When it comes to getting a good cocktail, it seems that Portland, OR is right up there on the same level as the other big cities. Chicago, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco have been known for years as featuring top, fun, creative cocktails.
In fact, Portland might even be better than those cities because it does not have such a long history from which to draw. Thus it has to make something out of nothing as it were. Indeed, as local barman Alejandro De La Parra pointed out, “we didn’t invent the fundamentals of what we consider cocktails…For this reason, we can innovate in fun ways.” Shift Drinks owner Alise Michele Moffatt echoed this sentiment when she said: “Bartenders around town are using unique ingredients with honed technique to create cocktails that feel like one is there, in that time, in that space.”
Last time we were at the Trifecta Tavern – IMHO one of Portland’s most chic cafes – Daniel particularly enjoyed the smooth, creamy Sherry Flip. Made using oloroso sherry, amaro and just a sprinkling of nutmeg, Daniel felt like he was in heaven. I wasn’t as brave and just had the Dr. Cocktail – a fascinating blend of made-on-the-premises Swedish punsch (arak-based), navy-proof rum, lime, grenadine made by the chef and laphroig. I couldn’t drink it all but it was good!
So there you have it. We are definitely getting there with fun cocktails. Personally for me, it’s the ambience that I love, but since Daniel loves a good cocktail I am thrilled Portland is being counted among the top-tier cocktail makers.