There is no doubt that the environment – and our relationship with it – has been changing in recent years and these cocktails at bars and restaurants around Portland, Oregon show that making just a small change can have a positive effect.
Made with Slane Irish Whiskey, these creative cocktails use recycled, vegan and local ingredients which are helping do their part in the sustainability movement. Here are some sustainable Slane Irish Whiskey drinks to try now at spots around Portland.
Dancing on the Boyne at Southland Whiskey Kitchen
The vibe at Southland Whiskey Kitchen is low-key and relaxed, but this cocktail takes things up a notch. Made with a blend of Slane Irish Whiskey, Aperol, Averna, pomegranate reduction and recycled lemon citrus stock, the Dancing on the Boyne pays homage to Slane’s roots. “On picking the name, I went with something local to Slane and its distillery, located on the Boyne River in Ireland,” explains bartender Jeff Terry. “So Dancing on the Boyne was born.
A playful twist on the Paper Plane, explains Terry, “Slane Irish Whiskey is bright and fun to play with in cocktails and goes well with Aperol’s bright and fruity flavors and matching these with Averna’s bitter and herbal qualities was a no brainer. I wanted the pomegranate reduction to retain some of its natural bite but wanted the juicy berry-ness that it has. The oak notes in Slane Irish Whiskey lead the way with a citrus-balanced bright and herbal drink where each sip giving different levels of each ingredient.”
As for the sustainability factor, Terry says that it comes from “the recycled lemon citrus stock that we make from Trash Tiki. The stock consists of all of the citrus husks that we have used for juice or peeled for garnish as well as any leftover garnish.”
1422 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210; southlandwhiskeykitchen.com; @southlandwhiskeykitchenpdx
Black Irish Manhattan at Bar Rione
At Bar Rione, bartender Lucy Brennan gives the classic Manhattan cocktail an upgrade, using Slane Irish Whiskey, Averna and Angostura bitters garnished with a Bordeaux cherry. “I used Slane in my Black Irish Manhattan, the flavor profile is very elegant and bold at the same time,” says Brennan. “The marriage between Slane and Averna is outstanding. I replaced Rye with Slane making the Manhattan a very well balanced profile. We utilize local Bordeaux Cherries within the cocktail to further support the sustainability ethos of at Bar Rione.”
“To further the sustainability efforts at Bar Rione,” explains Brennan, “we recycle and compost. We also do not keep our white wine in a refrigerator, we use a chiller to chill our bottles of white wine when ordered. The chiller uses less electricity than a large fridge.”
804 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97209; barrione.com; @barrionepdx
The Turf Cutter at The Botanist
A spin on a traditional whiskey sour, the Turf Cutter – made with Slane Irish Whiskey, lemon juice, strawberry beery syrup and Aquafaba – gives it an overhaul by integrating sustainable practices. “The cocktail is all about sustainability and being aware of what we would normally throw away,” says bartender Ian McLaughlin. “The strawberry beer syrup is made of beer head that would normally get thrown down the drain, instead we collect any beer waste and cook it with strawberries, black pepper, thyme, and sugar to create a hoppy strawberry syrup that is about 30% recycled.”
Creating the Aquafaba and using it in place of egg whites is also a win. “The Aquafaba is a byproduct of hummus,” explains The Botanist’s McLaughlin. “You soak chickpeas in water before cooking them. The water is normally thrown away but it actually pulls some of the proteins from the legumes and can be used as vegan egg white. This is 100% recycled as it’s normally just thrown down a drain. Even the dehydrated lemon wheel, you cut these each day for garnish, should they be leftover at the end of the night they can’t be kept in a fridge as they’ll brown. So instead we dehydrate them increasing their shelf life almost infinitely.”
“The idea of the cocktail is to look at everything we throw away and think if we really need to,” he says. “Recycling is good for the planet, good to keep a creative mind, and is good for business as a practice.”
1300 NW Lovejoy St, Portland, OR 97209; botanisthouse.com; @botanist_house
Monkey Island at Normandie
In an effort to reduce waste, many bars and restaurants are looking for ways to utilize all ingredients that are as sustainable, local and seasonal as possible, and the Monkey Island at Normandie by bartender and part-owner Judson Winquist is doing a helluva job. A blend of Slane Irish Whiskey, walnut liqueur, orange juice and cola reduction, its the homemade banana cordial that stands out. When making the housemade banana cordial for the cocktail, Winquist made sure to use the whole fruit – peel included. “I wanted to use banana with this whiskey and included a recipe that uses the peel as well which packs a lot of flavors itself,” says Winquist. “We constantly are looking for ways to incorporate orange as well, the peel is a commonly used garnish but the juice being a finicky ingredient to mix with.
1005 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214; normandiepdx.com; @normandiepdx
Magnetic North at The Hoxton
At The Hoxton, Bar Manager Brett Adams is making a concerted effort to cut down on waste – and the Magnetic North with Slane Irish Whiskey, Meletti Amaro, housemade lemon cordial, soda water and lemon foam is proof of that. “In our bars, we tend to go through an unpredictable amount of lemon juice,” explains Adams. “Some days our pars are right on, but many days we’re left with a quart or two of leftover lemon juice. Like most quality bars we don’t use lemon or lime juice beyond the day it was juice, and so it presents a problem of mitigating waste.”
Adams’ answer to the problem? “I developed a lemon cordial recipe to turn expired juice into a syrup with enough acidity in it (thanks to citric acid) that the drink wouldn’t require additional fresh lemon juice,” he says. “Peeling the lemons first allows us to extract the lemon oil from the skins which would have otherwise just ended up in the trash. The foam also uses the same cordial, as well as rice milk that our purchasing agent accidentally ordered way too much of (which is, obviously, a very localized sustainability issue, haha). Foam Magic can be purchased from Modernist Pantry and it truly is magic. This is a relatively simple solution to a very common problem in cocktail bars and it has helped us reduce waste while still serving delicious and inventive drinks.”
15 NW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97209; thehoxton.com; @thehoxtonhotel
Rose Petal at Proof Reader
Most people don’t put a lot of thought into the ice in their cocktail – or what happens to all of it at the end of the night. But Proof Reader’s Lead Bartender Jason Marshall is one of the people who do. His Rose Petal cocktail, with Slane Irish Whiskey, Campari, housemade grenadine and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice uses a Rooibos tea ice cube, made from unused ice. “One of the areas of waste that I have always noticed in the bar world is the necessary closing duty of burning the ice well,” admits Marshall. “I thought that instead of wasting all that water, I could save the ice in a covered pot overnight and then boil it after it melts the next day to make the tea cubes. This has saved us from wasting the ice, much of the water needed to burn the well, and needing to use new water for making the tea. And, as the story goes, every little bit helps.”
For Marshall, “one of the most enjoyable aspects of the experience at Proof Reader is sharing and incorporating stories into everything we present, whether that’s re-telling the history of a great whiskey like Slane, or the journey of creating one of our own cocktails. While brainstorming new menu ideas with one of our legendary bartenders Terry, he began to tell me about remembering as a child going to Portland’s annual Rose Parade. Telling me about how through the changes that he has seen in Portland over the years, he appreciates the tradition and how it has been constant but has evolved over time. From that came the idea of a cocktail that would change over time, by using literal iced tea cubes that would melt and subtly change the flavor with each sip of the cocktail. We also wanted to tie in our own personal Irish heritage to make the story even more personal, and Slane did that nicely for us. Once there was the idea, the rest of the flavors fell in to place beautifully.”
1401 SW Naito Parkway Portland, Oregon 97201; @proofreaderpdx
Mil Anainn at La Moule
At La Moule, Mariah Tatham has created a riff on the Bee’s Knees cocktail, using Slane Irish Whiskey, pineapple cordial made with a full pineapple (making it sustainable), lemon juice and local honey, shaken and fine strained into a coupe glass. “The name Mil Anainn translates from Gaelic to Honey Pineapple,” says Tatham. “With the sweet spices and floral notes from the Slane Irish Whiskey I knew it was the one for the job! The house-made pineapple cordial contains a house-made oleo that pairs really well with the brightness of the pineapple. This pineapple, honey, and Slane Irish Whiskey is the perfectly balanced cocktail.”
2500 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202; lamoulepdx.com; @lamoulepdx
Send Me to Ireland at El Gaucho Restaurant
It’s always a good time for a Slane Irish Whiskey Irish Coffee, and the one at El Gaucho is a delicious mix of Slane Irish Whiskey, Grand Marnier and local coffee. “After meeting Alex and having a staff training with him, we all agreed we need to go visit the castle and distillery,” says bar manager Mark Joseph. “So I thought it would be fun to feature a cocktail and with winter coming up we needed a nice warm drink on the menu. Most Irish coffees are sweetened with plain sugar, but in this case, the Slane Irish Whiskey stands up to the Grand Marnier without getting lost.”
In order to be mindful of sustainability, the cocktail uses local coffee. “As a bar program, we are always trying to streamline our process and find ways to become more efficient,” Joseph adds. “We feature local products whenever possible in both the bar and the kitchen and our staff is dedicated to recycling and composting and we were one of the first restaurants in a Portland to eliminate plastic straws and piks.”
319 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205; elgaucho.com; @elgauchopdx + @elgauchohospitality #CelebrateMore
You Sing I Dance at Lulu Bar
Made with Slane Irish Whiskey, molasses, lemon juice, egg white and black walnut bitters, the You Sing, I Dance cocktail at Lulu Bar is strong and flavorful yet balanced. “The focus of this cocktail centers around Slane Irish Whiskey, a triple-casked whiskey in which bold flavors are elevated with the use of molasses instead of simple syrup in this whiskey sour rift,” says bartender Vijay Kumar. “The idea of the drink is to use just enough lemon to make a counterpoint to the Slane Irish whiskey, and just enough molasses to take the edge off the lemon.”
And at Lulu Bar, it’s all about the lemons. “Lemons are an extremely key element to the sustainability practices at Lulu Bar,” adds Kumar. “They have many purposes from their anti-bacterial effect, as well as antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The juice consists of about 5% acid, which also makes them useful for a variety of household purposes which is great for environmentally friendly cleaning applications. By adding these fruit leftovers, including peels and pulp, to molasses and water, and let it ferment for 3 months, you can create a natural garbage enzyme to mop the floor, wash the sinks and toilets, as it removes dirt and grease really well.”
726 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214; lulubarpdx.com; @thelulubar
The Pale Road at Deadshot
Being one of the top cocktail spots in the city, it’s not a surprise that Deadshot is doing things with sustainability in mind – and The Pale Road cocktail is proof of those practices. Made with Slane Irish Whiskey, honey syrup, Angostura bitters and soda water, The Pale Road also includes two sustainable ingredients: acidified orange juice and tepache. “At Deadshot, we make a pineapple bourbon,” explains owner and bartender Adam Robinson. “In order to do that, we take the skins and top off the pineapple and then dehydrate it and use that to make tepache, a fermented pineapple beverage made with sugar, spices, water and skins that would normally be thrown away.” Robinson also faces another frequent bar industry obstacle with The Pale Road cocktail. “One common prob in cocktail bars is how much OJ is used, and the amount of oranges that are wasted,” explains Robinson. “Orange juice is not good in cocktails, and we are often left with a lot of peeled oranges and need to figure out how to use that juice.” For The Pale Road, Robinson concocted an acidifed orange juice, with a more balanced pH level, resulting in a less sweet mixer.
At Deadshot, sustainability can be found in both the cocktails and the food – some of which come from neighboring Holdfast Dining, an eatery in the same building that serves a tasting menu. “A lot of time when we get produce or meat in, many times the restaurant will use the choice cut of beef and Deadshot will use the trim or unused pieces,” says Robinson. “When they do spot prawns, they often throw away heads so we save heads and serve them an appetizer at Deadshot.” The result: no food left behind. Robinson also serves a Chicken and Pickle dish at Deadshot and the remaining brine gets served as a Pickle Back, alongside a shot of whiskey. “The bar and the kitchen are working together constantly,” Robinson says.
2133 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214; deadshotpdx.com; @deadshotpdx
At Slane Distillery, the focus is on Sustainability, too. Watch below for more as Slane Irish Whiskey co-founder Alex Conynham’s discusses crop rotation, zero-waste, biodiversity and more.
All photography by Jordan Hughes / highproofpreacher.com / @highproofpreacher
For more information, visit www.slaneirishwhiskey.com.
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