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Portland’s Top $10 And Under Craft Cocktail Programs, Mapped

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In 2015, $15 cocktails are not a rarity. But many Portland bar managers do their best to keep drinks, even the craftier ones, at about $10. No doubt some of you think that's still way too much to pay for a drink. The price is, after all, higher than the hourly minimum wage of $9.25/hour—for now, at least. But ask any restaurateur about profit margins and they'll tell you that drinks are what make a restaurant money. It keeps the cost of your dinner down; and ordering them is optional. If you're gonna order one — and we think you should — consider the following as your guide to Portland's $10-and-under craft cocktails.

All photos courtesy of Dina Avila unless otherwise noted; businesses are listed in alphabetical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Aalto Lounge

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Every craft cocktail on Aalto’s 16-drink menu runs shy of $10, and most of them run just $8, including martinis, negronis, margaritas and vieux carres. But if even $8 is still too steep for you, show up between 5 and 7 p.m. on any day of the week and take advantage of the happy hour menu which boasts three house cocktails and one changes-daily Jell-O shot, all of which go for just $2 a pop.[Photo of Aalto Lounge courtesy of Facebook]

At downtown Portland’s latest craft cocktail bar, Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, Tom Collinses and Manhattans all run you just $8, but a couple of dollars more will buy you a brown Derby (bonded bourbon, lime, orange, sweet vermouth and cardamom bitters) or a pastel-colored Monet Fizz (gin, crème de violette, lemon and egg whites).{Photo of Barlow courtesy of Facebook]

Clyde Common

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More than half of Clyde’s cocktails run under the $10 range, including the daily punch ($7) and Jeffery Morganthaler’s carbonated and bottled Americanos (Campari, vermouth, water and orange oil), but (as everyone well knows), happy hour, with its $6 Bittersweet Symphonies (aperol, gin, vermouth) and Spelling Bees (tequila reposado, agave syrup, absinthe and a grapefruit peel) is where it’s at.

Hale Pele

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Blair Reynolds’ tiki-style cocktail drinks aren’t necessarily inexpensive—the insanely potent Zombie Punch goes for $15—but the simple Corn ’n’ Oil (rum, lime and spiced falernum) goes for $8 a pour, while the bar’s eight-item $6 happy hour drink menu entitles you to cheap Blue Hawaiis (vodka, lemon, pineapple, curaçao), Castaways (rum, pineapple and Kahlúa) and Saturns (gin, passionfruit, orgeat, lemon and falernum).

Imperial

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Since its doors first opened, Imperial’s bar staff has been mixing up large vieux carre batches for their tap cocktail program. Generally, those vieux carres run about $8 each—a steal in its own right—but during happy hour, they’re an impossible $5. Tread lightly though: these sippers are all spirits, so two might make you go a little wobbly, and three’ll leave you downright legless.

Pope House Bourbon Lounge

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Four of Pope House’s six Old Fashioneds and Manhattans are $10 or less. Same deal with 13 of their 15 remaining signature cocktails, including Sazeracs, Moscow Mules and caipirinhas. And the bar’s nine happy hour cocktails (Brown Derbys, Pimm’s Cup) are all priced at just $5, and never go higher than $7 once happy hour ends. In other words, it’s got a little something for everyone.[Photo of Pope House courtesy of Yelp]

Rum Club

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Do you remember PoMo’s story that documented where your favorite bartenders go to get drinks when their shifts came to an end? If you do, you’ll remember than all of them head to Rum Club, excepting one: Rum Club’s Michael Shae, who had the good sense not to list his own joint. (Besides, who wants to unwind from work at work?) Of Shae’s signature 19 cocktails, 16 of them fall in the $10 and under range, including his elegantly simple and effortlessly drinkable Rum Club Daiquiri (rum, lime, maraschino, bitters and absinthe).

Teardrop Lounge

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Most of the cocktails stirred and shaken up by the staff at Portland’s proto-craft cocktail bar go a few dollars north of the $10 mark, but there are a pair of worthy signature drinks on Teardrop’s menu that clock in at an even $10: Love in the Afternoon (bourbon, pluot and a lemon-basil-demerera spritz) and the saucy Frankly, Scarlet (cognac, tangerine-cascara tea, amaro, agave nectar and sage).[Photo of Teardrop Lounge courtesy of Neighborhood Notes]

The Bent Brick

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Because the staff here runs a tight domestics-only spirits program—sorry tequila lovers; there’ll be no margaritas here—you might think that your choices are limited. But if you ask for something with, say cognac, bartender Michelle Ruocco can come pretty close to replicating the drink you crave. That said, she also makes up large batches of tap Old Fashioneds, which, at just $5 a pour during happy hour, can’t be beat.

The Box Social

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Only one of The Box Social’s 22 drinks run north of $10, and most of them are in the $8 to $9 range, including a Ramos Gin Fizz and creative takes on spritzers, Manhattans and Negronis (the latter of which is made with mezcal). But the real deal is the happy hour menu where drinks like Brown Derbys, Moscow Mules and margaritas all go for just $6 each. [Photo of The Box Social courtesy of Facebook]

The Richmond Bar

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The dozen signature cocktails here are all $10 and under, and some of ‘em go low as $8 (like the Czech Mate, mixed with becherovka, rum, lemon and egg whites) and $7 (palomas spiced with grapefruit shrub and jalapeño simple syrup). But all them get a buck discount during happy hour, which lasts from 4 to 6 p.m. every day.

Xico’s cocktails are creative, but they’re not necessarily cheap. In fact, the only drink that clocks in at the $10 mark is the bar’s signature margarita (Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, triple sec and lime). But if you show up during happy hour (5 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), you can score one for $6.25—and each time you buy one, a dollar gets set aside for the staff’s collective health care costs.

Aalto Lounge

Every craft cocktail on Aalto’s 16-drink menu runs shy of $10, and most of them run just $8, including martinis, negronis, margaritas and vieux carres. But if even $8 is still too steep for you, show up between 5 and 7 p.m. on any day of the week and take advantage of the happy hour menu which boasts three house cocktails and one changes-daily Jell-O shot, all of which go for just $2 a pop.[Photo of Aalto Lounge courtesy of Facebook]

Barlow

At downtown Portland’s latest craft cocktail bar, Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, Tom Collinses and Manhattans all run you just $8, but a couple of dollars more will buy you a brown Derby (bonded bourbon, lime, orange, sweet vermouth and cardamom bitters) or a pastel-colored Monet Fizz (gin, crème de violette, lemon and egg whites).{Photo of Barlow courtesy of Facebook]

Clyde Common

More than half of Clyde’s cocktails run under the $10 range, including the daily punch ($7) and Jeffery Morganthaler’s carbonated and bottled Americanos (Campari, vermouth, water and orange oil), but (as everyone well knows), happy hour, with its $6 Bittersweet Symphonies (aperol, gin, vermouth) and Spelling Bees (tequila reposado, agave syrup, absinthe and a grapefruit peel) is where it’s at.

Hale Pele

Blair Reynolds’ tiki-style cocktail drinks aren’t necessarily inexpensive—the insanely potent Zombie Punch goes for $15—but the simple Corn ’n’ Oil (rum, lime and spiced falernum) goes for $8 a pour, while the bar’s eight-item $6 happy hour drink menu entitles you to cheap Blue Hawaiis (vodka, lemon, pineapple, curaçao), Castaways (rum, pineapple and Kahlúa) and Saturns (gin, passionfruit, orgeat, lemon and falernum).

Imperial

Since its doors first opened, Imperial’s bar staff has been mixing up large vieux carre batches for their tap cocktail program. Generally, those vieux carres run about $8 each—a steal in its own right—but during happy hour, they’re an impossible $5. Tread lightly though: these sippers are all spirits, so two might make you go a little wobbly, and three’ll leave you downright legless.

Pope House Bourbon Lounge

Four of Pope House’s six Old Fashioneds and Manhattans are $10 or less. Same deal with 13 of their 15 remaining signature cocktails, including Sazeracs, Moscow Mules and caipirinhas. And the bar’s nine happy hour cocktails (Brown Derbys, Pimm’s Cup) are all priced at just $5, and never go higher than $7 once happy hour ends. In other words, it’s got a little something for everyone.[Photo of Pope House courtesy of Yelp]

Rum Club

Do you remember PoMo’s story that documented where your favorite bartenders go to get drinks when their shifts came to an end? If you do, you’ll remember than all of them head to Rum Club, excepting one: Rum Club’s Michael Shae, who had the good sense not to list his own joint. (Besides, who wants to unwind from work at work?) Of Shae’s signature 19 cocktails, 16 of them fall in the $10 and under range, including his elegantly simple and effortlessly drinkable Rum Club Daiquiri (rum, lime, maraschino, bitters and absinthe).

Teardrop Lounge

Most of the cocktails stirred and shaken up by the staff at Portland’s proto-craft cocktail bar go a few dollars north of the $10 mark, but there are a pair of worthy signature drinks on Teardrop’s menu that clock in at an even $10: Love in the Afternoon (bourbon, pluot and a lemon-basil-demerera spritz) and the saucy Frankly, Scarlet (cognac, tangerine-cascara tea, amaro, agave nectar and sage).[Photo of Teardrop Lounge courtesy of Neighborhood Notes]

The Bent Brick

Because the staff here runs a tight domestics-only spirits program—sorry tequila lovers; there’ll be no margaritas here—you might think that your choices are limited. But if you ask for something with, say cognac, bartender Michelle Ruocco can come pretty close to replicating the drink you crave. That said, she also makes up large batches of tap Old Fashioneds, which, at just $5 a pour during happy hour, can’t be beat.

The Box Social

Only one of The Box Social’s 22 drinks run north of $10, and most of them are in the $8 to $9 range, including a Ramos Gin Fizz and creative takes on spritzers, Manhattans and Negronis (the latter of which is made with mezcal). But the real deal is the happy hour menu where drinks like Brown Derbys, Moscow Mules and margaritas all go for just $6 each. [Photo of The Box Social courtesy of Facebook]

The Richmond Bar

The dozen signature cocktails here are all $10 and under, and some of ‘em go low as $8 (like the Czech Mate, mixed with becherovka, rum, lemon and egg whites) and $7 (palomas spiced with grapefruit shrub and jalapeño simple syrup). But all them get a buck discount during happy hour, which lasts from 4 to 6 p.m. every day.

Xico

Xico’s cocktails are creative, but they’re not necessarily cheap. In fact, the only drink that clocks in at the $10 mark is the bar’s signature margarita (Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, triple sec and lime). But if you show up during happy hour (5 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), you can score one for $6.25—and each time you buy one, a dollar gets set aside for the staff’s collective health care costs.

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