Image of Beaker & Flask courtesy Avila/EPDX
The third-annual Portland Cocktail Week is set to kick off next Monday, October 21, because sobriety is overrated. Though this year's celebration of craft cocktails focuses on bartender-only seminars and events (held at McMenamins Kennedy School), the drunken public is invited to partake in several events around Portland — including a cabaret-style bartender performance, pig roast, and an ongoing "bar crawl" offering $7 special Cocktail Week drinks through October 25. And because luring designated drivers necessitates efficient drinking, here's Eater's guide to Cocktail Week events — paired with neighboring spots offering PDXCW specials.
When: Monday, October 22
What: Hilariously, Cocktail Week's kick-off event involves a night "On the Town" with famed NYC bartender Dale DeGroff, who will perform a jazz-guitar-accompanied set at the Living Room Theaters, featuring "an evening of stories, cocktails and songs." The $35 ticket includes cocktails and hors d'ouevres.
Whee!: For an after-performance drink or two, hit up nearby Kask (for "the Notorious Figgy Smalls," featuring bourbon, gin, fig and brown sugar Oleo-Saccharum), Imperial (serving up the "Ada Coleman," with gin, vermouth, and apricot), or the Gilt Club ("The Brian Griffin," with unoaked whiskey, pear-ginger liqueur, rosemary, fresh ginger, rhubarb bitters, and ginger beer).
When: Tuesday, October 23
What: The Country Cat teams up with House Spirits Distillery for a three-course pairing dinner, featuring some of chef Adam Sappington's signature dishes (skillet fried chicken with mashed potatoes and greens, smoked steelhead and deviled eggs), each paired with a House Spirits cocktail. Reservations are $45 and inclusive of all food, drink, and gratuity; call the restaurant for a seat.
Whee!: Okay, so no PDXCW specials in the Montavilla 'hood, but may we suggest — if you're sufficiently sloshed — a stop into the nearby Tub & Tan?
When: Wednesday, October 24
What/Whee!: A free day on the official Cocktail Week calendar means time to hit up the Northwest quadrant for mini neighborhood bar crawls: West of NE 24th Avenue, stop into Hale Pele (serving a Puerto Rican rum punch) and Tabla (offering its "Go Go Juice," or vodka with saffron, carrot, ginger, and lime). On NE MLK, Ox and its sister Whey Bar will each shake up a cocktail week special (the latter features "The French Diplomat," with gin, Aveze liqueur, lemon, honey, and whey).
4) CENTRAL EASTSIDE INDUSTRIAL
When: Thursday, October 24, afternoon session
What: Imbibe Magazine teams up with San Francisco-based Bon Vivants to throw a Pig & Punch party at the Yale Union. The pig roast, complete with "gallons" of booze (obviously), will be a casual, daytime affair — tickets are $30, with proceeds being donated to local Portland charter school LEP High. More information here.
Whee!: Since P&P fetes from 11a.m. to 5p.m., some nearby Cocktail Week specials at spots open during the day: Nostrana (serving "the Invisible Woman", gin, Combier, Cocchi Americano, and acid phosphate), Pacific Pie Co. (serving a "strawberry pie a la mode"), and Rum Club (which opens at 4p.m.)
5) CENTRAL EASTSIDE INDUSTRIAL
When: Thursday, October 24, evening session
What: The Jupiter Hotel hosts a patriotic party thrown by the United States Bartenders Guild: 'Merica! Red White and Booze will feature representatives from all 34 chapters of the USBG (from far-flung locales like Texas! And New York!) mixing cocktails in several "pop-up" bars. Tickets are $40 and available at the door.
Whee!: Whether pre-gaming or trolling for an afterparty, crawl over to neighboring Beaker & Flask (with the "Tilly Jane," Clear Creek pear brandy, vermouth, Cynar, ginger syrup) or Biwa (serving up a Cocktail Week chu-hai).
· Portland Cocktail Week [Official site]