Tiger Balm #2, Portland
Our first stop was with Ricky Gomez of Cocktalian NOLA in Portland. His Tiger Balm #2 is a twist on a classic daiquiri. The combination of Brugal rum, Fernet Branca, lime juice, and passion fruit puree created a slightly tart cocktail with a kick of menthol flavor.
San Francisco In The House
Steve Tiles represented the host city, shaking up a killer Thai-inspired cocktail called the Refuge and Tonic. This drink was the official cocktail of SF Cocktail week.
Oxley Refuge Gin & Tonic
You wouldn't guess that this is a gin based cocktail. When shaken with Lillet Blanc, puree of coconut, lime juice, and simple syrup, the cocktail on citrusy, tropical flavors more reminiscent of rum-based drinks. Yet despite the coconut puree, the drink was light and well balanced. It's finished with Fentimans tonic, cardamom powder, and lime.
This is the work of Bryn Lumsden from Rob Roy in Seattle. Lumsden was given Pisco as an ingredient, and he added cream sherry in homage to Seattle's penchant for wine-based cocktails. Topped off with ginger and soda, this was a fruity, effervescent cocktail.
There's nothing to break up a cocktail tasting like an absinthe luge. The brand on hand—St. George Vert—had a strong herbal flavor with an alcoholic kick.
Here Chris Dooley of Ella in Sacramento finishes off our cocktails with some freshly ground cinnamon.
We walked up to the table manned by Adrian Biggs of Descarga in Los Angeles, curious as to what's in store.
The Errol Flip
He's making a flip! With coffee stout and Irish whiskey!
Coffee and Whisky Equal Love
Or that's what we've been reassured of, after tasting this creamy cocktail. The dark beer shines through, adding a refreshingly bitter note. Freshly grated nutmeg makes an earthy, spicy garnish.
You can take the bartender out of Vegas...
Giant lighted wall projection
In case the attendees forgot where they were by the time they got to the eighth cocktail.