Specialty Cocktails Inspired by "Astoria: Part Two"

Posted 25 January 2018

Resident Mixologist and The Armory Bar Supervisor Melissa Larrabee writes about creating the delicious specialty cocktails inspired by Astoria: Part Two. 



Angel of Death
Astoria: Part Two opens with the "angel of death" looming over the Overland Party. Because the Overland Party had little to drink or eat, I imagined pioneers drinking a lot of whiskey — one of the main spirits of the time — to chase away fear of the angel of death. A nod to the Overland Party’s final destination, Eastside's new Burnside Oregon Oaked Bourbon is paired with another common commodity of colonial North America, molasses. Tart blackberries and vermouth balance the rich malty sweetness of molasses, creating a beautifully deep rusty-plum concoction. 


Concomly's Invitation
In honor of Concomly, a Chinook headsman, native huckleberries and sage used by the Chinook people were the inspiration for this drink. I have a weakness for anything huckleberry and was excited to use the newly released Wild Roots Huckleberry Vodka. Paired with a sage-clove simple syrup and soda water, this drink is garnished with a lemon triangle bearing a "crown" of cloves to contrast the cocktail's bright hibiscus color.


Marie's Might
This cocktail pays homage to the courageous Marie Dorion and her heroic struggle to keep herself and her children alive through the expedition. Marie’s tribe, the Ioway, would have used native rhubarb that grew in the Great Plains. Rhubarb has a strong, colorful stem. It was first introduced to me by one of the strongest women I know, my grandma, and I felt it would be a good representation of Marie's strength. Dry's Sparkling Rhubarb is mixed with New Deal's Dry 33 Gin infused with mint and Meyer lemon rind, and garnished with candied Meyer lemon slices.


Pearishing at Snake
Much of the Overland Party’s dramatic journey occurred along the Snake River, aka Mad River, leading to some expeditioners (spoiler alert!) perishing there. A cocktail with "snake" in the name should have a bite: New Deal's Ginger Liqueur is sharp and slightly sweet, and is paired with New Deal's Portland Original — the new 90 proof (!) version of their Portland 88 — and pear juice. Idaho’s primary pear production grows southwest of the Snake River. Thus a pear pun was born. A dried pear garnish and tumeric simple finish off this deliciously dangerous* drink.  

*In a dramatic twist of irony, turmeric, ginger and even pear all have known health benefits.


Burn it to the Ground
With news of the War of 1812 and a British warship on its way, MacKenzie turns to Ross at his post and says, “Tell the men to bundle every pelt we’ve collected and bury the bundles beneath the floor boards ... Burn the place to the ground. We’ll leave not one pelt for these bastards to enjoy.” For a cocktail to symbolize this moment, Raft’s Smoke Tea Vanilla syrup — tastes like campfire! — is paired with Below the Deck Spice Rum for a little sweetness and spice. A few dashes of grapefruit bitters enhance the campfire flavor. The drink is finished with soda water and a garnish of curled, candied grapefruit rind

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