The Honey Paw in Portland has been hot since it opened in 2015. It has a short but uber-creative list of cocktails. The tequila cocktail on the menu is Strong Paw. This is smoky, mildly spicy, full of citrus, and not too sweet; a nice departure from many of the more classic margarita varieties. At first sip, the lime is prevalent but the touch of honey balances the tartness beautifully without adding much sweetness. Next you taste the tequila, followed by the mezcal, a smooth transition that doesn’t overpower the tequila. Then there’s a hint of spice that hits the back of the throat but doesn’t linger. The verdict is a nicely balanced cocktail.
1½ ounces Reposado tequila *
½ ounce mezcal
¾ ounce Bärenjäger (honey liqueur)
1 ounce lime
¼ ounce honey syrup [2:1 Honey:Water (done by weight)]
5 drops of Thai bird chili tincture (Thai bird chilis soaked in high-proof vodka)
Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Pour into a glass and garnish with a lime. Enjoy.