Distilleries of Portland

You can be forgiven for thinking that Portland Oregon is the distillery capital of the country.  Our neighbor/hat to the north Washington has significantly more even just inside the Seattle city limits but their distribution around town makes any kind of reasonable tour more difficult.  The density and number of distilleries who have landed in downtown PDX makes it one of the most interesting places to sample distilled spirits around.

The Portland Distillery Row in the SE industrial district has continued to grow since my last post about them and even more since my last attempt at a distillery crawl.  Most notably the other side of the river has gotten into the act and formed the Northwest Distiller’s District.  Nominally just the 3 distilleries off of NW 23rd between Quimby and Vaughn it has since expanded somewhat to include Indio Spirits’ new tasting room in the Pearl district.  One hopes that Glaser in the Pearl will get the hint and jump on board as well but who knows what the future will bring.

All of this (except Glaser) is covered in the Portland Distillery Passport which is now produced and managed by Proof PDX, which as far as I can tell has nothing to do with PROOF the Washington Distillers Guild convention. (The Oregon Distiller’s guild convention is called TOAST).  The passport is still $20 which is a fantastic deal for all of the stuff that it now includes.  One caveat that I haven’t had to test yet is they want to limit you to 6 visits per day.  The passport covers 11 distilleries and from what I can see doesn’t actually expire.  There is a web version of the passport for the same price, but it only lasts for a year. I couldn’t figure out what it was going to do before it tried to charge me and I was more comfortable with an app than a website log in so I passed and went with a physical copy that you can get at any location.

On the west side

On the East Side:

Make Your Own: Maraschino Cherries

In the category of “put-up or shut-up” I present to you my current project.

Oregon is really the second best place to do this, (the best being Italy).  The cherry trees are plentiful, there are a number of different varieties to choose from and we have a long happy growing season all summer.

Step one is almost solved for you, find some good cherries.  Much like making a pie sour cherries are nice for this kind of things but Mascara cherries are actually sweet so go wild.  I think next time I do this I’m going to find some nice yellow and red ranier’s to give the whole thing some splash.  Pit your cherries and remove any stems.

General ingredients and equipment:

maraschnio1

1 mason or ball jar with a self sealing lid
enough cherries to fill the jar without having to force them
2 teaspoons of sugar
enough maraschino liqueur to cover the cherries

Step Deux: Fill the jar with enough cherries that it’s not going to be a problem to get the lid on.

maraschnio2

 

Step the Third: Add a small quantity of sugar (2 tsp).  I recommend bakers sugar if you have it, it’s finer grained and will dissolve much more quickly.

maraschnio3

 

Step Quatro: Fill the Jar with Maraschino Liqueur.  For this run I’m using Luxardo, If I run out I’m going to see if I can find a different brand.  Nothing bad on Luxardo I just want to shop around.

maraschnio4

 

Step the Last: Close the Jar, shake until the sugar is fully dissolved, refrigerate.  Shake the jar a couple of times a day to keeps things mixed up, and check the jar in a week or so to see how they’re coming along.

Side note: Like most things you make yourself these do not have anything in them to act as a preservative.  Even if you’re using canning jars the process we use here isn’t sterile and won’t hold up like freezer jam.  Once these start going they won’t stop so plan to use them once they get to the right concentration.  If you need a reason I can comfortably point you to my Hard Cherry Limeade which benefits from a good garnish.