Best cocktail(s) in Portland
Philo Biane @Beaker&Flask
Salt&Pepper @Clyde Common
anything you ask Kelly Swenson to make @Ten01
I think Laurelhurst Market's best drink is the famed Smoke Signals, so I'm going to nominate that one for its flavor as well as the technical expertise required to make smoked ice.
Similarly, Teardrop Lounge does all kinds of alchemy in a glass. Of the current menu, my favorite is Respect Your Elders, which takes gin, St. Germain and thai chili tincture.
Ten01 recently expanded their cocktail menu, and I have lots of favorites, but the best one is probably the Celeriac, which partakes of that PDX bartender sport of using cynar and tequila, combined to great effect with celery bitters and egg white.
Clyde Common also has great stuff on it, but the one that I keep turning back to, whether it be the beginning, the middle, or the end of my evening, is the Dissident, combining their house made tonic water, squeezed lime, and Becherovka.
I've been hanging out at Carlyle a lot lately, and one of my favorite drinks there is an homage to the West Coast bartenders' love of Fernet: it combines rye, Fernet, and ginger liqueur.
House Spirits does these RPM (Recession Proof Mixology) events all over town every week, going to various bars and making $5 craft cocktails. But for me I like to go to one of the RPM bartender's home base at Belly Timber, where not only can you get their rendition of that aforementioned Carlyle "Shift Drink", but you also get to try out all kinds of other cool tinctures and infusions, not as extensive as Teardrop, but still notable. My favorite thing to get here is actually an Krogstad Aquavit old fashioned.
And of course, there's Beaker and Flask, which I seem to visit with alarming regularity. Lots of great drinks on this menu, my favorite being the Coltrane! Coltrane! Coltrane! which is no longer on the menu. Currently, they're rocking a great smoky drink called Lima Time.
The company that owns Bartini, Urban Restaurant Group, recently advertised on Craigslist looking for servers. They demanded a $4.50 "processing fee" for the honor of applying. For that reason, I'll never patronize Bartini. http://www.portlandfoodanddrink.com/2...
Anything at Teardrop.
Pear Sidecar at Belly. They too are offering "recession proof mixology" $5 all drinks Sept. 9, 5-8 pm.
Kelly at Ten01 is a phenomenon. I agree with the note about the Celeriac, but there are probably twenty other unique cocktails on the list equally as noteworthy. What I do when taking people to Ten01 is challenge them to order the thing they think they would like the least. Without fail, they find their nemesis ingredient reined in or balanced by the other ingredients, and are delighted.
Order off the full cocktail menu, not the happy hour cocktail menu, which is restricted. You get what you pay for.