Recipe: Brix Layer Cocktail from Aviary

Disclaimer: I received a complementary happy hour and cocktail instruction from Aviary Restaurant in SE Portland for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated. Check out my review of the Aviary Happy Hour.

at-home-version of the Brix Layer Cocktail

Photo created from a photo taken by Bee of  The Spicy Bee

While enjoying several tasty dishes and cocktails at Aviary’s Happy Hour last week the barman Russ Hunsinger shared how he came up with one of Aviary’s most popular cocktails, the Brix Layer. Not only did he share his inspiration and thoughts behind the tasty concoction, but he pulled together a make shift bar in the dining room and showed us how to make it!

Russ came up with the drink while hanging out with friends, drinking Cabernet. He really wanted to figure out a way to create a cocktail that utilized the wine. He started off using a basic old fashioned recipe and working from there. The layering of the drink happened naturally and changes with the type of whiskey or cab used.

This recipe is only an approximation of the awesomeness we tasted at Aviary. But, I wanted to share with those of you that didn’t live in the Portland area and just have to schedule a trip to Aviary in to a future visit to our lovely city.

BrixLayer Ingredients

orange, cherry, bitters in glass

Muddle Well

sitr it up

fished product

Ingredients for the At-Home-Version of The Brix Layer:

  • 1 slice of orange
  • A few Parisian Brandied Cherries (Affiliate Link)
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • 8 dashes of angostura aromatic bitters (Affiliate Link)
  • 2 oz House Sour*
  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tools: ice, mixing tin, muddler, strainer, stirring spoon, large cocktail glass

*You can use any sour really, but the Aviary House Sour is made with lemon, lime, orange juice, and sugar. So, to get a similar taste you should use a homemade fresh sour that has orange juice in it. Try out this sweet-and-sour recipe from Baked Bree.

Directions for the At-Home-Version of The Brix Layer:

  1. In a mixing tin put one slice of orange, a few Parisian brandied cherries, 1 sugar cube and 8 dashes of bitters
  2. Muddle all ingredients in tin VERY WELL, releasing all of the oils and juices in the orange
  3. Add 2 oz of sour to the mixing tin
  4. Add 2 oz of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (or your favorite bourbon) to the tin
  5. Add ice to the tin and STIR with spoon
  6. Double strain the mixture into the cocktail glass
  7. Using the spoon (as in video below) to slow your pour, pour the 3/4 oz of Cabernet into the cocktail glass
  8. DRINK!
CHEERS! (My friend Bee with her Brix Layer cocktail!)

CHEERS! (My friend Bee with her Brix Layer cocktail!)

3 Comments
  1. brooke lyn
    • Jenni
  2. lindsay | rosemarried

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