Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Sean travels to Portland and Seattle to make unique cocktails from unique regional specialties.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- I'm Shawn Thomas and this is "Local Flight". A show where I travel around to some of the best bars in the country to meet amazing mixologists and challenge them to make innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. I'm here in Portland, Oregon, a gem of a city in the Pacific Northwest. Local is a common theme here and for good reason as this place is full of amazing craftsmen and makers. I'm excited to check it out. Today I'm visiting bartender Joshua Marrion at the Doug Fir Lounge, a warm, inviting bar and music venue whose interior's made almost entirely of Doug Fir Pine trees. My first clue that using local ingredients in Portland is a top priority. Hey there. - Hey, how's it going? - Good, I'm Shawn. - Hey Shawn, Joshua Marrion. It's good to meet you. - It's good to meet you, man. This is a great space you have here. - Thank you very much. We appreciate it. - How long you guys been here? - We're heading into our 10th anniversary this year. - That's great, man. And what are you guys doing here as far as the cocktail program? - I've tried to design the cocktail program to be as approachable as possible. Because we're such high volume it's really important that we can create the drinks quickly and easily but still make them very, very delicious. Simplicity and great flavor is what I'm really going for. This is such an iconic Portland spot that when people come here from other cities and other countries, they've already heard of us. And they come here with the intent to find out about what's going on with the Doug Fir. - Is there anything that you're excited about, drink wise, that, you know, that you'd like to make for me? - Yeah, sure. It's called a Freemont. - Okay. - I actually originally designed this drink for a wedding. The bride wanted me to come up with two drinks. One was a Cosmo, which is her drink of choice. The drink turned out to be so good that she gave up on the Cosmopolitan. And just drank these all night long. It turned out to be a good thing. And a bad thing. This is made with gin, two ounces. A little bit of elder flower liqueur. - [Shawn] Sweetening agent. - Exactly. And this is Stone Pine liqueur, so very easy on that. Little bit of lemon juice. - Okay. - As fresh as you can get it. And some simple syrup to kind of balance it out. - Uh huh. - [Joshua] Ice. - [Shawn] It's a good color, it actually looks like a Cosmo. It's got that slight pink hue to it. - [Joshua] Little bit. - Little garnish. - Lemon peel. Voila, sir. - Thank you very much. Don't mind if I do. Yep, I can see why if she loved Cosmos she would love that. It's dry, really nice, bright citrus. Not too sweet. - It's really good on a spring or summer day, a nice warm day. It can be refreshing but it also has a Stone Pine in it which gives it a unique, kind of almost seasonal flavor where you'd expect it to be in something that was in the fall or a winter drink. - Dude, you know a Doug Fir is actually a Pine tree? Does that have any relation to this at all? - Of course it did! - It's really good. - [Joshua] Thank you very much. - Now, Joshua, I brought you this. I think this honey is amazing. I think it really captures the tair ouir of Portland. Damien Majista, owner of Bee Local, took me to one of his rooftop hives in Downtown Portland for a lesson on urban beekeeping and to sample what he calls Tair ouir based neighborhood honey. - So we're gonna light the smoker up. This'll calm the bees down so they don't just frickin' swarm on you, you know? - Yeah, poof. - There it is. - Done and done, let's go. - All right, lead the way. - Here are the bees, these are the ladies. I want you to puff across those frames. - All right. - Really gently. - Show me the way here? - Yeah, so you just want to give a couple puffs. There you go. Good and good. So that'll calm them down. - [Shawn] Okay. - So we take our hive tool, just kind of break down-- - I noticed you had a matching tattoo of a hive tool. - I do, yeah, yeah. It's like you know, if you're a carpenter you'd have a hammer. - I get it, man, you take your job seriously. - I'm a beekeeper, I have my hive tool. - [Shawn] How long have you been keeping bees? - I've been keeping bees about eight years. - And how much honey, roughly, can you get off of one hive like this? - It's safe to say between sometimes 50 to a hundred pounds per hive. - Wow. - Yeah. So you can see them up on top here they're just doing their thing. You can see how calm they are. That's why we're not wearing suits. - Right. - Because if you're chill with them, they're good to go. - Let me ask you, a rooftop like this, this isn't their natural habitat, so how do they know to keep coming back? And how do you get them up here in the first place? - We bring them up in a small, half-size sort of hive called a nuc. They can fly within, up to four miles out and back. So eight miles round trip. Now an environment like this, they only need to go a mile or so. 'Cause if you look around - [Shawn] Right. - we have all these plants and flowers. So there's all sorts of good food for them to find out. - That's gonna make for a pretty complex honey as far as the flavor profile goes. - It has this incredible depth of flavor that's unlike anything else you'll find. This is natural, we don't use any chemicals or anything like that. Since they have such a wide variety of forage, they end up creating this amazingly complex honey. And we're going to get in here and taste some. - Yeah, I can't wait. - All right, the trick is to kind of just get in here and be real purposeful with your movements. There you go, look at that, that's beautiful. Look at that. So right here you can see the capped brood. So that's where the queen's laid eggs. So baby bees will basically hatch out of there. There's pollen in there as well. But we should taste some of this honey. - Yeah, let's do it. Here why don't you take that frame. - Yep. - Got it? - Yeah, I got it. - Great. - Yep, we got it, let's see here. Go ahead and just jam your finger right in there. - I feel like Winnie the Pooh. Oh, man, that is amazing. Really light but complex at the same time. - Right, you notice how it's kind of warm? - Yeah. - Just liquidy, just incredible. - Well that's incredible stuff. - Each neighborhood, each place that we have hives will taste completely different. I have the perfect honey that I think will work really well in a drink. - Yeah? - And that's our Portland Farmland. We're gonna taste some right now. - Oh, great. - So this, it's right around where some huckleberry and blueberry farms are so you get this incredible mix of flavors. It kind of defies explanation. - All right, well let's-- - We just gotta taste it. - Just dive right in, huh? - Dive right in, taste it. - [Shawn] All right, doin' it. - Yeah, it's like a fine wine. - Oh, wow, it almost tastes like a wine. It has that fruit forwardness. - Yeah. - A slight tannic quality, almost that bitterness you were talking about in the middle palate. And then it just falls away. It's really subtle, not too sweet at all. That's really good stuff, man. - Yeah, it's amazing. And I think in the right drink, and done the right way, it'll be absolutely mind blowing. - Yeah. - I think it's the perfect one for a drink. - I agree, do you mind if I take this jar? - It's all yours. - Amazing, man, thank you so much. - You're welcome. - Bee Local, I love it. This honey is more than local. Damien's bees bring the flavors of Portland to their honey in the most spectacular way. I can't wait to try this in a cocktail. I brought you this honey from a local beekeeper. - Oh yeah, Bee Local. - [Shawn] You know it? - For sure, yeah. - I think this stuff will play really well in a cocktail. - Damien puts a lot of work into his bees and keeping them. He comes out with a very excellent product. I'm actually working on an infusion with that right now. Basically a habanero honey syrup. Yeah, I took like three-quarters to one ratio of hot water to honey and I let it simmer. And I took two habaneros and chopped them up and put them in there, let 'em simmer for about 10 minutes. - [Shawn] How's the heat on that? - [Joshua] It's pretty good, man. - Whoa, that's great. And the heat is just right, man. Not too hot, just lingers on the back end. Sticks around for a little while. - Yeah, and you don't want it to be too forward, especially for the drink. You don't want it to overpower anything but you definitely want it to be there and you also want to feel it. - Do you have a cocktail that you think this syrup will work in? - Maybe some kind of a play off of a mojito? - Sure, really light, refreshing. - Yeah, exactly, but still gives you a little bit of that kick. A little bit of that heat. - [Shawn] Yeah. - Start off with a little mint here. Give it a little pat. - Release some of those oils? I can already get the aromatics from here. - And I'll add little of this habanero infused Bee Local honey. Grey Goose, Le Melon. A little bit of lemon. Give it a good shake. - [Shawn] I can smell it from here. - [Joshua] A lot of aroma to it. - Yeah, the aromatics are crazy. I get the melon and the mint from here. - [Joshua] A little bit of soda water. - So it is a riff on a mojito? - [Joshua] Exactly, these are the habaneros, these beautiful little orange guys. - I love the garnish. A little fire island there. All right, here goes nothin'. Wow, that's great man. The honey actually really brings out the melon. Not too sweet, nice effervescence. Aromatics are incredible. I gotta tell you, honey in general as a sweetener bring so much complexity and depth to a cocktail. - I think that anytime you can use a natural sweetener over going something like granulated sugar and-- - Absolutely. - simple syrup is definitely better. - Do you have a name for it? - How about the Melon Jacket? - I think the Melon Jacket's great. - All right. - It's got a lot heat onto it. - It stings like a bee. - It stings like a bee. I just want to thank you for your expertise, your passion. - [Joshua] Thank you very much. - I think it's pretty incredible. This place is great. - Thank you very much for comin' in, I appreciate it. - Really nice to meet you. - You, too. - All right. - Take care. - Cheers, man. I'm in Seattle to check out Tavern Law, an upscale cocktail lounge with a speakeasy vibe. Bartender Charlotte Burnhart is connoisseur of cocktails. Her passion for tinctures, spices, and bitters can only mean the bar program is going to be exceptional. Nice to meet you. - Nice to meet you, welcome. - Thank you, what an amazing space you have here. - Thank you, I love it. - What happens here in Tavern Law? - Several different things. We kind of have multiple identities. One of which is classics that we specialize in. And then we also have a really modern, seasonally-inspired, constantly changing cocktail menu. And then a tincture program, which is what I'm really crazy about. - [Shawn] Like a little apothecary? - Exactly. - That's great, sounds like a really extensive list. - It is, there are anywhere from 30 to 40 cocktails at a time on the menu. - Wow, does it incorporate local produce? - Oh gosh, yeah. We have a lot of local products around here. Seattle's really kind of proud of its local scene. - Yeah. - We take a lot of pride in our local distilleries, breweries, wineries. - Great, well I'd love to taste what you're up to. - I'd love to make you something. One of, this is kind of a variation of a cocktail that I actually have on the menu right now. - Okay. - Super peaty Ilas Scotch, an ounce and a half of that. - Okay. - We're gonna do half an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice which you know makes all the difference. We also have a kumquat-mace shrub. - What is mace? - It's a spice kind of similar to nutmeg. - Okay. - But a little bit brighter and spicier. - I think that would play well. Let's throw it in there, how much is that? - [Charlotte] Only half an ounce of that. A little bit goes a long way. - I love shrub, the story that I heard was back in the day, before refrigeration they would actually need to pickle their syrups and cordials. So shrubs are essentially a pickled syrup. - Yeah. - I love shrubs. - Me, too, my favorite sweetening element to use is demerara, a Caribbean style sweetener. Just a quarter ounce of that. - Okay. - [Charlotte] And then we have a habanero tincture that we make in house. We got like - How many drops? - five drops of that. And then lovage tincture. It's kinda similar to celery. - Okay. - The flavor of it, super savory. - [Shawn] And you do all these tinctures in house? - [Charlotte] All of them in house, yeah. - That's really cool. - Based on moon cycles 'cause we're witchy and cool like that. To finish it off we have Scrappy's Aromatic Bitters which I really love. We're gonna do two dabs of that. Add some ice to this. We shake with two tins here, which I like a lot. It makes it easier. - Both metal? - Both metal, seal that. We're gonna double strain it. - Okay. - That's using a fine strainer as well. - [Shawn] Yes, nice golden color. - [Charlotte] Mhmm. And then to finish it we're going to garnish it with a lemon twist. But I also want it to have a little bit of an herbal quality. I'm gonna add a little bit of sage to it. - Beautiful. Everything comes through. - Yeah? - Smokey scotch, little bit of bite from that habanero. And I imagine I'm getting a little bit of the lovage at the same time. This is really good, really balanced. - Mm, thank you. - Now one of the things I've been doing as I travel around the country is I'm finding local ingredients and bringing them to amazing bars and amazing bartenders like yourself. There's a great cafe up the street called Caffe Vida. - I know Caffe Vida. - You do, why don't you come with me? We'll head over there and find some ingredients. - I would love to. - [Shawn] Caffe Vida has been a Seattle staple for 20 years. They specialize in small batch roasting and hand select their beans from around the world. We met up with Ross Beemish at their training center for a lesson on cold brew. Thank you guys. - Here we are guys, yeah, enjoy. So Caffe del Sol you've got South American coffees, Indonesian coffees, and then East African coffees. - All blended together? - Yeah, usually a three to four-bean blend. Depending on, based on seasonality. - Wow. - Yeah, smells great, smells really earthy and citrusy. - Nice, those are great things to pick up on. - [Together] Yeah. - Should be getting a little earthiness from the Indonesian coffee. A little citrus from the East African coffee. - Yep, wow. - A lotta body. - Yeah. - That's really delicious. - So tell us a little bit about Caffe Vida. - So we've been roasting coffee in the city since 1995. We like to purchase coffees directly whenever possible. So a lot of the coffees, the components in the blend that you're drinking, we're talking about our buyer going straight to the farm and meeting with the farmers. We have our own set of standards not only to ensure quality of the coffees we buy but future quality. So we're talking about going there year after year, working with the farmers in every element of how they process the coffee, how they ship it, how they dry it, how they wash it, how they store it. One little misstep in that process can lead to a bad cup and we're in a competitive market in a competitive coffee city and we want to be the best. Every step of the process that we can be involved in, we will be involved in. As far as the roasting process, we roast on a couple vintage German roasters. The people packaging our coffee know just as much about our coffee as the people that are buying it and roasting it and training on it. It's like a big, all-knowing family. Everyone's invested, everyone cares. - Vida has just kind of a reputation of being really huge. Especially in the bar community, which is really awesome. - What is that, that looks like something out of Tesla's laboratory right there. What is that, that looks like something out of Tesla's laboratory right there. I mean I've never seen anything like it. - Yeah this is a company called Ogi. These are made in Japan. This is actually a cold brewer. There are smaller versions like you're seeing here. And then there's really large versions. In our LA caffe we have six gigantic ones. Simply put you're talking about ground coffee sitting in water for a long period of time. - Now is there less caffeine? - There is quite a bit more. - And it's easy drinking, that's dangerous. - And it's smooth, it's low in acid, so it's easy on the stomach. Yeah, it's a win, win, win. - So besides looking really cool as far as from a design standpoint, what makes this cold brew unique? - So the thing that I really like about the Ogi is that we go a little bit finer with the grind. You really have to monitor the rate that the water drips at to get the correct brew time. I like to think of it as having a little more discipline involved than other cold brew methods and for that there's a greater reward. What I have here is 25 grams of this Brazilian coffee, Paievas and 250 grams of water. So from there, what we need to do is saturate this with a little bit of water. Just enough to get 'em kind of covered and smothered a little bit and then we can go ahead and get our filters in place. We've got a cloth filter, which is gonna go on the bottom. If you want to go ahead and hold that, Shawn. - I would be happy to. - I'm gonna go ahead and get some coffee in this thing. - [Shawn] Steady hands after that caffeine. - [Ross] Right, nothing like an espresso to steady your hands. - [Shawn] Exactly. - And then I'm gonna take this paper filter and it's gonna get wetted as well. And this is gonna sit over the grounds. It forms a nice little seal on top. - [Shawn] Great. - That's gonna seat right in there. At this point we go ahead and put our water into the top bulb. Get all that in there. Put our plug, and then it all goes in the top. We're just gonna open this guy up. Twist carefully until you see your first drops of water. There's one. And then you kind of wanna fine tune it. We hope that it drips about 43 times per minute. So yeah, I was thinking we have two California kings upstairs. If you guys want to take a quick seven hour nap. It should ready right at the end of it. - Yeah, I'm good with that. - All jokes aside, I think this would be great in a cocktail. I have some for you guys to try just right here. I'm gonna give it to you guys straight up. I think this will give you the unadulterated impression. - Wow. - So smooth. - That's really great. Really smooth but very complex. - If you give yourself about 20 seconds after a taste it transforms into this beautiful, cocoa, mapley thing. And that's what I love about cold brew coffee. 20 minutes after you're done with it you're like, - [Charlotte] My mouth tastes awesome. - It's still good. - Citrus notes are definitely up front. - Yeah. - And they're not too pronounced. Like they're very soft. - Yeah. - I think this cold brew is really delicious and I think we're gonna have a lot of fun playing with it when we go back to the bar. I'm really excited. - I've got a full jar for you guys to take back to mess around with. - Thank you. - Amazing. - Cheers, you guys. - Cheers, Ross, thank you very much. - It was awesome having you guys. - Thank you. - Vida's cold brew is truly a labor of love. This is some of the best coffee I've ever had. And I can't wait to see how Charlotte uses it in a cocktail. You know when Ross said he was gonna give us a little bit of cold brew, I didn't realize he was gonna give us a growler of cold brew. - It's huge! - 64 ounces of cold brew. - It's awesome, let's not drink all of that. - No, no, we'd probably have a heart attack. All right, so what do you think? - I'm thinking it just really screams some sort of an amaro to me. - Sure yeah with the earthiness of that-- - Those earthy notes we were talking about. Even citrus. - Sure. - I wanna do as a base like vodka and an Italian amaro. - [Shawn] Okay. - And then kind of build it from there. - Okay, great. - So we're gonna start with an ounce and a half of Gray Goose Vodka. And I think because a little bit of that cold brew definitely goes a long way, I think just an ounce of this should be enough. - Yeah. - 'Cause it's really potent stuff. So we'll do an ounce of that. We'll do a quarter ounce of chocolate liqueur. - Sure, I think the creme cacao will actually accentuate the natural sweetness that the cold brew has. - Definitely, I think you're really right. There's a lot of chocolate notes in there. We didn't even talk about that, I love that. And then we'll add amaro. We only need about a quarter of an ounce of that as well. - Do you mind if I have a quick smell? - Absolutely. - Thanks. - Yeah, orange. - Orange, mmhm, a little nutty, love that. And then another little bit of viscosity as well as a little bit more sweet to kind of round it all out I'm gonna do a quarter ounce of demerara. - Sure. - Which goes really well with coffee. - [Shawn] Yeah, rather than a regular simple syrup. It'll have more molasses notes to it too. - Definitely. - Which will complement that. - And then adding a bitter is always kind of like the final round off for me. Black walnut specifically. - [Shawn] I think that's a great call. - One of my favorite bitters ever. I think that'll be really good. - I know that one well. - Yeah? That'll definitely play well with the amaro, yeah. - Right? Black walnut specifically. - I think that's a great call, how many? - Two, two. - Yeah, that's all you need. - Okay. Give that a little shake. And we're gonna fine strain it. Into here. - 'Kay. Wow. - Before I add-- - A really pretty color. - Isn't that nice? The final part that's gonna make it really special is I'm gonna do a infused whipped cream on top of it using heavy whipping cream and some simple syrup and then fresh cardamom. I think this might be my favorite herb. I might go ahead and say that. - [Shawn] Cool. - I'm gonna seal this. Shake this a little for me. - Make sure it's totally sealed, so you don't get yourself. While you're doing that I'm gonna add some crushed ice to this. - Do it. I might see a future in this. - [Charlotte] I think you're doing a great job, I think it's probably ready, yeah. - Sounds about right. Yep. - Nice. So we're just gonna spoon some of this on top there. - [Shawn] Great. - Look at that. - Looks amazing. - You can see the cardamom, too. A little bit of freshly ground cinnamon on top. Cheers. - [Shawn] Cheers, thank you, Charlotte. - You're welcome, I hope you like it. - Delicious. - Yeah? - Yes, I like the fact that nothing overpowers anything in the cocktail. Cold brew shows up very smooth. The sweetness is not overpowering, very balanced. And the cardamom works as a great aromatic. Well done, Charlotte. - Thank you, you too! - Yeah, we can't leave this drink nameless. We have to come up with a name. - Oh, lordy, okay. - Well let's think about this. - Okay. - We got Caffe Vida, that beautiful local roaster. - Uh huh, local, vida, loco. - Living the Vida Loco? Living the Vida Local. - I don't know. - I say we shorten the name and we just call it La Vida Local. - La Vida Local, I love it. - Local life. - I think it's perfect. - It was really nice to meet you. - So nice to meet you. - I wish you well, Charlotte. - Thank you, Shawn. - I'll see you. - Have fun in the rest of your cities.