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Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Bourbon Renewal
The bourbon renewal at Clyde Common
Alen Weiner Photography/Official

Portland’s Most Iconic Cocktails

The 15 drinks that define the city

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The bourbon renewal at Clyde Common
| Alen Weiner Photography/Official

Portland: The City That Drinks. Maybe it’s not the town’s official motto, but it certainly feels that way — with countless breweries, urban wineries, cider houses, and cocktail bars, Portland’s identity as a booze-happy city is undisputed. Portlander bartenders have spent the last decade-plus making the city a destination for cocktail drinkers, and many of those drinks have become an iconic aspect of the food and drink scene here. Here are the 15 drinks that everyone in Portland, or visiting Portland, needs to try at least once.

As usual, this map is organized geographically, not ranked. For other maps of the most essential and hottest bars in Portland, look below.

The Portland Cocktail Heatmap
Portland’s Essential Bars
The Happy Hours Portland Can’t Live Without

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Diplomatic Pouch at Expatriate

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This dark, lurid, and entirely iconic cocktail lounge changes its cocktail menu regularly, but what always stays on is the Diplomatic Pouch. It’s less of a drink, and more of a concept — built around a customer’s preferences, every person’s Diplomatic Pouch is different, but always evocative of the talent and care of the bartenders at this staple of a bar.

The Bye and Bye at Bye and Bye

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If a bar is willing to name a drink after itself, it’s usually a safe bet it’ll be decent. That logic is supported by industrial-chic vegan bar Bye and Bye. The eponymous cocktail is served in a large mason jar, a peachy blend of peach vodka and peach bourbon with some lemon, cranberry, and soda for spritz. It’s sweet, juicy, boozy, and just $9. Its sister bar Sweet Hereafter on Belmont offers something similar with its eponymous mason jar drink, made with vodka, bourbon, lemon, and iced tea. 

The Danish Mary at Broder and Broder Nord

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Portland sees brunch as an ideology, so of course there are a lot of bloody marys in town. But the one at the sleek, hyper-modernist Scandinavian restaurant Broder and its sister shop Broder Nord stood out from the milieu by swapping the vodka for aquavit, a botanical spirit generally flavored with caraway or dill. Today, the Danish Mary is still a consummate hangover cure for its herbaceous, spicy, and vivid quality. 

The Mai Tai at Hale Pele

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There is no shortage of drink options at this fully decked out, kitschy tiki bar. From flaming Jet Pilots to boozy zombies (with a limit of two per customer), it’s easy to get lost in the menu, but there’s nothing quite like the OG tiki drink — the Mai Tai. This isn’t some sickeningly sweet concoction of fruit juice and syrups masquerading as a Mai Tai during the ‘90s, but rather the Tiki Geek version, a beautifully balanced blend of rums, curacao, lime, and orgeat. It’s slightly sweet, tart, and definitely boozy, and helps Portland escape the rainy, gray winters for minutes at a time.

The Pepper Smash #2 at Oven and Shaker

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While cocktails often include citrus and other fruits as an ingredient, rarely do they use yellow bell peppers. But the Pepper Smash #2, developed by bartender Ryan Magarian, uses them, along with aquavit, mint, lime, and maple syrup. The resulting cocktail is a vivid, bright, fresh drink with savory elements balancing the sweet. Offered at the bustling, industrial pizzeria Oven and Shaker from Magarian and Cathy Whims, it’s a refreshing way to kick off a pizza-fueled happy hour.

The Bourbon Renewal at Clyde Common

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The Bourbon Renewal at Clyde Common — a bright, open, two-floor restaurant and bar — is an elevated riff on a whiskey sour, with bourbon, lemon, creme de cassis, and bitters. The drink was crafted by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, arguably Portland’s most famous bartender who inarguably put the city on the world cocktail map. The Renewal is evocative of Clyde Common’s whole style — mature and elegant, but fun and accessible.

The Grasshopper at Pépé le Moko

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Another of Morgenthaler’s creations, The Grasshopper was one of many attempts to take the discarded drinks of the 1960s and ‘70s and update them with modern cocktail sensibilities. Served in the stylish, subterranean speakeasy that is Pépé le Moko, the vivid green cocktail is presented in a tall soda-fountain glass, and is a sweet, boozy, creamy concoction of crème de menthe, crème de cacao, vanilla ice cream, Fernet Branca, and sea salt. It’s best served as an after dinner dessert, but no one will be judged for drinking it right when the bar opens at 4 p.m. daily.

View this post on Instagram

On my list of drinks to try soon! @natkayt

A post shared by PDX Drinks (@pdxdrinks) on

The Scotch Lodge at Scotch Lodge

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A drink so popular Tommy Klus named his bar after it, the Scotch Lodge is the second iteration of a cocktail. Originally made with rye whiskey, the Scotch Lodge, unsurprisingly, uses scotch instead, along with amaro, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. The result is an incredibly deep, rich, vibrant drink that’s made for those who like their cocktails “spirit-forward.” It can be found both at the lush, blue-walled La Moule, and at the eponymous, gorgeously retro Scotch Lodge.

Champagne Cocktails at the Driftwood Room

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A dark, stylish bar in the Hotel Deluxe, the wood-paneled Driftwood Room is an elegant place for an evening date. It’s also the place to go for a Champagne cocktail — the bar offers a number of variations, including the classic, with bitters and sugar, as well as original takes like the Portland ‘85, named for the release date of the Clear Creek Pear Brandy that goes into it. The elegant drinks fit the vibe well, and are a smart call for an anniversary dinner or celebration.

One of the Driftwood Room’s champagne cocktails
A sparkling cocktail at the Driftwood Room
Jordan Hughes/Official

The Spanish Coffee at Huber's Cafe

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There’s really no drink as iconic to Portland as the Spanish coffee. Whether or not it was actually invented in the historic, vintage dining hall at Huber’s, it was absolutely popularized there, and today, the vest-clad bartenders and servers still make it the same way — tableside, with pyrotechnics. Servers light Rum 151 and triple sec aflame in the glass, then dust it with nutmeg and cinnamon that bursts into a cloud of sparks when it hits the flames. It’s then snuffed out with Kahlua and hot coffee before getting a big dollop of cream on top for a sweet, caffeinated treat that every alcohol-swilling Portlander needs to try at least once.

The Vieux Carre at Urban Farmer Portland

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An eclectically decorated, airy steakhouse with a vaulted glass ceiling and numerous dining nooks, Urban Farmer is the underrated restaurant and bar within the Nines Hotel. When the trend of barrel-aging cocktails took over the city, the bar team here went one step further with a “solera” system for its Vieux Carre, which means each drink is a mix of different ages of barreling. This lends the already complex New Orleans classic — with rye, brandy, sweet vermouth, and benedictine —  even more depth. It’s a lovely start, or finish, to a steak dinner, or just for a nightcap.

Urban Farmer’s solera-aged vieux carre
Vieux Carre from a solera barrel at Urban Farmer
Urban Farmer/Official

The Rum Club Daiquiri at Rum Club

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Like many other cocktails, the daiquiri was unfairly maligned for some time. However, the drink spent the last decade seeing a well-deserved resurgence thanks to bars like Rum Club, a craft cocktail bar disguised as a comfortable neighborhood lounge. Most nights of the week bartenders from all over town can be found sipping one of these after work. More than just a regular mix of rum, sugar, and lime, the Rum Club daiquiri kicks it up with a splash of maraschino, a dash of bitters, and a mist of absinthe for some extra complexity and depth.

The Negroni of the Month at Nostrana

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Nostrana, the beloved, spacious dining hall home to Cathy Whims’ astonishing Italian dining, demonstrates the sheer versatility of a base cocktail like the negroni with its Negroni of the Month program. Each month sees a different spin on the Italian aperitif, generally one crafted by another Portland bartender or a guest from out of town; sometimes they hew close the original recipe of gin, Campari, and vermouth, and sometimes they push the very limits of what can be considered a negroni. The program was so popular it helped inspire Negroni Week, which now spans globally every June.

A ruby-red negroni of the month at Nostrana
Michael Ernsting/Official

Trio of Happy Hour Drinks at Aalto Lounge

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The famous happy hour at menu at the midcentury-chic Aalto Lounge has kept on the same three cocktails for years now, with no sign of them ever leaving. There’s the crisp and refreshing Dandy, with gin, lime, and lavender syrup; the rich Belmont Jewel, a whiskey sour with pomegranate and orange blossom water; and the zesty, refreshing Slow Burn, with vodka, pineapple, lime, and a touch of serrano pepper. Getting all three will set someone back just $9, less than the price of a cocktail at most bars in town. 

The Penicillin at Bible Club PDX

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This speakeasy bar, decked out in vintage furniture and memorabilia, serves a rotating list of classic, old school cocktails as well as inspired new concoctions made with top-shelf ingredients. One mainstay on the menu is the Penicillin, a rich scotch sour made with Ardbeg Ten, ginger syrup, and lemon, with a Laphroaig mist over it. It can always be found over ice, but in the summer it’s served outside as a slushy, and in the winter it can be ordered steaming hot in a mug. In any case, it’s equal parts smoky, sweet, and tart.

The Diplomatic Pouch at Expatriate

This dark, lurid, and entirely iconic cocktail lounge changes its cocktail menu regularly, but what always stays on is the Diplomatic Pouch. It’s less of a drink, and more of a concept — built around a customer’s preferences, every person’s Diplomatic Pouch is different, but always evocative of the talent and care of the bartenders at this staple of a bar.

The Bye and Bye at Bye and Bye

If a bar is willing to name a drink after itself, it’s usually a safe bet it’ll be decent. That logic is supported by industrial-chic vegan bar Bye and Bye. The eponymous cocktail is served in a large mason jar, a peachy blend of peach vodka and peach bourbon with some lemon, cranberry, and soda for spritz. It’s sweet, juicy, boozy, and just $9. Its sister bar Sweet Hereafter on Belmont offers something similar with its eponymous mason jar drink, made with vodka, bourbon, lemon, and iced tea. 

The Danish Mary at Broder and Broder Nord

Portland sees brunch as an ideology, so of course there are a lot of bloody marys in town. But the one at the sleek, hyper-modernist Scandinavian restaurant Broder and its sister shop Broder Nord stood out from the milieu by swapping the vodka for aquavit, a botanical spirit generally flavored with caraway or dill. Today, the Danish Mary is still a consummate hangover cure for its herbaceous, spicy, and vivid quality. 

The Mai Tai at Hale Pele

There is no shortage of drink options at this fully decked out, kitschy tiki bar. From flaming Jet Pilots to boozy zombies (with a limit of two per customer), it’s easy to get lost in the menu, but there’s nothing quite like the OG tiki drink — the Mai Tai. This isn’t some sickeningly sweet concoction of fruit juice and syrups masquerading as a Mai Tai during the ‘90s, but rather the Tiki Geek version, a beautifully balanced blend of rums, curacao, lime, and orgeat. It’s slightly sweet, tart, and definitely boozy, and helps Portland escape the rainy, gray winters for minutes at a time.

The Pepper Smash #2 at Oven and Shaker

While cocktails often include citrus and other fruits as an ingredient, rarely do they use yellow bell peppers. But the Pepper Smash #2, developed by bartender Ryan Magarian, uses them, along with aquavit, mint, lime, and maple syrup. The resulting cocktail is a vivid, bright, fresh drink with savory elements balancing the sweet. Offered at the bustling, industrial pizzeria Oven and Shaker from Magarian and Cathy Whims, it’s a refreshing way to kick off a pizza-fueled happy hour.

The Bourbon Renewal at Clyde Common

The Bourbon Renewal at Clyde Common — a bright, open, two-floor restaurant and bar — is an elevated riff on a whiskey sour, with bourbon, lemon, creme de cassis, and bitters. The drink was crafted by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, arguably Portland’s most famous bartender who inarguably put the city on the world cocktail map. The Renewal is evocative of Clyde Common’s whole style — mature and elegant, but fun and accessible.

The Grasshopper at Pépé le Moko

Another of Morgenthaler’s creations, The Grasshopper was one of many attempts to take the discarded drinks of the 1960s and ‘70s and update them with modern cocktail sensibilities. Served in the stylish, subterranean speakeasy that is Pépé le Moko, the vivid green cocktail is presented in a tall soda-fountain glass, and is a sweet, boozy, creamy concoction of crème de menthe, crème de cacao, vanilla ice cream, Fernet Branca, and sea salt. It’s best served as an after dinner dessert, but no one will be judged for drinking it right when the bar opens at 4 p.m. daily.

View this post on Instagram

On my list of drinks to try soon! @natkayt

A post shared by PDX Drinks (@pdxdrinks) on

The Scotch Lodge at Scotch Lodge

A drink so popular Tommy Klus named his bar after it, the Scotch Lodge is the second iteration of a cocktail. Originally made with rye whiskey, the Scotch Lodge, unsurprisingly, uses scotch instead, along with amaro, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. The result is an incredibly deep, rich, vibrant drink that’s made for those who like their cocktails “spirit-forward.” It can be found both at the lush, blue-walled La Moule, and at the eponymous, gorgeously retro Scotch Lodge.

Champagne Cocktails at the Driftwood Room

One of the Driftwood Room’s champagne cocktails
A sparkling cocktail at the Driftwood Room
Jordan Hughes/Official

A dark, stylish bar in the Hotel Deluxe, the wood-paneled Driftwood Room is an elegant place for an evening date. It’s also the place to go for a Champagne cocktail — the bar offers a number of variations, including the classic, with bitters and sugar, as well as original takes like the Portland ‘85, named for the release date of the Clear Creek Pear Brandy that goes into it. The elegant drinks fit the vibe well, and are a smart call for an anniversary dinner or celebration.

One of the Driftwood Room’s champagne cocktails
A sparkling cocktail at the Driftwood Room
Jordan Hughes/Official

The Spanish Coffee at Huber's Cafe

There’s really no drink as iconic to Portland as the Spanish coffee. Whether or not it was actually invented in the historic, vintage dining hall at Huber’s, it was absolutely popularized there, and today, the vest-clad bartenders and servers still make it the same way — tableside, with pyrotechnics. Servers light Rum 151 and triple sec aflame in the glass, then dust it with nutmeg and cinnamon that bursts into a cloud of sparks when it hits the flames. It’s then snuffed out with Kahlua and hot coffee before getting a big dollop of cream on top for a sweet, caffeinated treat that every alcohol-swilling Portlander needs to try at least once.

The Vieux Carre at Urban Farmer Portland

Urban Farmer’s solera-aged vieux carre
Vieux Carre from a solera barrel at Urban Farmer
Urban Farmer/Official

An eclectically decorated, airy steakhouse with a vaulted glass ceiling and numerous dining nooks, Urban Farmer is the underrated restaurant and bar within the Nines Hotel. When the trend of barrel-aging cocktails took over the city, the bar team here went one step further with a “solera” system for its Vieux Carre, which means each drink is a mix of different ages of barreling. This lends the already complex New Orleans classic — with rye, brandy, sweet vermouth, and benedictine —  even more depth. It’s a lovely start, or finish, to a steak dinner, or just for a nightcap.

Urban Farmer’s solera-aged vieux carre
Vieux Carre from a solera barrel at Urban Farmer
Urban Farmer/Official

The Rum Club Daiquiri at Rum Club

Like many other cocktails, the daiquiri was unfairly maligned for some time. However, the drink spent the last decade seeing a well-deserved resurgence thanks to bars like Rum Club, a craft cocktail bar disguised as a comfortable neighborhood lounge. Most nights of the week bartenders from all over town can be found sipping one of these after work. More than just a regular mix of rum, sugar, and lime, the Rum Club daiquiri kicks it up with a splash of maraschino, a dash of bitters, and a mist of absinthe for some extra complexity and depth.

The Negroni of the Month at Nostrana

A ruby-red negroni of the month at Nostrana
Michael Ernsting/Official

Nostrana, the beloved, spacious dining hall home to Cathy Whims’ astonishing Italian dining, demonstrates the sheer versatility of a base cocktail like the negroni with its Negroni of the Month program. Each month sees a different spin on the Italian aperitif, generally one crafted by another Portland bartender or a guest from out of town; sometimes they hew close the original recipe of gin, Campari, and vermouth, and sometimes they push the very limits of what can be considered a negroni. The program was so popular it helped inspire Negroni Week, which now spans globally every June.

A ruby-red negroni of the month at Nostrana
Michael Ernsting/Official

Trio of Happy Hour Drinks at Aalto Lounge

The famous happy hour at menu at the midcentury-chic Aalto Lounge has kept on the same three cocktails for years now, with no sign of them ever leaving. There’s the crisp and refreshing Dandy, with gin, lime, and lavender syrup; the rich Belmont Jewel, a whiskey sour with pomegranate and orange blossom water; and the zesty, refreshing Slow Burn, with vodka, pineapple, lime, and a touch of serrano pepper. Getting all three will set someone back just $9, less than the price of a cocktail at most bars in town. 

The Penicillin at Bible Club PDX

This speakeasy bar, decked out in vintage furniture and memorabilia, serves a rotating list of classic, old school cocktails as well as inspired new concoctions made with top-shelf ingredients. One mainstay on the menu is the Penicillin, a rich scotch sour made with Ardbeg Ten, ginger syrup, and lemon, with a Laphroaig mist over it. It can always be found over ice, but in the summer it’s served outside as a slushy, and in the winter it can be ordered steaming hot in a mug. In any case, it’s equal parts smoky, sweet, and tart.

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