Following a $16 million renovation this spring, Downtown's Hotel Vintage Portland gained the 60-seat Bacchus Bar, and the bartending team at Bacchus Bar dusted off some classic cocktails and launched a tiki menu this month. Portland is already a misty, leafy den of tiki-style bars, with Hale Pele's "tiki is a way of life" philosophy and the fact that Portland's Trader Vic's is one of only three left in the United States.
Head bartender Emily Yelencich and her team designed the tiki cocktails, which debuted this August, and the menu includes both the classics, such as takes on Mai Thais and daiquiris, and the famously obscure. Take the Green Swizzle Wooster, for instance. It combines white rum, Chartreuse, and demerara syrup, as well as a number of secret ingredients.
"It's a legendarily mysterious cocktail," Yelencich told Eater by phone. "There hasn't been a single recipe for it, so there's a lot of speculation." In fact, it first appeared in P.G. Wodehouse's 1924 short story, The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy. Yelencich didn't spill all of the details, but Bacchus Bar's version does include wormwood bitters. "Everyone I've served it to has liked it and not known totally how to place it," said Yelencich.
The hotel bar also offers top shelf rums, including Ron Zacapa 23-year and Mount Gay Black Barrel. "We wanted people to try drinks they've never had before,"said Yelencich. In addition to the tiki cocktails below, the bar serves classic and signature cocktails, wine, and beer, as well as a bar menu prepared by Vintage Hotel's Pazzo Ristorante, located next door. Food options include snacks, salads, pizzas, and a few large plates, including the Bacchus Burger. The tiki cocktails will likely stay on the menu through September.