PORTLAND, Ore. — It's an exciting time for some Oregon spirit makers. Three companies came out with new products in the past few weeks, just in time for sunny, warmer weather and a drink out on the porch!
It's brand new from Hood River Distillers, the Northwest's largest and oldest distiller. They make dozens of different kinds of alcohol and flavors. Timberline Vodka is special because it's made from a blend of grain alcohol, Northwest apples and glacier-fed spring water off Mt. Hood. It's been purified 46 times, and with that slight hint of those famous Gorge apples, it's smooth.
"You have this soft, sweetness in the beginning that doesn't have the initial burn or sting you might be used to and that's going to be the apple, it's going to really soften the blow, but it'll still end nice and clean with almost spring river water-type briskness on the back end," says HRD master distiller Joseph O'Sullivan.
He says it's great served neat, or in a martini, and there are many other cocktail recipes on the Timberline Vodkas website here. The 750ml glass bottle comes in three different label designs in partnership with Timberline Lodge: the Hiker, the Snow Goose and the Skier.
The labels are canvas and meant to easily peel off and can be sewn onto a hat, coat or backpack. It comes off clean so you can reuse the glass bottle, and that recycling keeps in line with the brand's financial contributions to the Freshwater Trust, a non-profit that saves our waterways.
A fifth (750ml) costs $24.95 and you can find the closest store that carries them on their website here.
This is a canned cocktail. They're the new, hot thing now to bring camping or day trips for portability and ease. Soda Joy is vodka, heavily carbonated soda water and just a hint of 4 flavor combinations: Lime Ginger, Limoncello, Cucumber Mint, and Strawberry Mango.
This isn't a slam-it-down type of can. It's meant to pour over ice. "Because of the oxygen in the ice, it reacts with the carbonation in the beverage and creates a really beautiful plume of foam on the top of the beverage," says creator Christopher Croteau.
Soda Joy was created by Croteau and friend Matt Schulte, and they're doing everything by hand with one other employee in Northeast Portland. "It's not sticky sweet, it tastes like a vodka soda with a little bit of flavor, it's got carbonation and the 10 percent alcohol so it's a real drink," Schulte said.
You can find them in select liquor stores and free delivery to Portland addresses, paid shipping to all others. A four-pack is $14.95. Find which stores have them stocked on their search page here.
This canned cocktail is from Portland's award-winning Aria Gin, the fastest growing spirits brand in Oregon history. They've been making small batch London Dry style gin since 2012 in Portland. It's called "dry" because virtually no sugar is added and it's made with traditional British ingredients. Co-owners Eric Martin and Ryan Csanky have been friends since Sunset High School and downtime in quarantine got them experimenting.
"We actually developed the tonic recipe to really go perfectly with our gin. We didn't want to take a regular, off the shelf brand of tonic...we wanted to make our own. I didn't want anyone to taste this and go 'That's juniper-heavy or spicy or heavy', I wanted people to say 'I get all those notes, but it's not dominated by the one dimension of the flavor profile.'"
The 4-pack is $16.00 at liquor stores you can find on the OLCC liquor store search page to find the nearest one to you here. Aria even does curbside pickup and cocktail kits to-go at their tasting shop on NW 23rd and Savier.