Executive Chef John Eisenhart is sourcing locally this season at Pazzo Ristorante in Portland, Ore. Gooseberries are landing in Pazzo’s drinks, giving guests a true taste of the Pacific Northwest.
Thanks to a location adjacent to the Hotel Vintage Plaza, the restaurant sees a diverse clientele of families, business executives and even professional athletes, meaning the menu’s gooseberry additions are a hit with locals and visitors.
“Gooseberries are available in Oregon in the summer months,” Eisenhart explains. “It’s one of my favorite fruits, and I think they are underutilized.”
The fruit’s appearance is delivering a boost for the restaurant; most people are pleasantly surprised to see the tiny berries in their cocktails.
“I like to preserve the gooseberries in vodka and sugar, resulting in a rich liqueur,” Eisenhart continues.
Last summer’s menu featured the Auntie M, made with Eisenhart’s gooseberry liqueur, Medoyeff Vodka, lemon peel, strega and soda. This year, he plans on concocting others for as long as the berries are ripe; each cocktail will be priced at $7.