Great Cocktails in PDX
I know it's wine country, but I'm on the hunt for bars that make great cocktails, particularly ones that use seasonal fruit and/or fruit-infused liquors. Unlike a wine list, a cocktail is a dynamic, spontaneous creation made to order, as if it were any other dish on the food menu. But imagination and creativity shouldn't mask out a bartender's ability to make the classics like a gimlet or a sidecar. I'll be staying downtown for the next week, and while I've got a pretty good idea as to which restaurants I'll visiting, I also want to see places where mixology get the same craftsmanship and artisanal approach as the food. I don't mind if it's a bar in a restaurant/hotel, a stand-alone watering hole, or even a bar at a restaurant where the food isn't very good. Any suggestions?
Also, any tips as to where to find a selection of whiskeys (including scotch and bourbon) would be great. My all time favorites are Balvenie and Glenmorangie, but lately I've been drinking a lot of Wathens.
Went to Clyde Common tonight. Pretty good food but great drinks. This is definitely my kind of place; I can't wait to try out the other suggestions. Thanks, Portlanders.
(By the way, thanks to that NYT article, Clyde Common was *slammed* on Monday.)
1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205
Obviously Mint on N Russell is a reference point in Portland. I've been meaning to check out Clyde Common. Rumor has it they make their own tonic?
For my taste, one of the best cocktails is this: Go to Tea Zone/Camellia Lounge. Order the Makers Mark with infused vanilla tea on the rocks topped off with water. If this sounds good to you, you'll be in for a treat!
I'm sure others will have ideas, but Park Kitchen has a very nice bar menu, had a pitch perfect Manhattan last time there. Re: Whiskey, can't go wrong with Pok Pok, some of the best Thai food in the Northwest to go along with a great whiskey menu, really. Just had dinner at Clyde Commons and they seem to also have a strong selection of whiskeys both American and Scotch.
Awesome. My reference point here in Los Angeles is The Hungry Cat in Hollywood. It's one of the few places I've ever seen that has a seasonal cocktail menu. Why, just the other night I was served a margarita served with fresno-chili infused simple syrup. And they're currently also offering their take on an orange julius (with vodka): they even added a touch of egg white to provide the drink that frothy consistency. One of their signature drinks is a cucumber martini: nothing highlights the piquant flavor in gin quite like a juiced cucumber.
I look forward to checking out everyone's suggestions, and I know that I'll be eating (and drinking) well.