I was in Portland last week, and had the chance to taste the creative bar-tending stylings of Urban Farmer, a hip and totally trendy spot on the 8th floor of the Nines Hotel.

The bar is airy, open to a huge swath of natural light, and is presided over by countless floors of hotel room windows that give the space a bit of a voyeuristic feel.  I was with Judith Unterholzner, of Terlano winery, and we wanted a cocktail.

We chose the “Farmer Negroni” from Urban Farmer’s list of house cocktails because (a) it was a Negroni, and (b) it is made with Cocchi Barolo Chinato.  Two very good reasons to love this cocktail.

The traditional negroni would be some combination of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth.  I love that the Aperol and Cocchi Barolo Chinato melded together in this beverage to cover the spicy/ sweet/ medicinal qualities of the original components.  Cocchi products are also always just plain awesome.  Pure, clean, artisanal and super-aromatic.  This is what vermouth is all about.  Plus, they’re Italian.

Portland is clearly a city that loves its Italian wines, and spirits.  We love you too, Portland.