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I had the pleasurable opportunity to have a private tasting (my life sucks) at the Hardshore Distilling Company tasting room, located on Washington Avenue in Portland. It isn’t often that a representative from a company actually approaches me (I am incredibly unapproachable), but when they do, I pretty much jump at it. Right now, they make Hardshore Gin. I asked about branching out, but Jordan Milne, owner of Hardshore Distilling, said they really want to focus on the gin and coaxing new tastes and textures and perfecting the technique. I’ve used their gin in previous drinks—they are clearly doing something right.

Milne partnered with Crystal Pomerleau, bar manager at Central Provisions, to basically give me a really great night out. Pomerleau crafted three amazing cocktails, which I got to drink while Tristan Walden of Hardshore Distilling photographed me drinking them. Fortunately, he photographed the cocktails as well. Cocktails make better models than I do.

Now, for your drinking pleasure, I present to you the recipes of two of those cocktails, so you can make them at home. While technically you can use any gin you like, I cannot vouch for those other brands or what might happen. Be safe and use Hardshore Gin. Maybe go buy several bottles just in case.

The Old Fashioned. Photo by Tristan Walden

THE OLD FASHIONED

1 3/4 ounce Hardshore Gin
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
1 ounce fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
1 Demerara sugar cube, muddled
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1/4 ounce water
Rosemary

Combine ingredients into a shaker, stir and pour into an ice-filled glass.

THE SOUR

1 1/2 ounces Hardshore Gin
1/2 ounce Cocchi Rosa
3/4 ounce hay-smoked pear syrup (or any pear simple syrup)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
Egg white
Anise

Combine ingredients into a shaker, shake and strain into a glass.

Jessie Lacey resides at the heart of downtown Portland with her border collie puppy Josie, making cocktails and trouble.

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