Briana and Andrew Volk ’05 on the genesis of Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, a standout in Bon Appétit magazine’s naming of Portland, Maine, as Restaurant City of the Year for 2018.
Andrew Volk ’05 mixing a drink and image of the drink from recipe

Images courtesy of Portland Hunt + Alpine Club

You and Briana are like professors of food and drink. Did your inspiration begin at Colby?

I’m not sure if professors is the correct word, but there was absolutely an interest and seed of opportunity in food and drink that developed at Colby. I can remember taking weekends and making meals with friends in the basement kitchen at Mary Low (before the renovation) and later putting together multi-course spreads in the senior apartments. There was access and opportunity to meet with farmers and other food professionals in the Maine community, from going to Bonnie’s Diner regularly, to attending MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair in Unity, to the numerous dining options in Waterville and around the state. I can still remember a seminal dinner I had at Fore Street when I was a student at Colby. That truly impacted my path to become a restaurant professional.

Your recipes go back to the 19th century. Are you history buffs?

We are very interested in where recipes come from and how they get to their present form. I would definitely attest that some of that curiosity and research ability came through the liberal arts education that Colby provided. I was an international studies major, which gave me a breadth of tools and interests to access and pull from.

You seem to collect drink recipes like some people collect antiques or rare books. Do you still?

We’re always finding fun recipes out there, and I keep a notebook that I’ll jot down ones I want to remember and recreate. Sometimes they’re originals from bartenders we meet, sometimes they’re historical ones that have been tweaked to taste delicious. But we are definitely still jotting the recipe down when we try something we love!

We asked for one recipe for Colby Magazine. With so many choices, how did you choose?

It’s always tough to just pick one favorite. One of the iconic drinks that we still have on the menu at Hunt + Alpine is our Green Eyes cocktail. It’s a simple drink that you can make at home with ingredients that can be found at any well-apportioned liquor store. But in my mind, it’s a drink where the sum is greater than the parts.

Green Eyes

  • 1.5 ounces London Dry Gin (we use Beefeater)
  • 0.75 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 0.75 ounces Green Chartreuse
  • 0.5 ounces rich simple syrup (two parts sugar to one part water, by weight)
  • 0.5 ounces fresh egg white
  • Lime wheel and cherry for garnish

Combine all ingredients (but garnish) in a mixing tin. Fill with ice, cap, and shake hard for 30-45 seconds. Fine strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass. Add fresh ice and garnish with a cherry and lime wheel on a pick.