It's Cold Brew Season: Mix Up the Brunch Line Cocktail with HUe-Hue Coffee Rum

The great poet Anonymous once said “Humanity runs on coffee,” and we couldn’t agree more. Coffee is a time-honored tradition that spans cultures, creeds, and borders, bringing friends together and ideas to life. So the question is, how do you take a nearly perfect libation and elevate it to another level? Our Master Distiller, Mel Heim took on the task of crafting a new caffeinated offering, fusing both high-quality ingredients and approachable flavors. The resulting marriage is our Hue Hue (pronounced way-way).


Built on the foundation of free-trade, cold-brew coffee, this single-origin Arabic blend features Portland Roasting Company’s signature blend of beans grown at the Finca El Paternal Estate in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Starting off with premium coffee allows the slight sweetness of the Demerara sugar and artisan silver rum to add layers of nuance.

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"Expressive opening notes of low octane alcohol immediately leading to creamy, semi-sweet chocolate and low acidity coffee beans. The rum lingers on the sides of the palate with shy vanilla notes and essences of Demerara sugar."


- Mel Heim, Master Distiller

First and foremost, the Hue-Hue is an expression of high-quality coffee backed by award-winning craft rum and sought-after artisanal sugar. Working closely with the Portland Roasting Company allows Heim to harness the expertise of the local coffee gurus in order to find the perfect coffee strain and style to highlight. The nutty smokiness of the Arabic beans grown at the Finca El Paternal Estate develops the rich and smooth complexity through the slow cold-brew process.


Eastside’s commitment to creating a truly unique coffee-forward spirit goes beyond just leaving out the overly-sweetened syrups and additives. Choosing free-trade single-origin beans means that Eastside is able to help preserve and nurture jobs for coffee growers in Guatemala. Building sustainable relationships not only serves to further quality and consistency with Hue-Hue, but also generates positive opportunities for global relations.  


The beauty of Hue-Hue translates into the cocktail world perfectly. Eastside worked with local bartenders to develop their own version of the classic Brunch Line in order to showcase the depth of flavors found in Hue-Hue. With the bold profile of the cold-brew coffee complimented by the sweetness of maple syrup and earth tones of the Italian Averna, the Brunch Line offers the perfect sun-kissed brunch liquid option.

Here's how to make The Brunch Line cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Hue-Hue Coffee Rum

  • .75 oz Averna

  • .5 oz maple syrup

  • 1 egg white

  • 3 - 4 oz sparkling water

  • lemon twist

Combine Hue-Hue, Averna, maple syrup, and an egg white in an empty shaker. Shake hard without ice for 25-30 seconds to really froth up the egg white (this is called a dry shake). Then toss in a few ice cubes and shake again for 10 - 15 seconds to chill the mix. Strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with ice, and top with sparkling water. If you're fancy you can even replace Prosecco for the sparkling water. Garnish with a lemon twist, and enjoy!

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Understanding the Pacific Northwest's Unique and Approachable Gin


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Made from the delicious and earth-toned juniper berry, our modern account of gin dates back to the first reference in the 13th century. Although Italians have claimed it and the English have fallen in love with it, the origins of gin lie in Holland, reaching back well past the written records. The sudden resurgence in gin’s popularity is partially due to its accessible ingredients and adaptable recipe, but also the out-of-the-box thinking of rising distilleries.

Our Lead Distiller Travis Schoney at Big Bottom Distilling is bringing to life unique styles of the classic spirit with a Pacific Northwest character that showcases the region’s unrelenting pursuit of nature and wide range of floral and botanical bounty that the upper left coast offers.

Ninety One Gin

Coming out of the gate with floral notes and a slightly sweeter-botanical style, the Ninety One Gin is Big Bottom Distilling’s answer to a Pacific Northwest Spring. Aromas of wildflowers and spicy herbs mingle together in one award-winning bouquet. By going against the grain and producing a softer, more approachable gin, the Ninety One is helping to create a Pacific Northwest style of gin to compliment the juniper and citrus of London Dry as well as the sweeter tones of the Plymouth category.

“The Pacific Northwest is one of the most incredibly unique places on Earth, its uniqueness is endless. We have deserts, forests, the Pacific Ocean, and volcanoes. When creating The Ninety One Gin, this was the driving force behind our direction. We wanted to create a product that is as unique as the place it was created.”

~ Travis Schoney, Head Distiller at Big Bottom Distilling

Navy Strength

If you’re looking for power, boldness, and a beautiful balance of botanicals and force, then the Navy Strength is the bottle you’ve been searching for. Packing a proof of 91 and a botanical bouquet that balances floral tones of the expertly-distilled spirit, and rich layers of natural flavors. Spicy orange peel with hints of lemongrass dominates the mouthfeel and mingle play together nicely all the way to the clean, crisp finish. Head Distiller, Travis Schoney, has taken the time to develop a gin that showcases both the power of this classic style of gin as well as the undertones of floral nuances that add depth and character.

Barrel-Finished Gin

The amazing flavors and elements of barrel-finished gins are eagerly being explored by distillers, and the Big Bottom Barrel-finished gin is helping to lead the charge. The choice to culminate the distilling process in wood allows a whole new set of flavors to develop, while elevating the classic characteristics of gin’s juniper foundation.

“Big Bottom Barrel Finished Gin undergoes a solera process with the use of three different woods in our whiskey barrels: Oregon oak, Hungarian oak and North American white oak.”

~ Travis Schoney, Head Distiller at Big Bottom Distilling

It’s also making an impact on cocktail culture, expanding the use of gin into uncharted spirit waters that have been owned by whiskey and brown liquors.

“Barrel-aged gin works better in classics like the Martinez, but works amazingly in cocktails not typically associated with gin, like the Old Fashioned. It really opens up some new options.”

~ Damon Boelte, proprietor of Brooklyn’s Grand Army

The Takeaway

The sudden resurgence in gin’s popularity is partially due to the ever-expanding world of distillers and the boundary-pushing interpretations of the ancient libation. Spirit-lovers across the world can look to distillers to continue to innovate and evolve their processes with new approaches and ingredients.

To put it simply, out of necessity, comes innovation. Gin (and other non-aged spirits) have seen a rise in recent years mostly due to this (in my opinion). Subsequently, Distillers are pushing the boundaries of what has been the status quo for centuries. Creating some very unique spirits, spawning a new wave of sub-categories of Gin.

~ Travis Schoney, Head Distiller at Big Bottom Distilling



Canned Cocktails Are More Than a Craze

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The beauty behind the ready-to-drink (RTD) Portland Mule is not just the four-times distilled award-winning vodka, but its portability! Infused with fresh lime juice and a hint of real cane sugar, Eastside Distilling’s Portland Mule is as delicious as it is portable. This canned cocktail has been designed to be enjoyed on-the-go as well as in the moment. Embodying the rustic spirit of the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Mule puts craft in a can.

“Crafted in collaboration with Portland Syrups, the Portland Mule combines Eastside’s award-winning Portland Potato Vodka, spicy ginger syrup made from whole ingredients, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. We designed the Portland Mule to have a bold, balanced flavor with a refreshing finish. This Portland original is best enjoyed straight from the can or poured over ice. We hope everyone will enjoy it as much as we do.”

~ Mel Heim, Master Distiller at Eastside Distilling

One of our favorite sayings goes “pack it in, pack it out.” We believe in leaving a campsite, river, party, room, better than you found it. The slim-style can fits perfectly in picnic baskets and backpacks, saving room to bring snacks, or a few more cans to keep the other ones company.

Creating seamless moments where friends are able to gather, enjoy the experience, and create a memory was our inspiration for our canned cocktail. You don’t have to worry about lugging around multiple ingredients just to indulge in a well-made cocktail. Starting off with our fan-favorite vodka as a palette-tested foundation, we chose tart lime to bring out a bold punch and the spicy ginger syrup to bring all of the flavors together.

Our dedication to bringing a true cocktail to the world of RTD libations allows us to raise the bar for portable craft spirits, bringing the skills of a bartender to your campsite, party, or river excursion. Just because you’re not sitting at a hand-crafted mahogany bar doesn’t mean you can’t drink like you are.

Canned cocktails are trending as the next big thing, but they aren’t just a flash in the craft spirit pan. We’ve found a way to produce consistently delicious RTD offerings that exceed expectations and showcase the quality of expertly-prepared ingredients. The Portland Mule canned cocktail fits perfectly into the thin-line 250ml can and packs a bold 10.5% alcohol-by-volume, making it the perfect summer sipper, or year-round go-to canned vodka drink.

Fads and trends open the door for new ways of thinking and reshaping the box that we’ve put ourselves in. We’ve taken the momentum of the canned cocktail craze and harnessed it to bring a flagship product into the world of crafted cocktails. Offering the ability to go anywhere, be ready for anything, and play the perfect pairing for every occasion, the Portland Mule is the ideal plus-one to every celebration.

Marionberry Love: Why Oregonians Love Marionberries

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The Pacific Northwest is known for a lot of things: Picture-perfect waterfalls, endless hiking trails, salmon, rain (of course), and a berry the rest of the world has never heard of. The Marionberry hails from Marion County in Oregon and is the mad scientist-fueled fusion of the 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' strains of blackberries.

The versatile and delicious growing purple gem has become a seasonal standard in everything from pies and jams, to BBQ marinades, and smoothies. Where the marionberry has really begun to shine is in cocktails. Local distilleries, like Eastside Distilling, have pushed the little berry into the spotlight with their Marionberry Vodka and Marionberry Whiskey.

Profile

The marionberry comes out the gate swinging with a tart punch that’s balanced by a sweeter finish. Supported by a midpalate of earthy tones and a few slightly savory nuances, the marionberry is as much of a melting pot of flavors as it is a culmination in a long line of berry lineage.

“The marionberry was developed by U.S. Department of Agricultural researcher George F. Waldo at Oregon State University in Corvallis in the nineteen forties. It is a cross of the flavorful Olallie berry and the high-producing Chehalem berry, both of which are also caneberry hybrids. The Olallie berry is a cross between the youngberry and the loganberry, each of which is also a caneberry hybrid. The youngberry is a cross between the native pacific blackberry and dewberry, while the loganberry is a cross between the native blackberry and the raspberry.”

“On the other side of the marionberry family tree, the Chehalem berry is a cross between the noxious European Himalayan blackberry and the Santiam blackberry. The Santiam is a cross between a native pacific blackberry and the loganberry. Got all that? And yes, loganberry is marionberry’s grandpa on one side of the family and great-grandpa on the other.”

~ Bipartisan Cafe

Uses


Walking that fine line between too tart and fruit-forward makes Oregon’s marionberry the ideal accompaniment for cooking, baking, grilling, and (in our opinion, the best choice) for cocktails. Sure, adding a layer of tart sweetness to freshly baked pies and spreadable preserves is a fine role for marionberries to fill, but where they really reach their full potential is being a driving force in craft spirits and cocktails.

Eastside Distilling’s Marionberry Vodka is a delicious warm-weather spirit combination, bringing to life a whole realm of cocktail possibilities. From on the rocks with your feet up to elaborate concoctions, the Marionberry Vodka showcases a surprising spectrum of flavors.

"Portland Marionberry Vodka is a genuine venture into flavoring spirits.  The jammy, berry notes are lively and rich, unencumbered by added sugar and complemented by the water-like profile of our potato vodka.  Compared to other berry vodkas on the market I think we achieved the unachievable and crafted a complex vodka out of a simple concept.”

~ Mel Heim, Master Distiller at Eastside Distilling

Not to be outdone by the vodka, Eastside Distilling has fused the humble marionberry with their award-winning whiskey to create a brand new dimension of the spirit world. Their Marionberry Whiskey features the rich oak and smoke of whiskey with the lightly fruity local marionberry.

"Oregon Marionberry Whiskey is rich in color like homemade strawberry jam. It has a bright, potent aroma of sweet mango, raspberry and blackberry that sweetens as the vapors disperse. Intense fresh marionberries hit the palate and quickly transform to spice and citrus; ultimately evolving into warm brandy and cherry essence. The finish lingers awhile with subtle young whiskey heat and baked tart dryness."

~ Mel Heim, Master Distiller

Cocktail Recipe

NW Berry Sour

1.5 oz Marionberry Whiskey
1.5 oz Apple Juice
.5 oz Cranberry Juice
.5 oz Lemon Juice

Instructions:

Fill glass with ice and combine all the ingredients and garnish with lemon wheel.

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Defining Rye as a Category




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The rise of craft bourbon over the last few decades has brought with it a whole slew of new terms and definitions into the average spirit drinker’s world. Chiefly among them, the wondrous and glorious category of Rye Bourbon. So what sets rye apart from other bourbons? What characteristics elevate rye into its own category?

BREAKDOWN

The fundamental difference that shepherds rye into its own realm of the whiskey world is the mashbill. The regulations demand that a “rye” whiskey be made with, at the very least, 51% rye while the rest of the bill is generally made up of malted barley and corn. After being distilled to 80% (160 proof) the newborn rye is set to rest in new, charred oak barrels at no higher than 62.5% (125 proof).

If the producers want to go a little further, they can age the famed spirit for two years and blend it with other spirits to create a “straight rye whiskey.” A Monongahela rye whiskey is created when distillers choose to showcase a mashbill of 100% rye and no additional spirits.

Our friends to the north have far fewer requirements for defining the label of a “rye” whiskey, but do require that the base blending spirit be aged for at least three years in barrels no larger than 180 gallons.

Rye whiskey distilleries create their flavor profile based on the strategic blend of corn and malted barley they choose to compliment the dominant rye overtones.

PROFILE

Unlike the sweeter, “juicer,” corn-based bourbon, rye brings a spicy, dryer style of whiskey to the table. The rye grass grain produces a whiskey that balances the sweetness in classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour. The recent wave of interest in these mainstays of the cocktail world have brought rye into the forefront of spirit choices.

EASTSIDE BURNSIDE RYE

Proudly producing Oregon whiskey at its finest, Eastside Distilling’s Burnside Rye Whiskey is filled with notes of exotic allspice, coriander, and a hint of toasted toffee. The bold spice of the rye shines through, backed by the time spent aging in Quercus Garryana, Oregon Oak. The Burnside Rye Whiskey is a beautiful blend of the history of rye and its future.

“We are not emulating bourbon of the past, we are boldly celebrating bourbon of the present and future.” -Mel Heim, Master Distiller/Blender at Eastside Distilling

Eastside distilling uses the indigenous Quercus Garryana Oregon white oak to put a truly unique, and layered Pacific Northwest flare on the rye whiskey. The oak imparts a pronounced nuance of spicy vanilla that other American woods lack because of the high density of vanillin found in the softer Northwestern oak.

The Burnside Rye Whiskey embodies the style of a modern rye expression while holding true to its storied past.

BIG BOTTOM DELTA RYE

Coming out of the gate with a sweet spice bolstered by its 111 proof, notes of vanilla oak are balanced by orange blossom and mint. Big Bottom Delta Rye is a unique blend of a straight Indiana rye with a softer three-year old Canadian rye whiskey, crafting an award-winning whiskey experience.

The higher proof creates an added depth of bold citrus notes to the mid-palate with a warmer finish of smoke and oak. Capturing the rugged Pacific Northwest landscape in a bottle, the Delta Rye is a bridge between the classic Southern style of rye, with bold spice and citrus, along with the blossoming Oregon more floral, sweeter whiskey style.

THE TAKEAWAY

The roots of rye run deep, calling back to the late 1700 when barley became a stable source of grain. Surviving the Depression, rye’s biting character and unapologetic full-bodied profile are reclaiming their share of the whiskey spotlight. As the spirit scene in Pacific Northwest continues to mature and evolve with experimentation and rule-bending blends, Eastside Distilling’s Burnside Rye Whiskey and Big Bottom’s Delta Rye are opening up new avenues for rye across the board.

Discovering Pacific Northwest Whiskey

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Sandwiched between our Canadian neighbors to the north and the towering California redwood trees to the south, the picturesque Pacific Northwest is making waves in the craft beverage world for all the right reasons. While wine and beer have led the charge putting the area on the fermented map, it’s whiskey that is stepping into the spotlight.

The palate of the traditional American whiskey ranges from the dryer bite of rye to the nuanced cedar and sweetness of the classic bourbon. When these whiskeys are born and raised in the shadow of the grunge scene, they tend to take on a heartier, richer quality. The rye whiskey tends to pack a punch with deep earth tones of orange peel and allspice, while the bourbons have a floral nose and finish with burnt brown sugar.

While rye is blossoming slowly into one of the go-to foundations of classic whiskey-based cocktails, distillers like Mel Heim of Eastside Distilling, are exploring the full range of rye. It’s been the Pacific Northwest bourbons that has garnered most of the recent accolades in the craft spirit world.

Bourbon’s easy approachability has made its way across the Mississippi and found a place to blossom among the Pacific Northwest pine trees. The endearing toffee notes and sweeter butterscotch have become a favorite among both classic bourbon lovers and new whiskey enthusiasts exploring the fruits of Pacific Northwest distillers.

The beautiful thing about distilling in the Pacific Northwest is that distilleries have the freedom to experiment without ruffling the feathers on an old guard, which in turn creates a new class of Oregon whiskey.

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“We are not emulating bourbon of the past, we are boldly celebrating bourbon of the present and future.” - Mel Heim, Master Distiller/Blender

Eastside Distilling has been at the forefront of the Oregon whiskey frontier for 10 years. The rich range of whiskey showcases the unique style of the Pacific Northwest in a way that set it apart from the crowd and invite drinkers to embrace them. The use of Quercus Garryana, or native Oregon oak, lovingly stamps these Oregon whiskey varieties with Mel Heim’s fingerprint.

The Burnside Buckman RSV Bourbon takes all of the elements of Heim’s talent and style and bundles them into one celebratory bottle.

“Our Burnside Buckman RSV Bourbon is a celebration of our 10-year anniversary and the newest member of our highly acclaimed Burnside Whiskey family. We’ve mellowed some of the best aged bourbons in our distinctive western U.S. Quercus garryana casks to create a one-of-a-kind premium bourbon experience. This limited-edition bottling is available while supplies last.

“We are proud of this uniquely smooth and satisfying bourbon expression which exemplifies the passion that Eastside Distilling has in creating the highest quality craft spirits as we head into our second decade.” - Mel Heim, Master Distiller/Blender

This single expression elevates the Pacific Northwest whiskey style into an elegant, yet bold style. As the character of the region’s whiskey distilling and blending matures, offerings like the Burnside Buckman RSV Bourbon will continue to push the boundaries while holding true to the defiant and unapologetic culture that thrives in the year-round rain.