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Mar 10, 2012 06:03 PM

What bottles should I ask someone to bring me from Oregon?

My parents are coming out to Houston to visit next month. They live in Bend, Oregon. I have already asked them to bring some OR/WA gins I cannot get here, but I'm aware that Oregon has a wealth of distilleries turning out wonderful liquors and liqueurs, as well as other innovative and classic bitters, syrups and other wonders that would make any home cocktail enthusiast jump for joy.

What else should I be asking them to grab for me that will wow me? I'm open to anything other than vodka (what's the point?) or wine (I have a feeling they already have their own ideas about what wine to bring).

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  1. Here are some of the options:

    The ones I'm familiar with:
    Ransom - definitely their Old Tom Gin is amazing. Their Small's Gin is good.
    House Spirits - I really like their Aviation Gin; their aquavit is kind of quirky (two botanicals) but works well.
    Clear Creek - we have some of their fruit liqueurs and eau de vies. Their Douglas Fir eau de vie is well regarded (have had it in cocktails) but pricy. Curious about their single malt whiskey.
    Bendistillery - Cascade Mountain Gin is pretty decent; overproof and well balanced
    Elixir - very curious about their Calisaya (they made an otherwise difficult to source old time cocktail ingredient; doesn't leave the state much though); it's in the family of bitter Italian liqueurs.
    Rogue - never actually tried any of their spirits, but their beer is good.

    1. Speaking from a position of total ignorance here, Oregon produces a lot of pears and apples - much like Normandy. I love calvados and wonder if the pear and apple brandies made in Oregon are up there with calvados.

      1. Big Bottom Whiskey gets my vote. It's getting rave reviews all 'round:

        Caveat: Oregon has very high liquor taxes, so you might want to compare prices first. Liquor stores are also independently managed, but the state OLCC owns the stock in the store, I believe is how it works. You can check pricing and what each store has in stock if you're looking for something in particular at this link:

        The OLCC also produces a monthly list of everything available, in every size, and notes what's new and on sale. This link will open a PDF for the current month's list:

        If it floats your boat, Oregon is one of the states that allows Everclear to be sold at 190 proof!

        1. Thanks so much for the ideas so far, folks--especially the state link, Calisaya information and the fruit brandy idea!

          1. Sub Rosa saffron and tarragon vodkas