Monday, February 22, 2010

Cocktails at Clyde Common

I just got back from a great trip to Portland, Oregon, where my buddy Matthew and I dropped in at the cocktail hour to say hello to Jeffrey Morganthaler at Clyde Common. He and Ansel, the other gent behind the stick, showed us a great time.

As usual in a fine cocktail bar, I wanted everything on the menu, but happily settled on the Norwegian Wood, an aquavit-applejack combo with Cinzano Rosso, Chartreuse and bitters. A mellow, complex, herbal fusion that seemed like a classic member of the French-Italian family and yet distinctly original.

As for Matthew, who knows what he likes, he ordered a Singapore Sling. Ansel sprinkled a little coarse sea salt on the Amarena cherry garnish, which made me want one too.

Jeffrey came over and smiled at my empty glass and asked what I wanted. Next up for me was the Yellowjacket, a dangerous long drink with Appleton 12-Year, lavender-honey syrup, lime, their house orange bitters and soda. Since Matthew was still savoring his Singapore Sling, I tried to drink slowly—sort of.

For the final round, Matthew, true to his own taste, ordered a Sidecar. I was feeling more experimental, and asked Ansel to surprise me, which he did. He made a John Ford, which if I remember in spite of the previous two potations is Old Tom gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine and orange bitters. It had something in common with a Martinez, and the citrus oils were pronounced. Of course, by then my tipsiness was getting pronounced, so we settled up and took a walk.

Many thanks to everyone at Clyde Common for a memorable evening.

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