Food & Drink

Where to find PDX's best cocktails

Published On 12/05/2013 Published On 12/05/2013
whiskey library
Drew Tyson
Gilt Club
Drew Tyson
Drew Tyson
Rookery Bar
Teardrop Lounge
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1. Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

If you're a whiskey fan, Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library in Portland is worth a trip. One of the best whiskey bars in the country, it has more than 1,500 whiskeys stacked along a huge brick wall, and in true library fashion, they're accessible by a sliding ladder. Roaming bartenders serve drinks from bar carts, and they know more about whiskey than you ever will, so trust them. You can buy a membership to the semi-gentlemen's club to reserve a table ahead of time, otherwise you'll have to wait a few hours for a seat on peak nights with the rest of the non-members. You can always buy a one-time "Hall Pass" to skip the line though.

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2. Clyde Common 1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

Clyde Common's rocking Prohibition era-themed cocktails are crafted by top-notch mixologists, plus this spot also offers European-inspired eats in its casual space Downtown. The trendsetting tavern has communal tables and small plates. Snack on truffle popcorn while you wait for your Heavy Petting cocktail, made with vodka, quinine syrup, lemon peel and grapefruit.

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3. Hale Pele 2733 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232 (Lloyd District)

You might be a landlubber, but there's no reason you can't pretend to be a pirate and taste more than 50 different rums from all over the map, earning monikers that were previously reserved for guys with birds on their shoulders. Hale Pele in the Lloyd District rejects your average tiki cocktails and instead adopts more inventive cocktails. Don't forget to order the Zombies, which are so strong they are limited to two per person.

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4. KASK 1215 SW Alder, Portland, OR 97212 (Downtown)

From the folks behind neighboring Gruner, KASK slings domestic bites n' booze to create a cocktail-forward experience balanced by artisanal meat/ cheese/ bread, in tavernish mountain-Americana-meets Euro-modern digs with cork floors and a rough-hewn “live-edge” walnut bar supported in part by a rock-filled gabion wall often used in erosion control, which hopefully ensures they never serve mudslides.

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5. Rookery 1331 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 (Sw Portland)

Entering The Rookery Bar, housed in the historic 1883 Ladd Carriage house right above British tavern Raven & Rose, feels like stepping into an old boys' club. It's all too easy to assume a "dandy chap" pose when you're sitting sitting fireside in an armchair, sinking further in with every sip from your Manhattan. Any of the classic cocktails poured here will get you in the mood, really, and the proprietary concoctions are given so much care, you'd mistake them for old standards (try Caroline's Fancy: reposado tequila, curacao, cardamom bitters). The kitchen nods to Irish and English inspirations, with fish & chips, shepherd's pie and London broil feeding tipplers under the vaulted ceilings. Stir in some regular live Irish folk music, a bold green billiards table, and a rare liquor selection and the entire experience is intoxicating.

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6. Teardrop Lounge 1015 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209 (Pearl District)

Located in Portland's Pearl District, the Teardrop is a quiet and inventive cocktail lounge, creating original drinks with specialty liqueurs, syrups, digestifs, vermouths, bitters, and tinctures. The impressive drink menu, paired with a number of upped/casual appetizers, are the makings of a great night out. The atmosphere is a mix of night club and chic, so anyone will feel comfortable sipping drinks at one of Portland's first cocktail bars.

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7. Racion 1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205 (Sw Portland)

This popular tapas factory cooks in an open, all-electric kitchen so you can observe the chefs as they whip up your meal, while you sip on a signature craft cocktail, of course.