ORIGINAL SPIRITS: THE SOUTHEAST P-TOWN

ORIGINAL SPIRITS: THE SOUTHEAST P-TOWN Friday, January 25, 2013

There’s a sort of alchemy happening right now, across the river, in a little industrial laboratory, hidden away in the right bank of Southeast Portland’s Buckman neighborhood.

The hyperlocal and self-described “drinkers and dreamers” who dreamt up New Deal Distillery are best known for their vodka variations, form the peppery to the coldly crisp.

But they also produce a fine gin, vodka’s spirited and sophisticated older cousin.

We’re particularly fond of their New Deal Gin No. 1, a wintery spirit on which our Southeast P-Town is based.

Based on the Southside Fizz, itself a gin-based variation of the Mojito, our Southeast P-Town is built from the ground up over a tumbler of rocks with a jiggerful of that New Deal Gin No. 1.

To mellow the sharp juniper bite, we sweeten it with a little sugar, and tart’n it up with juice from freshly squeezed limes. And rather than muddle in a bunch of mint leaves, we muddle this sipper with a bunch of basil.

What results isn’t just a remake of a remake. What you get is something nutty, clovey, frosty and wintry, yet dazzlingly refreshing for a wintery drink.

Sorta like kissing an ice pixie. In other words, magical.

Pucker up and try one.