Author: janessapk

VVC MOCKtail Lounge

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Wanna feel like a fancy pants but choose not to drink? That’s cool, that’s all healthy and stuff.

Mocktails are awesome because they’re more affordable than cocktails, they have less calories and are usually less sugary, and they don’t give you that headachy feeling the morning after a raucous night (unless that Nojito was really a MOjito! Wuh-oh!).

Here are four diverse ideas for you to indulge in, VVC-er.

Want to drink Bailey’s but because you do that whole ‘vegan’ thing and don’t drink,alcohol think you’re out of luck? Think again, mon frere.

Follow this recipe for vegan Baileys (I just made this recipe again this year and believe me, this recipe is still rad), and just omit the whiskey. Easy-peasy. Drink it on the rocks in front of your fabulous fireplace while listening to Frank Sinatra (or Seth McFarlane. Really.), or in a mug with hot cocoa. Creamy, hot and delicious. Just like you like your, ur, mocktails.

vegan baileys

 

 

Looking for something a little spritzier,a little lighter to the step? Try a Peach Fizz. Looza is a beautiful brand of Belgian juice (If you’re a Portlander, you can find it on the cheap at Grocery Outlet or on the sophisticated at PastaWorks, and if you’re anywhere else, you can buy online here). Pour 1/4 cup of peach or apricot juice in a pint glass over ice. Top with soda water and serve with a squeeze of lime and a straw.

PeachLemonFizz(source)

 

 

 

If you’re feeling downright ca-raaaaaazy, check out Imbibe’s recipe for Agua de Limón con Chia. Yes, that’s right, it’s a mocktail with CHIA SEEDS. What?!

Gers_4p.indd(source)

 

For summertime shenanigans, try the best summer mocktail I’ve ever had: The Blueberry Nojito. (Recipe inspired by BridgePort BrewPub) Muddle a few leaves of mint and 2 lime wedges together in a pint glass with ice. Add 1 tablespoon simple syrup, 2 tablespoons blueberry puree, and top with soda water (or Sprite, if you like it sweeter).

blueberry mojito(source)

And with that, beautiful non-drinkers, go forth and be merry. Get your fancy on, get your mocktail booty movin’, and enjoy the wonderful world of non-alcoholic drinks (WHAAAAAT?! Yeah, I said it.)

VVC Cocktail Lounge Field Trip: San Francisco

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What goes better with a trip to San Francisco than a solo dining experience at Millennium? The answer is: nothing.

And what goes better with a solo dining experience at Millennium than a fancy twelve dollar cocktail? Again, nothing.

Out of the six featured cocktails on the list, I had to try the one that sounded the most outlandish. I mean of course something like the Broken Arrow would be good—with roasted anaheim chilie and cumin-infused tequila, fresh lime juice, cane syrup, orange liqueur and cumin salt/sugar rim on the rocks. BAM. Amazing. Or the Happy Boy209 Gin, Muddled Lemon Verbana & Watermelon, Beet Puree, Lime Juice & Ginger Agave served up—of course that would be wonderful. I mean, it has watermelon in it.

But the Pied Piper—that one looked questionable. And because I knew—or hoped—that a drink that sounded so weird wouldn’t make it on the menu if it also tasted weird, I ordered it.

The Pied PiperDorado 5 year Rum, Pomegranate Juice, Chai, Maple Syrup, Lemon Bitters, Snap Ginger-Molasses Liqueur, on the Rocks.

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Upon first sip, I have to admit my first thought was, “Well, at least I have a straw and can suck it down fast enough to order another one.”

Upon further sucking, though,I started really really enjoying the cocktail. It was bitter yet had a depth and sweetness. t took me about 30 minutes to finish it. After those 30 minutes, I was sold. Pied Piper—success!

Thank you, Millennium for broadening my drink horizons.

Oh, and then with dessert I had a glass of sparkling Rosé. Naturally.

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VVC Cocktail Lounge Field Trip

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Oh, hello! Happy Friday! I had a hard time motivating to write this post because I finally watched one Leslie Hall video and then COULDN’T STOP. Holy heck.

Anyway, the ladies of VVC descended on a swanky cocktail lounge in the Pearl District last night for our weekly meeting. All in the name of research.

Olive or Twist—cutesy name, cozy interior.

The cocktail menu was small, by Portland standards, with about 15 listed. Luckily for us, there were a couple of real gems in there.

My favorite:

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The Spicy Peach – $8.50
Stoli Peach vodka, lime, muddled Serrano chilies, and simple syrup. Yes it is spicy!

Review: This cocktail didn’t have as much of a kick as I expected—and hoped—but it tasted like spicy peach limeade and went down in under five minutes.

I will totally make a version of this at home.

The drink that Michele was most excited to try:

lemon drop

Limoncello Drop – $8.50
Vodka, Pallini Limoncello, and a squeeze of fresh lemon with a sugar rim. A great twist on a favorite.

Review: A little too sweet with the limoncello instead of triple sec, which means Michele is still on the quest for that perfect lemon drop.

Runner Up:

Jess and I both enjoyed The Peruvian – $8.50 -Mazama Pepper vodka, mango puree, and lime juice.

I don’t have a picture of the Peruvian, so instead I will leave you with this:

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I don’t know if you can tell, but it’s a painting of a woman flying over the ocean with her cat.

I saw it while walking in Santa Cruz on my Bay-area vacation last weekend. What a terrific picture.

VVC Cocktail Lounge: How to Make the Best Bloody Mary

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This is of the utmost importance.

Do you like spicy tomato juice with vodka and vegetables for breakfast?

 

Yeah, me neither. For a long time.

Then my tastebuds started coming around, THANK GOD. Now there’s nothing like an ultra-spicy Bloody Mary for those special Monday mornings when I don’t have anything to do but watch an entire season of How I Met Your Mother, eat split pea soup, and nap. (Disclaimer: This happens about once a year, and boy oh boy, is it glorious.)

 

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For a perfect bloody mary, you’ll need:

Vodka. A mid-level like Monopolowa is just fine, and for the gluten-free folks out there, it’s made with potato—not grains– so you won’t die or curl up in the fetal position after drinking this.

Tomato Juice. Make it organic for bonus points.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce. Generic store brands are usually anchovy-free.

Horseradish.

Hot Sauce. You can stick with Tabasco if you like, but I recommend Secret Aardvark Sauce. The Spicy Vegan recommends Trader Joe’s Habanero Hot Sauce if you like extra ultra way spicy Bloody Mary’s.

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

Celery Salt.

Lemon.

Lime.

Big ol’ Stalk of Celery.

Mix together 1 shot  vodka 1 cup tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and hot sauce to taste, and a dash of black pepper and celery salt. In a pint glass, pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon and lime wedge and a big ol’ stalk of celery.

Variations:

–> Make a pitcher if you’re expecting company.

–> Use tequila if you’d like a Bloody Maria instead. (Gross.)

–> Use V-8 if you’re feeling lazy.

Vegan MoFo Cocktail Lounge: Cucumber ReVeeVer

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If you attended Vida Vegan Con last August, and you swanked it up at Saturday night’s Galarama, you might have tasted the refreshing and sophisticated Cucumber ReVeeVer.

 

IMG_1503(photo courtesy Lucas DeShazer)

 

VeeV is the name of a fancy-schmancy Acai berry infused liquor. A bottle of it goes for $35 in the liquor store (or ‘Grocery Store’ if you don’t live in Puritanical Oregon where one must go to a separate establishment to procure hooch).

 

This is well worth it though, friends.

 

 

VeeV Bottle (transparent) dry soda(source)

When mixed with Dry Cucumber Soda, the result is a sweet and refreshing sparkling cocktail, perfect for hosting cocktail parties or impressing your parents when they come to visit. It’s that sophisticated.

 

The Cucumber ReVeeVer

* 1 1/2 ounces VeeV Acai Spirit

* 5 ounces Dry Cucumber Soda

Fill tumbler glass with ice. Pour over VeeV and top with Dry Cucumber Soda. Garnish with cucumber slice.

Enjoy the heck out it,.

Vida Vegan Con and BridgePort Weekend Vegan Menu

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In Portland for the weekend? Or forever? Like beer? Like good vegan food? (Of course you do!)

In honor of Vida Vegan Con, both the BridgePort BrewPub and the BridgePort Ale House will be running special vegan dishes all weekend.

Oregon is home to the most microbreweries per capita. That means we have a lot of brewpubs here. Yes, we are incredibly lucky. And have incredible beer bellies to show for it. BridgePort, founded in 1984, is the oldest craft brewery in Oregon. Their beers can be found across the United States—chances are you’ve seen their award-winning IPA somewhere if you frequent quality beer joints around the country.

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The BrewPub and the Ale House both feature seasonal and local farm-fresh food on their menus. There are always a few vegan options (it is Portland, after all), but this weekend they wanted to make it extra special for all the Vida Vegan Con-ers coming to the Rose City.

BridgePort Ale House

3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

503-233-6540 (Call to reserve a table or just pop in)

The Ale House is offering a prix fixe 3-course meal for $22 all weekend.

The first course is a Chilled Cucumber Soup, a cool summer soup with cucumber, almond, tomato, and chili oil. This is followed by Summer Vegetable Lasagna: grilled squash and eggplant layered with a cashew/roasted red pepper cream, smoked tomato vinaigrette, and sweet ginger arugula coulis. For dessert they are serving up Peach Berliners: fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar, with grilled peaches and bourbon peach coulis.

Hello. You had me at bourbon.  Oh, and also Chilled Cucumber Soup.

The prix fixe dinner is available Thursday through Sunday evening, 5 pm to close.

BridgePort BrewPub

1313 NW Marshall

No reservations necessary, just swing on by!

The BrewPub is running an already-popular special throughout the weekend. The Portland’s Garden dish is local zucchini stuffed with fire-roasted corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, basil, lime, ancho chili, and miso bbq sauce, and topped with cumin roasted kale chips. (I repeat: cumin roasted kale chips. Holler.) This special will run Thursday night through Sunday, 5 pm until close.

Note: The BrewPub sold out of the Zucchini Garden special on Thursday night, so get on it, kiddos!

Both the BrewPub and the Ale House provide vegan dishes on their menu all the time; check out the online menu for seasonal specialties.