f you haven't had beets, habaneros, dill or shiso leaf infuse your cocktails, then you've clearly been missing out on the best libations in town. The Dogwood Cocktail Cabin is known for finely balancing out unique and peculiar ingredients —such as dill, carrots or egg whites — with top shelf liqueurs and spirits, creating tantalizing taste sensations that will have you ordering more.
"My cocktail inspirations are culinary and culturally based," begins co-founder Phoebe Pederson. "So, for example, my love of Thailand and green coconut curry translated into a cocktail infused with coconut, basil and matcha."
Phoebe and her husband Doug opened their first incarnation of The Dogwood in the small ski town of Crested Butte, Colo., remodeling a 1800s-era cabin, akin to a miner's shack. Wood accents, dimmed lighting and eccentric and eclectic furnishings mimic the feel of that rustic lodge in the Bend locale — now open for three and a half years — though the cocktails here are more exotic. "Crested Butte was really isolated, so it was hard to experiment since it was hard to find foreign ingredients easily," says Phoebe, "We've been able to play a bit more here, go on shopping trips to Portland to check out the Asian and Lebanese markets, and the menu now has breadth and creativity."
Doug says their creative cocktail menu, changing every six months, is 100 percent their own, and that Phoebe is behind most unusual creations. "My most failed attempt?" laughs Phoebe, "Trying to add Durian," — the pungent South-East Asian fruit — "into a cocktail. It smelt so bad I had to fumigate the bar."
Doug says he's seen the taste of their clientele change and evolve as the years have gone by. "Everyone wanted beer, a whiskey ginger or an old fashioned, but we came up with some unusual substitutes that are in the same vein and taste profile but is different." He mentioned the Herban Cowboy, which has black pepper-infused bourbon and fernet with additional ingredients of molasses, pomegranate and black licorice. "That's been really popular amongst Bendites."
Apart from stellar cocktails and a venue that finds the balance somewhere between upscale and comfortable, Doug says their success is also attributed to their friendly, knowledgeable and committed staff. "We've tried to make it into a place where you want to go every night."
147 NW Minnesota Ave., Bend.
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