Like most Northwesterners in spring, we’re pretty tired of the rain. Tucked into the mezzanine level of the Portland Food Hall downtown, Bar Miranda is the sensory vacation we’ve been craving. The tropical, South American-influenced bar calls upon the warm, happy nature of Brazilian samba singer Carmen Miranda, for which the joint was named, to further its sunnier mentality.
“With her joyous smile and warm invitation to have a good time and think of sunnier places, our philosophy is to embody that feeling in our space and in our menu,” says co-owner Malia Myers. “Our cocktail selection is comprised of Central and South American favorites like the Pisco Sour, the Mojito and the Caipirinha along with a creative list of original fruit-forward, tropical, beachside recipes.”
Drink recipes come courtesy Melaney Schmidt — of cocktail catering company Public Provisions and co-owner of the bar — including this springy recipe for “Rabbit Food.”
“The inspiration behind [the] cocktail is from a blooming and growing garden that has not only caught our attention but perhaps that of a mischievous and hungry rabbit,” Myers says of the cocktail that comprises basil, carrot, white vermouth, St-German and absinthe. “The combination gives you a heavy swing of that mischievous absinthe but it’s very much accompanied by these other interesting garden flavors that surprise and intrigue you and that also perfectly fit the standards of our usual menu. Complex and playful.”
Though the bar’s recipe calls for Dolin Blanc vermouth, Myers says substituting for Oregon’s Imbue Cellars Bittersweet Vermouth would play well with the flavors and bring “a collection of aromatics and mouthfeel to this drink that really increases those garden and springtime flavors.”
Originally created for Bunny Bar, a pop-up located inside Bar Miranda held last month, Rabbit Food puts the blooming Northwest garden right into your Collins glass with this recipe.
Makes 1 cocktail
4 basil leaves
1½ ounces Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth
½ ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
¼ ounce absinthe
¾ ounce lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce carrot juice
Garnish: baby basil sprig and mint
In a mixing tin, muddle the basil leaves and pour in the remaining ingredients. Add ice, shake and double strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a sprig of baby basil and mint.