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Aviation Green Snapper

As far as holidays go, St. Patrick’s Day is an easy sell — all you have to do is show up wearing something green and have a drink, whether it’s green beer, Irish whiskey, Irish cream, Guinness, or some unfortunate combination of those last three things.

Green Snapper Cocktail

The holiday is by no means authentically Irish; it’s a distinctly American celebration of being Irish on this side of the Atlantic. Between the 17th and 20th centuries in Ireland, March 17th was commemorated with a quiet, dignified visit to church. Even corned beef and cabbage is, as you may know or have already guessed, an American idea of what Irish food is. Immigrants from the Emerald Isle substituted corned beef for the bacon used in the OG version of this dish, and the end result is closer to a New England boiled dinner than anything actually eaten in Ireland. It is the spaghetti and meatballs of Irish-America.

To me, all of the above is noteworthy and heartwarming in that it’s so distinctly American: a celebration of hyphenated culture and identity, a nod to our melting pot, a salute to our roots from all corners of the globe. Mike Cronin said it best: “In essence, St. Patrick’s Day was a public declaration of a hybrid identity—a belief in the future of Ireland as a nation free from British rule, and a strict adherence to the values and liberties that the U.S. offered them.”

So maybe it’s appropriate that in my search for something interesting and vividly green to share with you on this day, tomatillos and jalapeño made their way into the mix for this take on a classic Red Snapper. The end result is everything I was hoping for: vibrant, boozy, spicy, savory, and not reminiscent of green juices and smoothies. Now is not the time for apple and celery. That said, this is equally well-suited for starting your celebrations on the day of St. Pat’s, or recovering from them in the early afternoon of March 18th.

Sláinte!

Green Snapper Cocktail

Aviation American Gin Green Snapper
(Adapted from Heather Christo)

For mix:

  • 2 cups chopped green tomatoes or tomatillos
  • ½ cup chopped English cucumber chunks
  • ½ fresh jalapeño, chopped (remove seeds and white membrane for less spice)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For drink:

  • 4 ounces prepared mix
  • 2 ounces Aviation American Gin
  • Cucumber, lime, olives, salt rim, etc., for garnish

To make the mix, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. At this point, you can strain all or part of the mixture if you’d like a less chunky beverage; I strained half of it to thin it out a little bit. Build cocktail in an ice-filled glass, stir, and garnish as desired.

Yield: 2 drinks

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

How to Make a Heart Cocktail Garnish

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Google “Valentine’s Day cocktails” and you’ll see an avalanche of pink and red, complete with rose petal and candy garnishes. Nothing wrong with that — we like fun too! That said, sometimes a classic cocktail like a Martinez or Bee’s Knees (both pictured here) is all you need to round out the perfect evening with your favorite person.

Heart Cocktail Garnish

Of course, the first thing Very Serious Cocktail People might point out is that a citrus peel garnish is so much more than looks. Proper garnish technique expels a fragrant cloud of essential citrus oils from the zest, adding a final touch of flavor and aroma that rounds out drinks and tickles the senses. Since we’re getting a little fussy with these drinks anyway, there’s no reason not to expel oils over the drink as usual, then, instead of dropping the twist into the drink, topping it off with a relentlessly Valentine’s-appropriate garnish instead. The best of both worlds never looked so good.

Heart Cocktail Garnish

To Make a Heart-Shaped Cocktail Garnish:

  1. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel a large strip of orange, lemon, or grapefruit peel.
  2. Trim the edges with a small sharp knife to make a long rectangle.
  3. Starting 1/2 an inch away from the edge, cut a long slit down the middle, all the way through the other edge.
  4. Shape into a heart — the intact end should be the point of the heart, and the loose ends should come together in the middle. You may need to trim the loose ends to get the shape and size you want.
  5. Use a cocktail pick to pierce through the sides and middle of your garnish, about 2/3 of the way down.
  6. Stir or shake up your beverage, expel oils with a standard twist if you’d like, and garnish away!

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

 

Heart Cocktail Garnish

Tropic Harvest Cocktail

As the seasons change, we find our culinary and cocktail choices changing.  We watch our grocery list selections transform from carefree barbecue summer fare into slow-cooker comforts.  Our cravings for those sparkly, effervescent libations on the rocks begin to wane, and in their place, the warming sensations of all things mulled and spiced show up to keep our hands warm and relax us into the folds of our overstuffed couches.  

Until…  

The weather takes a different and unexpected course, beating maliciously outside the door with no sign of a single ray of sunshine.  For weeks on end.  Sometimes you need summery edible and drinkable pick-me-ups to stave off those winter blues. Don’t cry yourself a river of chamomile tea, because here’s a drink concoction that’s sure to perk you up when you’re knee-deep in your winter gloominess.  

Imagine a cocktail combining the bright sunshine flavors of grapefruit’s citrusy kiss, the sweet snap of English cucumber, peppery hints of Italian parsley and an intense, exotic, sweet-tart blend of tropical island fruits. This cocktail is sure to swipe a ribbon of sunny brightness across even the darkest of a cold, dead winter sky.  You’ll be sipping and basking in thoughts of summers past while sketching your spring garden seeding schematic, completely forgetting about the nasty weather bleating outside.  

Tropical Harvest Cocktail

Introducing the Tropic Harvest Cocktail!  The base spirit of this refreshing pick-me-up is the award-winning Aviation American Gin. Hang a hammock in the living room and tempt yourself with this heavenly concoction. Winter’s melancholy has met its match with the Tropic Harvest cocktail! You can opt to make this as an individual cocktail, or put together a make-your-own Tropic Harvest cocktail bar. Simply set up a tray with sliced cucumber, your favorite tropical fruit, snips of parsley. Add a bottle each of club soda and simple syrup, a bucket of ice, and encourage your guests to put together their own spin on this refreshing beverage. Alternatively, you can put your blender to work to create thick, frosty versions — tiny umbrellas optional, but strongly encouraged!

Tropical Harvest Cocktail

TROPIC HARVEST COCKTAIL:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle:

  • 3 thin English cucumber slices
  • 3 snips of fresh organic Italian parsley (fresh basil is awesome too!)
  • Selection of your favorite exotic fruit.  As close to ripe as possible.  We chose 2 slices each of kiwi, mango, and starfruit.

Add to your cocktail shaker:

  • A handful of ice cubes
  • 2 ounces Aviation American Gin
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (optional – if the fruit is super ripe and sweet, you can omit this)

Cover and shake until the drink is thoroughly chilled, pour into a highball glass, fill the glass with soda water, top with 5 drops of grapefruit bitters, and stir. Garnish with starfruit and/or cucumber slice.

Cheers!

-Kelly Gajer, Aviation Team Member

 

Cocktail Pairings: Vietnamese-Style Fish with Turmeric and Dill + Aviation Martini

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Most food lovers have the classic pairings essentially memorized: pinot noir with mushrooms and earthy vegetables, cab with steak, sauvignon blanc with greens, and so on. In recent years, though, more and more chefs and bartenders have been paying attention to pairing cocktails with meals, and the principles remain the same — to look for a balance of flavors by either complementing or contrasting. Sharp and sharp mirror each other beautifully as Parmesan cheese and negronis; meanwhile, the contrasting approach has citrusy, crisp sherry cobblers cutting through the richness of duck for a pairing much greater than the sum of its parts.

This particular dish, Vietnamese-style fish with turmeric and dill (Cha Ca Than Long, originally posted at Culinary Chronicles), has a lot going on, especially when paired with an Aviation American Gin martini. As such, there are both complementary and contrasting elements.

I love Asian food with dry white wine, and a martini is really just a boozier expression of that pairing. The herbal notes in a dry vermouth and a fragrant citrus twist mimic my favorite characteristics in food-friendly white wine, while Aviation adds a woodsy, spicy, warming backbone. It’s a spirit-forward cocktail for a dish that can stand up to it, with loads of spice and complexity in its own right. The flavors are at once bright and deep; there’s a strong savory fish sauce base, and fragrant spiciness from fresh ginger.

What takes it over the top for me is fresh dill — lots and lots of fresh dill. It’s rarely recognized as a traditional southeast Asian herb; most often, you’ll see Thai basil or cilantro. Surprisingly (at least it was for me), dill is actually quite common in the cuisines of Laos and northern Vietnam. Here, it shows up in main-ingredient quantities, as opposed to the modest sprinklings herbs are usually relegated to.

Naturally, if you’re not up for cooking, an Aviation Martini doesn’t discriminate against takeout, either. No one delivers martinis last time we checked, but thankfully, those are as simple as cocktails get.

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Ingredients for fish
  • 1 pound white mild fish, such as cod, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauch
  • 1 teaspoon powdered tumeric
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, green and pale green parts only, cut into 1-inch sections
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch dill, tough stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 8-oz package of rice noodles, cooked according to package directions (for serving)
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped (for serving)
  • 1-2 fresh red Thai chiles, sliced thin (optional, for serving)

Preparation

  1. To marinate the fish, combine the fish sauce, turmeric, garlic, ginger, shallots, 1 tablespoon dill, and about 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a large bowl. Mix marinade and add fish, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Heat up 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced onion and cook until soft and slightly translucent, then add 1/3 of the dill bunch, as well as about half of the green onion. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
  3. Heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in the same skillet. Remove fish from the marinade and pat off excess marinade with paper towels. Pan-fry the fish in two batches for 2-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Divide prepared rice noodles among 4 plates, then top with sauteed onion/dill mixture and fish. Top with remaining fresh dill and green onions, as well as the peanuts and red Thai chiles.

Ingredients for Aviation Martini

  • 1 1/2 ounces Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 dry vermouth (Dolin Blanc used here)
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Combine Aviation and vermouth in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Here’s to eating and drinking well all winter!

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

It is that time again, my friends. The time to buy stuff for people we know, some of whom we love, for a holiday that we are vaguely familiar with.

I kid, I kid!

It’s the holiday season and many of you are no doubt looking for grown-up stocking stuffers/tools for facilitating debauchery. And we have those in spades at our House Spirits PDX (Portland International Airport) location.

For that traveler in your family, grab a couple of The Carryon Cocktail Kits.

Stocking Stuffer Blog 1

In my most humble opinion, Gin and Tonics suit the holidays better than summer. They are the perfect complement for holiday dinners. Potato latkes, turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole pack a heavy punch. Gin and tonic, on the other hand, is light on the tongue and the botanicals in Aviation Gin are a pretty fierce digestive opener (very important for the most dignified holiday tradition of stuffing one’s face). But to have a great Gin and Tonic, you need more than gin. Behold The Carryon Cocktail Kit Gin and Tonic. It’s a travel-sized cocktail that includes a mini jigger, cloth napkin, mini spoon, a recipe card, and a bottle of tonic. All you need to add is some Aviation Gin to complete it.

If you want to add a little flare to your G & T, check out the Gin and Titonic ice cubes. Yes, you heard that right: a little tongue-in-cheek reference to the story of the Titanic, which I will assume you all know.

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If you’re a bit unsure about my over-confident assertion that Gin and Tonics are the cocktail for the holiday season, try a Mile High Mule Carryon Cocktail Kit. To really put a cherry on someone’s holiday sundae, get them a proper Mule Mug for their cocktail. We are carrying a beautiful line of handmade copper mugs from This Is Folklore Company, a local artist here in Portland, Oregon. My favorite is the all-seeing eye, but there are many other magnificent designs to choose from.

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Stocking Stuffer Blog 4

Be sure to stop by our PDX kiosk and pick up some gifts for your more adult friends and family! See you soon.

-Carlene Ostedgaard, Aviation Team Member

Saturn Punch

Saturn #2

Here come the holidays! The intensity of it all is staggering, isn’t it? Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve barely had time to take down and pack away the plastic pumpkins, bats and skeletons. I haven’t even thought to sit quietly and pen my Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, let alone figure out the logistics of my annual Christmas party. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t worth getting upset over. Most of us test the limits of our sanity, we know it’s coming. In full force. Getting caught in the vortex of holiday madness; it’s all part of the fun, when you stop and think about it. DON’T STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT. Until February.

 
Once you’ve carefully crafted your shopping/gifting/baking/decorating/caroling strategies – and exhale – all that’s left to do is celebrate! This part of the planning process is always the most fun for me. Fervently pacing the aisles of my local grocery store; on the lookout for unique, affordable, mouthwatering munchies. Delectable hors d’ Oeuvre combinations which surrender my guest’s palates to limitless zesty, aromatic and savory sensations. And this includes cocktails. The artisan crafted-cocktail and beer movement has become so advanced, if I even made an attempt to try and conceive a craft-cocktail bar, it would stretch across the living room. That said, making every guest happy around the bar can break the bank. So, while my holiday party, food-wise becomes much more memorable when it embodies a timeless cornucopia of unquestionably delicious delights; getting the drinks proportional to each person’s preference can be challenging. Until now.

 
There will be wine of course, and some seasonal beer choice. But, leave the Eggnog where it belongs, in the dairy case. Hide the Schnapps. There is a simpler way to get your guests to imbibe and be spirit-compliant: serve punch. Not your grandmother’s punch either; with the floating orange sherbet iceberg. This year, wow every guest with a punch that blends together flavors which are at once silky and creamy, yet evoke all of the amazing perennial flavors which grace our senses during this magical time of the season. Create the masterpiece which is Saturn Punch! The brilliance of this cocktail is its presentation functionality. It can be made as a traditional self-serve punchbowl potion, or shaken individually and served as a frothy cocktail.

Saturn Punch

Fireside Saturn Punch 1

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (I use Simply Orange brand)
  • Crushed Ice (for shaking individually and to fill cocktail glasses)
  • Scrappys brand Orange Bitters
  • BG Reynolds Syrups
    • 2 tsp. Passionfruit
    • 1 tsp. Oregat (Almond and cane sugar)
    • 2 tsp. Falernum (ginger, clove, almond, fresh lime)

Preparation

  1. Shake until frothy with crushed ice
  2. Pour into a highball glass
  3. Top with 3 drops Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
  4. Garnish with fresh orange or pear slices

Mixing instructions for punch (quantities contingent upon guest count):

  • 1 750ml bottle Aviation American Gin
  • 1 1.75L bottle Simply Orange Juice
  • 1 bottle BG Reynolds Passionfruit syrup
  • 1 bottle BG Reynolds Falernum syrup
  • ½ bottle BG Reynolds Oregat syrup
  • 1 bottle Scrappy’s Orange Bitters near the punch bowl for guests to discover
  • Additional serving suggestions:
    • A small framed sign next to the bitters will enhance your guests’ experience
    • Add your favorite sparkling Cava or Prosecco and take Saturn Punch to a whole new level!

Cheers!

-Kelly Gajer + Brandon Waddell + Courtney Lindstrom, Aviation Team Members

Making Ginger Beer

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My latest weekend project was making homemade ginger beer using Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe, which you can find here. Aside from waiting for Amazon to deliver my champagne yeast, the project was quick and delicious. With loads of ginger beer ready to be consumed in my fridge, the next logical step was making cocktails but my Netflix account was calling my name, so I only had time for this quick cocktail. 1 minute later, I was sitting on my couch, remote in hand!

1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
2 oz Ginger Beer
2 oz Soda water

I like my drinks tart but a little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt if you like yours a little sweeter. To make, pour everything into a glass with ice and stir. It’s just that simple.

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Celebrating Liqueur Day

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National Liqueur Day is tomorrow! In order to celebrate, I mixed up a cocktail using one of my favorite liqueurs, Genepi. You’re probably familiar with Genepi, even if you don’t realize it. It is an ingredient in Chartreuse and Absinthe, and people in the alpine regions of France and Italy have been picking the flowers and infusing alcohol with them for hundreds of years. It’s bitter (it’s in the Artemisia, or Wormwood genus), herbaceous like oregano or thyme, floral like chamomile, yet still rich and buttery.

There are many different producers of Genepi, but one of my favorites is Guillaumette. There is actually a sprig of Genepi in the bottle, and it retains a really fresh herbal flavor and isn’t sweet to the point of being syrupy. It’s the perfect complement to Aviation American Gin’s soft and floral botanicals, and the egg white and pineapple gum syrup add a decadent texture.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 oz Genepi (Guillaumette or otherwise)
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Pineapple Gum Syrup
  • 1 egg white

Combine all ingredients in a tin and shake vigorously without ice for 30-45 seconds (depending on your vigor). Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a fresh sage leaf.

-Stuart Jensen, Aviation Team Member

Spooky Ookie Garnishes

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Halloween is just around the corner. Craft stores are dangerously rife with spiders, crows, bats, and cats. The spookiness is abounding. So, why not prepare some adorable cocktails with dark and mysterious garnishes?

Here are three easy cocktails, complete with super creepy Halloween garnishes.

The Aviation American Gin Zombie Punch

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Ingredients

Add gin and punch mix in a shaker full of ice. Strain mix into a glass and top with soda water. Add zombie hand King Cube.* Finish with a pinch of habañero salt.

*Zombie Hand King Cube: Purchase small skeleton hands from craft store. Fill King Cube Tray (by Tovolo) and rest skeleton in water. Freeze overnight.

Cinnamon Ginger Flying Mule

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Ingredients

Shake gin and syrup in a shaker with ice and strain into copper mug full of ice. (Hand engraved copper mug by This is Folklore, Portland.) Top with ginger beer. Stir gently. Garnish with slice of apple and ginger.

Aviation American Gin Ghost Chili Cool Shooters

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Ingredients

Pour gin into frozen Cool Shooters (by Friends of Fred) ice shot glass. Add a pinch of Jacobsen’s Ghost Chili Finishing Salt to shot. Garnish with sparkly spider.
Invite your friends over to greet trick-or-treaters and imbibe the spirits of Halloween!

-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

Fall Flavors

Autumn is the season when hardy fruits reign queen. Blackberries, apples, and cranberries weather the cooler temperatures divinely and our cocktails are better for that. I chose to play around with a two cocktails—one using apples and one using cranberries. They are beautiful companions for sitting on the porch wrapped up in your blanket while watching the leaves fall.

 
I wanted to make a (more or less) original drink using maraschino liqueur, but found the taste profile of liqueur difficult to compliment. I perused the internet for cocktails with gin and apple juice and found something I thought would be compatible with maraschino liqueur. My partner claims that this drink tastes like a slightly salty gin lemonade, which I’m totally into.

The Autumn Lemonade

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Ingredients

  • 3 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 4 oz Apple juice
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz honey

Pour all contents into a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour through strainer into a mason jar and enjoy.

This cocktail honors my Danish roots a little. I named it efterår (pronounced efftuh-or), which means autumn in Danish, but literally translated it means ”after year.” I enjoy the idea of thinking about autumn as the ”after” portion of the year what with the natural world descending into its slumber. I used aquavit because this is the time of year that us Danes break out our aquavit for all the indoor celebrations we will be having with the coming cold weather. I’ve also been dying to make a cocktail with kombucha and something about gin, aquavit, and kombucha sounded like it would taste beautiful. I wasn’t wrong, especially once I found a ginger kombucha.

Efterår

Carlene Autumn Blog 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 ½ oz Krogstad Festlig Aquavit
  • 2 oz cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail, but the real bitter stuff)
  • 1 oz ginger kombucha*
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 6 dashes orange bitters

Pour all contents into a shaker and shake vigourously. Pour the kombucha in shaker and stir for about 20 seconds. Strain and pour into a mason jar.

*If you can’t get your hands on ginger kombucha, use a ginger beer and only pour half an ounce.

-Carlene Ostedgaard, Aviation Team Member

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