegi pop-up is a…


Punches and batch cocktails, easy and care-free for parties, can be exquisite. Building the depth and body for a memorable punch, however, has its challenges. It’s true when it comes to transmitting flavor in a cocktail, the bartender’s technique can make or break the outcome, so why risk serving a watered down version of a cocktail for your guests?
One reason, punch is part of our early drinking history and dates back to the British and the American Colonies.

Craving something light and refreshing? Infuse your booze for spring! The beauty of spirits is there are no rules and regulations on what you can do with them at home. Start with vodka, the most moldable spirit that acts as a neutral base when incorporating additional flavors, and enhance with whole fruits, vegetables and herbs that will give your cocktail an extra something. Gather this season’s offerings, throw it all in a Mason jar and start infusing.

By Megan Hill
Ciudad and its sibling cocktail spot, Bar Ciudad, carve out a welcoming retreat in a busy industrial corner of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Entering the restaurant’s concrete walls, past the large patio and massive wood-fired grill, you’ll feel transported – perhaps to Spain or Morocco, maybe to Turkey or Southeast Asia, or possibly to South America.

If the 600-bottle wine list doesn’t wet your whistle, this sunshine-influenced cocktail will. Handcrafted by Andy Merklin, lead bartender at downtown Portland’s RingSide Fish House, the Fairway cocktails fairs as a top trender at the fish-savvy fine dining establishment.

As the craft cocktail movement has gained pace over the last decade, all the classic ingredients have come up for reinvention. From the basic spirits — whiskey and gin — to the stuff that makes them sing — bitters, mixers and liqueurs — the exploding craft industry hasn’t been content to stick to the classics. One of the latest to undergo a facelift is that stalwart of the cocktail repertoire, vermouth.

Rain, rain, go away: but here’s a cozy sipper to fill your days spent indoors. Kaytie Keck, creative director of the popular Red Feather Lounge in Boise, Idaho, is the mastermind behind this winter-meets-spring toddy recipe. “The name is an inspiration of the color that the syrup created, Tyrian Purple,” Keck says of the hue the huckleberry lends to her house-made syrup.

After living in the shadow of the dusty bar shelf, bitters are back in a big way. The rich extracts and tinctures made from Mother Nature’s flowers, roots and berries are must-haves in every bar, even the one in the kitchen at home. Bitters put a spin on your favorite classic cocktail that needs a refresher and can help with that pesky tummy ache you’ve been fighting. Trying to get rid of hiccups? Drop a few dashes of bitters on a lemon slice.

A spirit lover’s devotion to a particular whiskey is often marked by its similarities to Kentucky bourbon, primarily the sweetness that comes from being produced by 51 percent corn and aged in charred white oak barrels. As distilling sweeps the United States, consumers are left to differentiate the qualities found in whiskey produced in nearly every region, including Oregon.

Let’s put a new spin on spring cleaning with a home bar upgrade. Toss the old dusty drink gear away and rejuvenate your rail with these beverage accessories, from decor for your wine-loving house to customizable coasters.
WALL ART || The complexities of Willamette Valley’s geography and geology are almost too much for words, which is precisely why the region’s winery association released its first Willamette Valley Vineyard Map.

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