Bartenders and college students share common ground in that they both spend an undue amount of time in the company of liquor. But where college students are more interested in “quantity,” bartenders at least have an opportunity for exposure to the “quality” side of the equation.
Bartenders and college students share common ground in that they both spend an undue amount of time in the company of liquor. But where college students are more interested in “quantity,” bartenders at least have an opportunity for exposure to the “quality” side of the equation, and it is for this reason that they are excellent sources of advice on how to best expend the dollars of your liquor budget.
Below is the poison of choice from a series of downtown’s finest bartenders, who, as it turns out, prove at least as capable of drinking the stuff as they are dishing it out.
Ted Charak — Teardrop Cocktail Lounge
Drink of Choice: Reposado tequila
Words of boozy wisdom: “This really makes me look like an alcoholic.”
Despite the plethora of inventive cocktails offered at Teardrop, bartender Ted Charak professes his preference for this moderately aged tequila. Possessing a goldish color and a rich bouquet of flavor from being stored in wooden casks, reposado tequilas are an excellent entryway to high-classed alcoholism.
Steve Joseph — The Cheerful Tortoise
Drink of choice: Whiskey 7
Words of boozy wisdom: “It seems like your favorite drink is always what you can make at home.”
The Cheerful Tortoise has earned its status as a campus mainstay at least partially through its straightforward menu (though the complete sensory assault of their interior design may have something to do with this as well), and it therefore comes as little surprise that bartender Steve Joseph sticks more or less to the basics with his drink of choice. Comprised of whiskey and 7UP, the Whiskey 7 offers the class of a mixed drink without the complete pain-in-balls of tracking down exotic ingredients.
Keri Hegeny — Candlelight Café and Bar
Drink of choice: Black label bourbon
Words of boozy wisdom: “It’s pretty much the only thing I drink regularly.”
In keeping with the general preference for alcoholic minimalism, Candlelight Café and Bar’s Keri Hegeny extols the virtues of a rough, straightforward whiskey. As is later revealed, this winds up being a reoccurring theme with Portland bartenders in general.
Janelle Shore — Candlelight Café and Bar
Drink of choice: Pendleton Whisky, Jager Bombs
Words of boozy wisdom: “You better have Jager bombs somewhere on that list. I’m saying Jager Bombs.”
With Pendleton Whisky, the Candlelight staff chock up another win for the rowdiest of beverages. This Canadian blended whisky has been a breakout star since its 2003 appearance and provides a (somewhat) local angle on the classic standby. Janelle Shore also mentions her preference for Jager Bombs, which is in fact a pretty bad-assed choice coming from someone who spends her professional life witnessing the absolute worst of what Jager Bombs can wind up doing to a person (in this writer’s experience: instant blackout/possible coronary episode).
Mounir Ghobrial — Mummy’s
Drink of choice: Ra, Mummy’s Slide
Words of boozy wisdom: “We have many excellent drinks, I love them all.”
Given the invitingly swanky atmosphere of Mummy’s, it should come as no surprise that bartender/co-owner Mounir Ghobrial would choose a pair of his own custom cocktails as favorites. A mix of potent liquor and the owners’ inventiveness, these cocktails may stay close to home for Ghobrial, but with a restaurant known for its libations that’s not such a bad place to be.
Jacobus Ashley — McMenamins Market Street Pub
Drink(s) of choice: Stout, Adios Motherfucker (AMF), Jameson Irish Whisky
Words of boozy wisdom: “[The AMF] is sort of like a Long Island Iced Tea, only hardcore.”
Jacobus Ashley’s time in the close company of liquor has apparently been well spent, as the man has developed a rounded taste for a number of libations. Maybe it’s a prerequisite for working at McMenamins, but Ashley first names stout as his go-to beverage. However, central to his alcoholic philosophy is the Adios Motherfucker, which combines rum, gin, vodka and Blue Curacao into a truly epic cocktail with an almost 100-percent chance of a following day hangover.