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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 8, 2019)
Chefs, restaurants, reviews, recipes,
culinary events & foodie features
with the Green Thumb
at Albatross & Co.
By RYAN HUME
FOR COAST WEEKEND
ummer has been playing a long
game of hide and seek this year,
either cloaked in warm rain or sim-
ply peeking out as intermittent sun-
shine. This hasn’t stopped the flow
of car and cruise ship traffic and the bars
and breweries of the North Coast have
again been running at full capacity.
Eric Bechard, the chef behind the bar
at Albatross & Co. at 14th Street and
Marine Drive in downtown Astoria, took
a moment during the busy season to offer
up one of the bar’s off-menu cocktails they
have been pouring a lot of lately.
At first glance, the Green Thumb looks
a lot like a refined and renovated mar-
garita, but Bechard traces its inspiration
back toward the pre-Prohibition elixir, The
Last Word, a classic example of a four-
part cocktail. While The Last Word is gin-
based, with a pour of green Chartreuse and
more for good measure, the Green Thumb
arrives on a foundation of Mezcal.
Mezcal, once considered the ugly step-
sister of the agave family, complete with
bloated, disintegrating worms sunk like
shipwrecks at the bottom of the bottle, has
finally caught the attention of bartenders
north of the border over the last decade.
Often smokier and more complex than
your basic tequila, these days Mezcal is
also more controlled than its more popular
cousin, similar to the way wine and cheese
are regulated by regional labels in Italy,
France and elsewhere to protect quality
and product recognition.
Mezcal must be made from at least one
of 11 varieties of agave cactus native to the
state of Oaxaca where most of this spirit is
So the single-origin Vida brand Mez-
cal from Oaxaca, which Albatross sources
from the Warrenton Liquor Store, is the
difference between using Parmigiano-Reg-
giano and whatever Wisconsin sawdust
The Green Thumb, right, at Albatross & Co., with its ingredients.
Kraft is packing into plastic jars.
The Vida Mezcal holds up just fine on
its own, but the addition of the Poblano
liqueur enhances the smokiness and depth
the Mezcal is thinking about while only
adding the impression of heat. Some
smack off the lime juice against the sweet
and floral notes of the spruce honey also
bring more to the party that your taste buds
will be talking about between sips.
Complex enough for a rainy day, but
also cool and breezy and well-suited to
tame a sunny afternoon, the Green Thumb
is the perfect drink for our summer’s
swinging moods. Get one at the Albatross
& Co.’s outdoor tables or recreate your
1 ounce Vida Mezcal or other single origin Mezcal
¾ ounce Ancho Reyes Poblano Chile liqueur
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
½ ounce spruce honey syrup*
*The spruce honey syrup is made in-house at Albatross & Co. and is in the neighborhood of
an infused simple syrup. To recreate, slightly heat equal parts wildflower honey and water
until the honey dissolves, then dip washed spruce tips into the liquid. The heat should
impart a herbaceousness quickly but the flavor will get stronger the longer it sits. Let cool
completely before using.
Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker then top with ice. Shake vigorously for 20
seconds and strain into a coupe glass.
—Recipe courtesy of Eric Bechard, owner, Albatross & Co., Astoria, Oregon