Lead bartender Daniel Stern at Portland, Ore.’s Urban Farmer is taking his commitment to locally sourced ingredients to a new level with the Drink Local Project. Every week Stern plans to create four new cocktails featuring different local producers — first was Integrity Spirits of Portland, with House Spirits Distillery, Clear Creek Distillery and Stumptown Coffee to follow. Integrity-based drinks included the Orchard Highball (12 Bridges Gin, house-made apple tonic and Angostura bitters), Turner’s Fall (Lovejoy Vodka, Stumptown cold brewed extract, cinnamon and cream) and Monkey Business (Trillium Absinthe Supérieure, ginger, 12 Bridges Gin, lemon, orange, honey and Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters).
Masa 14 opened in Washington, D.C., with what owners say is the first tequila lounge in town. A 65-foot bar serves 100 different types of tequila and handcrafted cocktails. Tequilas range from $8 to $65, including Gran Patron Burdeos, Herradura Seleccion Suprema and Partida Elegante. Small production tequilas also are featured, including Don Celso, El Caudillo, Arette Unique and Penacho Azteca. Bar manager Ivan Iricanin created a menu including Eastern Breeze (sake, Grey Goose La Poire, mango puree, agave nectar, sour mix and cranberry juice) and the Red Star (Herradura tequila, Chambord, agave nectar, raspberry puree and fresh lime juice).
Adam Bernbach recently assumed the position of bar manager at Washington, D.C.’s Proof and introduced a new list of original creations and seasonally inspired mixed drinks. Offerings include the Hitachino Hi-Ball (Hitachino Nest White Ale infused with hops, orange peel, and coriander mixed with Fever Tree tonic), Flashing Lights (blackberry-infused Neisson Rhum Blanc, house made pistachio liqueur, balsamic reduction, lime juice and mint), and Chinatown (chamomile-infused Famous Grouse Scotch, Dolin sweet and dry vermouths and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur).
Ti’ Punch, the classic Martinique style service of rhum agricole, is making its way onto bar menus: New York City’s Ideya has added it to the fall and winter drink menu, along with a Cranberry Caipirinha made with aged cachaca.
Brooklyn’s Bar Celona, a tapas and cocktail bar, brought on Tippling Bros. founder Tad Carducci to create a mashup of Spanish flavors and American drinks. The menu includes lots of gin, Spain’s favorite spirit, in a series of “G y T’s” — like the Sea Monkey (Plymouth gin, celery-apple juice, lemon, Anis del Mono, Fever Tree tonic water, fennel salt) and “Gastros” — including Gazpacho Recolectore (Akvavit, tomato, cucumber, Pedro Ximénez sherry, lime and yellow chartreuse).
In another part of Brooklyn, JakeWalk rolled out its Cold Weather food and drink menu, with libations including The Empress Josephine (Antica Sweet Vermouth, La Favorite white rum, Demerara syrup, lime juice and egg whites), the An Post (single malt Irish whiskey, sparkling wine, honey syrup and lemon juice) and Hierba Azul (rye, reposado mezcal, agave syrup and Peychaud’s bitters).
And remember, let no marketing stone go unturned — London Lennie’s in Queens, N.Y., is now serving Flu Shot Oyster Shooters (Jose Cuervo Especial mixed with a gazpacho medley of fresh herbs, vegetables and lime juice, topped with an oyster).