Multnomah Whiskey Library Spotlights Women Bartenders

by | Mar 21, 2023

Multnomah Whiskey Library (MWL) is hosting a Women’s History Month guest program to foster community for women in the cocktail industry and showcase their talent. For the month of March, this Portland whiskey-focused lounge will feature eight drinks created by women leaders in the cocktail industry.

“After the pandemic, I came back to work wondering whether this is a sustainable job. It has been a time of healing and reflection in our industry. In my experience there have been times when I wanted to leave. So I thought about how I could get more women in the room with me. I wanted to create community with other women bartenders,” says Cody Mulcahy, lead bartender at MWL and event organizer. In that vein, she chose a format that wasn’t a competition but a showcase.

The idea of a one-month women-bartender guest program was quickly embraced by Mulcahy’s co-workers at MWL, but they only had 90 days to pull it together. Fortunately, Mulcahy had many connections in the industry. She invited women she knew as well as some who she was able to quickly reach.

The result is a list of eight drinks, one made by each participant. Each woman was assigned a spirit and a style of cocktail. An email chain was created to discuss the program and to pick a charity to benefit ($1 from each cocktail goes to National Network of Abortion Funds).

Below, we take an in-depth look at four cocktails and their creators. Then, take a look at all eight cocktails available this month at the Multnomah Whiskey Library.

Cocktail: Waving, Smiling

By Cody Mulcahy lead bartender at Multnomah Whiskey Library | Portland, Oregon 

Mulcahy’s mission was to create a stirred cocktail using Maker’s Mark Private Select. She began formulating this drink based on the flavors in Maker’s Mark Private Select which was hand selected in Kentucky by the team at MWL to be added to their library. She toasted coconut chips and soaked them in the bourbon at room temperature for 24 hours. “I’ve always wanted to make a drink with coconut and dates that isn’t meant for dessert,” says Mulcahy. Almond Joy bars were an inspiration, but the goal was to develop a balanced spirit-forward cocktail. 

It took some trial and error to find ingredients to create fig notes. “For flavors like raspberry or fig, it doesn’t always taste like you envision, you often need to plug in ingredients to make it taste like what you want in the drink,” she says. After experimenting, she made a cocktail layered with Medjool fig flavor. From there she incorporated other things like creme de banane and Armagnac that brought out the complexity of the spirit and enhanced the fig and coconut aspects of the drink.

Cocktail: Hasta La Raiz

By Adriana Alvarez, bar manager at Paadee | Portland, Oregon

Alvarez’s assignment was to create a stirred drink with Mezcal Unión. She wanted to celebrate her Mexican roots (the drink’s title translates as “To the Root”) while also using a spirit recently approved for distribution in Oregon — Nixte Elote Liqueur.

Layering the mezcal with this sweet corn-flavored spirit, then adding a guajillo chile and lime tincture gives it the flavors of a dish she seeks out every time she visits family in Mexico — Mexican street corn. Tamarelo Tamarind Liqueur adds an extra kick of tangy sweetness. “Maybe this was based on a craving,” said Alvarez, who is pregnant.

Cocktail: The Forager

By Adele Lindsay, owner of Crescent Creative | Portland, Oregon

Lindsay has only been in the spirit industry for a short time, but her eye-catching Instagram posts (@cocktailswithadele) during the pandemic drew a lot of attention. For this program, Lindsay was tasked with creating a shaken drink using Timberline vodka.

She first tried Timberline vodka during a visit to Hood River Distillers’ tasting room after an unsuccessful morel hunt. Using Clear Creek Douglas Fir distilled with the buds of Douglas fir trees and Clear Creek marionberry liqueur, Lindsay created a drink that tastes like a walk in a Pacific Northwest forest. 

Cocktail: Say Quaaaat? 

By Nora Furst of West Beverage Consulting Group, Buddy and Accompani | San Francisco California / Portland, Oregon

Furst was tasked with creating a shaken or cobbler-style drink with Jameson Black Barrel whiskey. She chose a cobbler style which is typically shaken and served with straw in a goblet or Collins glass filled with crushed ice, spirits (often sherry) and decorated with fresh fruit and herbs. 

She divides her time between Portland and San Francisco and wanted to focus on the array of citrus flavors in season during the winter in her home towns. “I do a lot of cocktail development,” says Furst, “so I have a Rolodex of ingredients in my head.” 

She chose kumquats for their piquant, bright and complex flavors. To begin, whole kumquats were cryovac-sealed with sugar and placed in a water bath for a few hours at a low temp. This created a kumquat oleo for her drink as well as candied kumquat halves used to garnish the drink. Oleo is a method used to extract citrus from their peels using sugar. 

The light bitterness and citrus notes in the fruit pairs well with the char on the barrel of Jameson Black as well as the vanilla. The nuttiness in the spirit melds with the nuttiness of the sherry.

The Full Cocktail Menu

Midnight at the Oasis

By Emily Mistell, Hey Love | Portland, Oregon

Mt. Gay Black Barrel, Ron Zacapa 23 Solera, Courvoisier V.S., Averna, Chai Falernum, passion fruit, lemon, orange

Just Like Honey

By Katie Stipe, Voysey | Portland, Oregon

Dickel 8-year Bourbon, Lazzaroni Amaretto, saffron honey, lemon, Bousquet Sparkling Wine

The Forager

By Adele Lindsay, Crescent Creative | Seattle, Washington

Timberline vodka, Clear Creek apple brandy, Clear Creek Douglas fir, marionberry, Lo-fi dry vermouth, lemon, egg white

 Say Quaaaat?

By Norah Furst, West Bev/Buddy/Accompani | San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon

Jameson Black Barrel, Accompani Marigold, Amontillado sherry, kumquat oleo, lemon, sel gris

Waving, Smiling

By Cody Mulcahy, Multnomah Whiskey Library | Portland, Oregon

Toasted coconut–infused Maker’s Mark Private Select, De Montal Armagnac V.S., Carpano Antica, Oloroso, medjool date, Angostura, Tempus Fugit Creme De Banane


By Amy Wong, Teardrop Lounge | Portland, Oregon

Glenglassaugh Torfa Single Malt, Bigallet China China, Yellow Chartreuse, Benedictine

Cabaret Voltaire

By Elise Borland, Victoria Bar and The Bye and Bye | Portland, Oregon

Botanist Gin, Amaro Amaricano, Campari, Cocchi Torino, bold brew, Bittermen’s Mole Bitters

Hasta La Raiz

By Adriana Alvarez, Paadee | Portland, Oregon

Mezcal Union, Nixta Elote Liqueur, Tamarelo Tamarind Liqueur, chile and Limon tincture


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