When Jamal Hassan of Ox Restaurant was approached by Ken Gordon of Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen to help run the bar program at the new Kenny & Zuke's Deli Bar, he jumped at the opportunity. The goal was to create playful cocktails that would be suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
"The neighborhood is a drinking neighborhood, and the location was a good fit and great opportunity for Kenny & Zuke's to get into the Portland cocktail world," says Hassan. "I also loved the opportunity to train new bartenders, many of who had little to no extensive classic bartending experience. Instead of coming in with bad habits, they learned good technique from the start." The breakfast cocktail list will include the NY Flip, a cocktail reminiscent of an egg cream which includes cognac and port along with a whole egg and splash of chocolate syrup.
"We wanted to take classic daytime drinks and make them our own," says Hassan. He stresses that cocktails don't need 15 ingredients to taste good. The Cel-Ray Collins, for example, is a trifecta of gin, fresh lemon juice, and Cel-Ray soda. The classic Jewish deli soda has always paired perfectly with pastrami sandwiches, and gin adds an herbal character to the vegetal drink.
"We really wanted to have a Manischewitz cocktail on the menu and experimented with just about every flavor they make," says Hassan. "The Manischewitz Manhattan or Gimlet just did not work, and it wasn't until we started experimenting with rum that we knew we were on to something." The final drink that made it onto the menu, the Manischewitz Daiquiri, is comprised of Appleton Rum, loganberry-flavor Manischewitz, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice.
Kenny & Zuke's Deli Bar
About the Author: Greg Harned lives in Portland, OR, where he enjoys cocktails, drinking and general mischief-making in candlelit speakeasies, swanky cocktail lounges and dingy dive bars. He manages Portland Craft Cocktails where he writes about his various exploits and also dabbles in the spirits trade. You can follow him on Twitter @craftcocktails.