With hip bars, creative menus and friendly and talented bartenders, the cool Oregon city has an incredible cocktail scene whether you’re looking for trendy and inventive craft cocktails, vintage style or some fun and tropical Tiki cocktails. From laid back lounges to fun and upbeat bars, here are the best cocktail bars in Portland, Oregon…
1. Teardrop Lounge – a funky cocktail bar where you will find expert mixologists
1015 NW Everett St
“Pioneering the cocktail renaissance since 2007”, Teardrop has gathered many accolades from the likes of Sunset Magazine, Portland Monthly, Esquire, and others.
Their menu at The Teardrop Lounge is organized into convenient categories, like Bright & Crisp, Arid & Aromatic, and Spicy & Bold, according to flavor and feel. Highlights include Respect Your Elders (an appealing mix of TDL gin, elderflower, lemon, Thai chili, and cinnamon), The Floating World (a crisp blend of Hayman’s Old Tom gin, rose vermouth, cranberry, black garlic bitters, and Kimino Ume plum soda), and Streetfighting Years (playful Jägermeister and pineapple rum with a kick of sherry, black tea, mandarin, and Chinese bitters).
2. Pink Rabbit – a fun and stylish cocktail bar where you can enjoy delicious drinks whilst relaxing on blue velvet booths
232 NW 12th Ave
Pink neon, blue velvet couches, and funky lantern lights. There’s nowhere quite like Pink Rabbit, a hip little cocktail bar serving up delicious drinks all afternoon and long into the night.
Don’t miss their titular tipple, made with Pueblo Viejo Blanco, Fino sherry, orgeat, and Peychard’s bitters with a dash of curry oil. The award for the longest cocktail name goes to the Fast Car By Tracy Chapman, a zingy, fruity muddle of Pueblo Viejo Anejo, mezcal, Cochi Americano, and grapefruit, topped off with a pinch of saffron.
Want to drink good and do good? Their Carbon Negative – a simple, tasty beverage of Novo Fogo Cachaca, Punt e Mes, and coconut-washed Aperol – is sold with a $1 inclusive donation to the Friends of Trees Foundation!
3. Voysey – a trendy speakeasy-style underground cocktail spot that is an ideal place to meet up
710 SE 6th Ave
A speakeasy atmosphere characterizes this chic little bar, named for English architect C. F. A. Voysey. Indeed, their beverages reflect this distinguished bit of history – but one sip will tell you that they’re still full of fun!
Among many others, relive James Cameron’s star-studded love story through a Jack & Rose, bursting with apple brandy, lime, and pomegranate. Harness your adventurous spirit and go Full Sail with Avua Prata Cachaca, white rum, pear brandy, kiwi cordial, and a crackle of cardamom.
Planning to come with a small group? Share a bowl of Red Light Punch, guaranteed to please with Blanco tequila, sparkling wine, blood orange, and black tea.
4. Deadshot – a cool and elegant cocktail focused bar where you can taste unique flavors
2133 SE 11th Ave
Another sleek, wood-decorated joint offering a range of creative cocktails.
It’s impossible to miss Deadshot’s signature Shots Fired: a smooth blend of Fernet Branca, Blackstrap rum, coconut milk, coffee, and cardamom. Hop on the Last Train to Hami with your choice of gin or vodka, hami melon, cucumber, and a dash of salt. And, if you like puns, you’ll love the Gold Fashioned (bourbon, za’atar, sultana, and bitters).
Not feeling the booze? No problem! Try their chamomile-citrus CN Fizz, or bright Carrot Collins, with honey, ginger, and citrus livening up its soda and vegetable base.
5. Wonderly – a perfect place to try appetizing cocktails especially during happy-hour
4727 NE Fremont St
Wonderly carefully curates a cute, contemporary vibe – its interior pops with carefully-placed shots of color, and its cocktails range from classic margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and negronis to unique drinks of their own devising.
Their two “And-a-Half” beverages come either martini- or Manhattan-style: the former featuring Broker’s gin, dry vermouth, and an olive or lemon twist, and the latter a blend of JTS Brown Bonded bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters, and Amarena. Looking for something relaxing and fun? Try their Mommy’s Thyme Out (thyme-infused aria gin, Cocchi Americano, Gifford apricot liquor, and lemon).
6. Blank Slate – a superb cocktail bar where you can take cocktails home
7201 NE Glisan St Suite C
Blank Slate is a real staple in their local area. Their staff are all members of the Montavilla community, and their delicious, perfectly-simple cocktails attract patrons for miles around.
Blank Slate carries any classic you can think of, from mojitos, to daquiris, margaritas, and more. Their house specialties include the sunset-smooth Old Dawn Fades (with Plymouth Gin, Ransom Old Tom, Cap Corse blanc, and orange bitters), and the sweet, mysterious Season of the Witch (Tanqueray, CioCaro, lime, grapefruit, and sage). Why not “treat yourself” – in their words – to 12-year-aged whiskey in their Highland Penicillin, wild cherry bitters in their Diary Of A Bad Year, or boozy coconut cheer in their Colada Moon?
7. Vintage Cocktail Lounge – a relaxed cocktail bar that offers classic and modern cocktails
7907 SE Stark St
This snug Stark Street lounge specializes in “cocktails made proper”. Their range of classic and contemporary drinks have such fun names, you’ll want to try them all just to say them out loud!
Bases include whiskey, sugar cane, gin, agave, and more. The Summer of Swayze is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet with Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey, and rosemary. Take part in some Blatant Plagiarism with Smith & Cross rum, Averna amaro, lime juice, and demerara syrup (shh, we won’t tell!). Or, why not give that Misfit Toy – made with Ransom dry gin, lemon juice, crème de cocoa, and big cube ice – a home?
8. Scotch Lodge – a whiskey-focused cocktail lodge perfect for whiskey enthusiasts
As its name might suggest, Scotch Lodge was made for whiskey lovers. Kick back in vintage-chic, French-inspired surroundings, and enjoy a couple glasses of your favorite blend.
Vibe to the sweet beats of the French Disko with calvados, blended malt, lemon, honey, nutmeg, and plenty of playful bubbles. Take your scotch to the tropics and sip on an Islay Daquiri – layers of pineapple rum, lime, and coconut-oolong demerara. If you prefer a taste of the easy life, you can always chill with the Quiet Gardner under sunny boughs of American botanical gin, gran classico, lemon, and orange bitters.
9. Palomar – a chic rendezvous with a Cuban feeling that offers exotic drinks
959 SE Division St #100
Need somewhere to escape the growing winter chill? Palomar is the perfect place, featuring Cuban-Carribean cocktails that’ll make you feel you’re jetting off for a long, leisurely vacation in the sun.
Their signature drinks include a marvellous Matcha “Martini” (boozy notes of vodka and brandy balanced with coconut, yellow chartreuse, and, of course, matcha) and shimmering 20th Century (strawberry tequila, lemon, cacao, and lillet). The Caribbean Classics list boasts four types of daquiri with various fruity additions, freshly-made mojitos, and a classic G&T infused with pineapple.
10. Bar West – an environmentally friendly cocktail place that uses locally grown and organic ingredients
1221 NW 21st Ave
With the outdoorsy-inspired names and flavors abounding in their characterful cocktails, you’d be forgiven for thinking Bar West was, indeed, a woodland lodge or hiking-trail haven. Its modern interior, decorated in wood and white, provides a truly special spot to enjoy a drink or two.
Take off on one of their Happy Trails: gin infused with trail mix, swirled with apricot, Cascadia liqueur, egg white, and sesame. The warming whiskey, spiced apple cider syrup, and BBQ bitters in their Little Cabin in the Woods really give you that cosied-up-by-the-fire feeling; while their shots of Frostbite Grasshopper feature a refreshing and sweet combination of Rumplemintz, crème de cocoa, and crème de menthe.
11. Rum Club – a horseshoe-shaped cocktail bar which specializes in tropical drinks and craft cocktails
720 SE Sandy Blvd
“Craft cocktails, daquiris, and fun”. It’s a formula that the Rum Club has perfected, with their unique horseshoe-shaped bar and stellar list of rum-based beverages.
Rum Club’s version of the daiquiri features Anejo rum, Angostura bitters, and absinthe, with twists of lime, maraschino, and demerara sugar. Their Celeste Swizzle is a combo of four Jamaican rums; and their Old Quartermaster lifts and soothes the soul with two types of rum, blended and smoky scotch, and a flick or orange oil. Other stand-out drinks include the Champagne Supernova – a party in a glass of London Dry gin and marigold amaro with lime, pineapple, bitters, and bubbles – and the shockingly-good Electric Mayhem! (rye whiskey, port, fruit, and cinnamon).
12. Hale Pele – a popular Tiki cocktail haven that provides great service and tasty drinks
2733 NE Broadway
“Immerse yourself in a tropical adventure” at the “House of the Volcano Goddess” – a fun tiki-themed bar building exotic beverages with only the best juices, spirits, and syrups.
Start off easy with the mellow Moonlighter, with gentle notes of gin, lime juice, coconut cream, and ginger syrup. Swim in a rich, dark Bokola (aged rums, secret spice blend, blackberry puree, citrus, and honey), served in collectible tiki mug. Really bring the heat with the potent 151 Swizzle, hitting hard with overproof rum, falernum, and lime – or a flaming Volcano Bowl, an original Hale Pele creation made specially for parties!
13. Aalto Lounge – a lively cocktail bar where you can enjoy tasty drinks, craft cocktails and live music
3356 SE Belmont St
This neighborhood bar has served the Belmont area since 2000. Named for Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, its expertly-crafted cocktail offerings are centered around top-quality spirits.
If you’re looking for the essential Aalto experience, grab a glass of their self-titled Aalto Old Fashioned, with JTS Brown Bonded bourbon, bitters, sugar, and orange oil. Fancy something a bit lighter, but still a signature? Order their elegant Aalto French 75 (Union gin and Cava with a fruity-floral twist of lemon and rose water). Their classic Hot Toddy, meanwhile, is ideal to stave off winter chills, mixing bourbon, brandy, Allspice Dram and spiced honey.
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.