It's a strange world we're living in. We have a real-life pandemic calling for social distancing, and now all the bars are closed and our nation has called upon distilleries to make hand sanitizer. Locally, Oregon Spirit Distillers is producing a sanitizing hand rub it's donating to the Oregon Department of Human Services, fire and police departments, home health organizations and those who visit the tasting room. The company is seeking donations to continue production for the community through GoFundMe. For every $20 donation, OSP produces six bottles of sanitizer. gofundme.com/f/oregon-spirit-sanitizer
(Editor's note: Crater Lake Spirits is producing it as well, for local health care workers.)
To cope with our isolation, instead of drinking alone, we're turning to online video. I invited a few of my friends to meet for a drink via the Zoom video conferencing app, and despite being in separate locations it felt like we were together. Our quick video drink turned into a two hour catch-up about life and the struggles of small business ownership. Most of us were drinking easy beverages like beer or wine. I was curious what other people are mixing or stirring at home, so I turned to the Chowhounds of Central Oregon on Facebook.
Mexican mule (sub tequila for vodka), paloma, greyhound, mojito with rum, piña colada, berry vodka with lemonade and Bulleit on the rocks are some of what local home bars are currently serving. Those are all easy two- to three-ingredient cocktails—but the real gem is that booze on the rocks.
Basic, like a t-shirt and jeans, but possibly not as comfy for some, liquor on the rocks (with the addition of ice), or on their own consumed neat, is the simplest cocktail to make at home. You don't have to rely on having bitters or some aperitif that ends up unused in the back of the cabinet. Scotch, whiskey, bourbon, tequila and gin are good choices to experiment with on the rocks. Before you add ice, take a sip so you can taste how the addition changes your drink. Is it smoother? Did the flavors bloom? You may be an alcohol connoisseur by the time this is all over.
Can you still buy alcohol?
Liquor stores are still open, and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission recently issued significant changes to provide greater flexibility to the industries they regulate. Liquor stores and distillery tasting rooms can deliver factory-sealed containers of distilled spirits direct to consumers curbside or to their parking lots. Bars and restaurants can deliver malt beverages, wine and cider curbside if ordered with meals. And, the most exciting change is the progress on allowing third-party e-commerce operators, like Door Dash and Uber Eats, to deliver malt beverages, wine and cider to your front door with your food order. For a full list of OLCC changes visit oregon.gov/olcc/Pages/COVID19.aspx