For Bartender Brandon Lockman, there is one ingredient that has to be in every cocktail: craft. With that focus, he raises the bar at Red Star Tavern with a passion for fresh ingredients, premium spirits and creative spins on time-tested classics to create a notoriously delicious menu. It all comes naturally to Brandon who was born into the restaurant business. As a child, he and his brother would pitch in to help at the family’s restaurant on the Oregon coast. Fast forward to 2004, and he is working behind the bar at Red Star Tavern. A few years later, some world travels and an encounter with a cocktail guru refine his approach and he goes from slinging cocktails to mixing craft masterpieces. “I adopted this new style of mastering old techniques, using only fresh juices, housemade ingredients and really thinking about balance.” Today, Brandon moves easily between the bar and Red Star’s kitchen, selecting choice ingredients like garden fresh fruits and herbs including Meyer lemons, basil, rosemary and thyme sourced from the restaurant's top producers.
Brandon’s recipe for perfect cocktails also includes his made-from-scratch syrups and tinctures like his tantalizing Serrano pepper and honey syrup. The results are oh-yeah flavor notes that give cocktails a positively Portland upgrade. When it comes to spirits, American whiskey is a house favorite Brandon loves to share in unexpected ways, like the Port Old Fashioned featuring Bulleit Bourbon, 10 year old tawny Port, Angostura bitters and maple syrup. Whatever you choose here, it’s evident that Brandon is the creative spirit behind an imaginative cocktail program that is shaking things up in Portland.