A warm cocktail on a cold winter’s night. Spirits in a glass to raise high to celebrate the holidays. Both are reasons to have great ideas for unique drinks. Drink recipes are often put together by experienced mixologists or by those talented enough to know which combinations of liquors and mixers work well together. If one doesn’t have those skills it can easily turn into a disaster. Thanks to Trail Distilling’s Holiday Cocktail Class one can come away with several delightful drinks to serve for the holidays.
Trail Distilling is located in Oregon City, Oregon off of Hwy 13. It is owned by Jerry and Sara Brennan. They are passionate about the distillery, know more about liquor than most (or anyone) I know, and are warm and welcoming to anyone who stops into their tasting room or attends an event at the distillery.
They hold cocktail classes, and other events, throughout the year to introduce people to their products.
The cocktail class is held at Trail Distilling’s Tasting Room. The class, on average, has 20-25 participants. A professional mixologist leads the class and has attendees participate in the demonstration. This makes for both an informative and entertaining evening!
Trail Distilling currently makes Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, and two types of Gin. The class demonstrates making a variety of drinks, from sweet to tart and dry, that highlight the various spirits and accentuates rather than hides the essences of the products. This year was no exception to that.
They had a delightful range of cocktails to try, and even my husband, who isn’t a fan of cocktails in general unless it has tequila in it, fell in love with some of the drinks.
This year there were five cocktails on the menu with an added bonus recipe for a larger batch cocktail.
Naughty or Nice?
Made with First City Vodka, Green Chartreuse, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Garnished with rosemary and cranberry. A slightly sweet combination with a lemon kick. Just a little bit naughty and a little bit nice. *wink*
Made with First City Whiskey, cranberry liqueur, lemon juice, and triple sec. A cocktail with a tart undertone and sour zing. (My husband’s favorite!)
First City Spiced Apple Martini
Made with First City Rum, lemon juice, and apple Chai syrup. A cocktail that would be perfect chilled or warmed up. The Chai gives it a festive, spice kick.
Ole’ Trillium Vermont Cocktail
Made with Trillium Gin, maple syrup, lemon juice, orange juice, and bitters. The maple undertones are distinctive. If you prefer a less maple flavor they recommend using honey. We were thinking it would be fantastic as a reduction used on pancakes or waffles or ice cream! Add a little of the cocktail to whipped cream for added pizazz.
First City Night Cap
Made with First City Whiskey, Frangelico, coffee liqueur, and bitters. More like a wake up cap! Delicious with a definitive coffee flavor. Add cream to make it taste similar to Kahlua Coffee.
Each cocktail was tantalizing to the tastebuds in its own way. We liked that they changed up the cocktail menu this year with drinks to appeal to both those with a sweet tooth and those preferring drinks that are less sweet.
The owners truly love their business, and they are well versed in history and facts about the spirits they produce. Throughout the class they ask trivia questions that focus on the history of spirits and how they are made. Each correct answer gets you a raffle ticket to win a beginner’s bartender kit.
The company offers a few promotional products that are beautiful and would be fantastic as gifts or to display at home. We fell in love with the leather flask.
As always, Jerry and Sara put on a fun and festive class. There is never a dull moment, as you are either watching drinks be made, tasting the drinks, helping make the drinks, or trying to win the beautiful bartender’s kit. After the class they will often offer a tour of the production area for the spirits.
For those who love the products, and want to take more than one cocktail class a year, Trail Distillery offers a Trail Club membership which includes distillery workshops and cocktail classes along with a few other perks. They also have a Barrel Club that “[for] roughly the price of two cases, you can own your very own custom whiskey, gin or rum aged in a 5 gallon new white oak charred barrel.”
To find out more about Trail Distilling you can find them here.
Phone: (503) 479-0003
Address: 21553 S Highway 213, Oregon City, OR 97045-9171
Location: Trail Distilling has a large sign at the front of their property. There is ample, free parking in the parking lot surrounding the distillery and tasting room.
Note – You must be 21 to access their website. Prices for the cocktail classes vary depending on the theme and what is included in the class.