If anyone tried all the spirits on offer at Toast on Saturday they presumably had the next day blocked out to lie in the dark with a wet towel on their forehead. There was a lot of booze. It was good to see signs of the spirit industry thriving in Oregon, though there was some grumbling from distillers that city regulations were making it increasingly difficult to get sanctioned. Amid all the gin, vodka, whiskey and what not—much of it very good indeed—what stood out were some rather special liqueurs. The Spiritopia ginger liqueur, which is made in Corvallis from organic Peruvian ginger, is a perfect sipping drink—it has a spicy hit, is not too sweet and leaves just enough heat on the throat. It would also do well in a cocktail, and certainly a better option in a Moscow Mule than ginger beer. Agwa de Bolivia, isn’t local—it is made from coca leaves that are shipped under armed guard from South America to Amsterdam, and which are then blended with herbs to produce a complex, slightly peppery drink with hints of mint and tobacco. It’s fluorescent green and, no, it doesn’t actually contain any active cocaine—it is still worth trying, though.

Perhaps the best thing I tasted—it was certainly the most interesting—were the tea liqueurs that Thomas and Sons Distillery have recently started to produce in collaboration with Townshend’s Tea. They come in three flavors—spice, smoke and sweet—and are perfect for sipping or mixing (though they are all intriguing in their own way the smoke was a personal favorite). Distilled from tea and then mixed with botanicals and either honey or sugar cane, they retail for $34.95 a bottle; currently they are only available from the Westmoreland liquor store, though the plan is to get them throughout the rest of Portland by the end of the month.