LiquorAt Oak Grove we offer a wide selection of spirits, liquers and aperitifs, including a wide selection of Portland Oregon distillers' products. Our aim is to provide the finest selection in SE Portland and we are more than happy to help you with special orders for rare or hard to find bottles.
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The main styles of liquor that we carry are listed below. We hope this helps you make the most informed decision on your choice. Thank you for visiting and let us know how we can help!
Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries. From its earliest beginnings in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from a herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Originally named Genièvre - the French word for Juniper berry, it was shortened to Gin by the English later in the late 17th century.
Today, the gin category is one of the most popular and widely distributed range of spirits. It is a popular base spirit for many classic mixed drinks, including the martini. Secretly produced "bathtub gin" was commonly available in the speakeasies and "blind pigs" of Prohibition-era America as a result of the relative simple production.
Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland. This beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo). It is a distilled from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. Rum can be referred to in Spanish by descriptors such as ron viejo ("old rum") and ron añejo ("aged rum").
The origin of the word "rum" is generally unclear. In an 1824 essay about the word's origin, Samuel Morewood, a British etymologist, suggested it might be from the British slang term for "the best". Other etymologists have mentioned the Romani word rum, meaning "strong" or "potent" There are many other claims to the origin of the word "Rum" from roemer a Dutch drinking glass, to the Latin word iterum "again, a second time", or arôme, French for aroma.
With its history dating back to the 17th century, when dark rum was first produced in the West Indies, it is more popular than ever. More recently, light or white rum and flavored rums have been introduced.
Vodka is the most neutral spirit we carry, and traditionally lacks a distinctive character, aroma, taste or color. Its origin dates from the 14th century in Russia and its name is derived from Voda, meaning 'water' in Russian. Vodka is the most popular selling individual spirit in the United States, all but replacing gin as the base in the much-loved Martini. Vodka can be produced from potatoes, grains, corn, wheat or even items such as grapes.
Tequila is a Mexican liquor distilled from the fermented blue agave plants, its history dates back to the early 1800's. Tequila production first took place in the Tequila Region, in the state of Jalisco. Mexican law mandates that tequila must be made of at least 51 percent Agave or else it is considered mescal. In addition, any tequila that isn't made up of 100 percent Blue Agave is considered a mixto. There are three varieties of tequila. Blanco is unaged and clear in color. Reposado is amber and has been aged in oak from two months to one year. Añejo is a dark amber color and has been aged in oak barrels for between one and three years.
Bourbon (American whiskey) is made using between 51 and 79 percent corn. The remainder is made up of barley, wheat and/or rye. The spirit is aged in new charred oak barrels, usually between two and four years. Bourbon is required to be at least 80 proof / 40 percent ABV.
The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky (which, in turn, was named after the French House of Bourbon royal family). It has been produced since the 18th century. While it may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South in general, and Kentucky in particular.
Canadian whiskey is created with grains, barley, wheat and rye, but no law that requires any certain grain be dominant in the mix. The Canadian Government requires the spirit be aged at least three years, although most spend between six and eight years in the barrel before being bottled.
Scotch whisky is a whisky produced at a distillery in Scotland, and must adhere to rules set forth in the Scotch Whisky Order of 1990. Scotch must be distilled from only two ingredients: water and malted barley. Fermentation can only be obtained using yeast. The spirit must then be distilled to a strength of less than 94.8 percent by ABV (alcohol by volume) so it retains the flavor of the raw materials. No other substance can be added to Scotch when it is bottled except of water and caramel spirit. The four categories of Scotch are: single malt, vatted malt, blended and single grain. Scotch must have been aged for at least three years, with labels signifying the youngest scotch barrels used in the mix or blend. Most Scotch drinkers agree that good scotch must be at least 10 years in the barrel to obtain desired results.
Tennessee whiskey is at least 51 percent corn with barley, wheat and/or rye making up the remainder. Tennessee whisky must then be filtered through maple charcoal, before aging begins, typically lasting at least four years.
Brandy and Cognac are distilled wine which has been aged in wooden casks, or barrels. Cognac is a brandy that comes from the Cognac region of France, noted for its special process of distillation as well as the ideal soils and climate for the production of brandy. Therefore, all Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac. Brandy made outside the Cognac region of France may not be called Cognac and can only be referred to as brandy.
Cordials (liqueurs) are typically sweet alcoholic beverages that have been flavored using a variety of fruits, herbs and spices. Typically cordials contain a smaller amount of alcohol than spirits, but often slightly higher than wines. Categories of cordials include coffee, fruit, herb, spice, chocolate, cream and nut flavored liqueurs.