The CUhlCocktails Experience was our debut event. It was an idea I had been putting together for quite some time after having taken a deep dive into studying within the bar world. I had a vision to create a platform for an event series that would elevate the bartenders as well as the producers by slowing things down and allowing creativity to flourish.
Our first event was sponsored by Trail Distilling and I had each bartender pick one of the spirits in their product line to create their own signature cocktail. There were no other stipulations to the parameters of what they could do and they were encouraged to get very creative.
The event opened with an introduction to Trail Distilling including what they do and the story and awards gained by their lead Distiller Sara Brennan. After the introduction, Zander took over with the first cocktail demonstration.
Zander is a local Oregon bartender who is extremely studious with his beverages. Zander is a dedicated beverage professional and a cocktail enthusiast who constantly studies and tracks the flavors he experiments with. He consistently reads cocktail books and is always actively working on flavor development.
For our event he built a cocktail he named "Push Pull." He used Trail Distilling's Trillium Pink Pinot Gin with a coconut fat wash, lemon and a hint of chocolate with a side of chocolate nibs to help bring out the chocolate notes in the cocktail.
He had the most beautiful garnish of the evening with hand designed sugar art melted to the rim of the glasses.
Next up was Charles. Charles is a wine and spirits professional with over 20 years of experience. He has spent his career working as a Captain, Sommelier, and Bar Manager in Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as a distribution and sales representative.
For this event Charles chose the First City Whiskey by Trail Distilling. He created a detailed deeply flavorful story of corn and southern BBQ by marrying the history of the spirit to the history of it's ingredients and exploring new products in the flavor umbrella of corn in theme with his choice of spirit. Trail Distilling's First City Whiskey is distilled from corn and carried the theme throughout this delightful cocktail.
He even chose a name that aligned to his cocktail's theme as well naming his cocktail "The Loredo." Loredo Texas was one of the first established cities in Texas and the way Charles described how he came up with the name was excellent.
With a salty accompaniment snack of popcorn to the fat wash he did on the whiskey, it was truly a unique and exciting flavor excursion through a delightfully savory cocktail.
Last up was my dessert cocktail. I wanted to celebrate the use of pinot barrels to age gin within the perfect setting of a wine focused social club. I brought this merriment into the glass and played around with pinot as a syrup agent as well as a naked component using Oregon Pinot Noir in 4 separate ways within my cocktail. With a chocolate component, a vanilla nose and a cotton candy grape for garnish, I felt that this was the perfect dessert for the evening.
There was a buffet full of appetizers and a very casual atmosphere where the guests could ask the bartenders questions and chat cocktails in between demonstrations. We were very grateful for the Boundary Social Club for allowing us to host our event in their lounge. It was a very successful and lovely event and we very much look forward to putting another one together soon.
The CUhlCocktails Experience is meant to be unique. My vision is to hold similar events in different locations with rotating sponsors highlighting many different bartenders. We hope to see you at the next CUhlCocktails Experience. Visit our events page to get tickets to our upcoming events!