The holiday buffets may be in the rearview mirror, but there's still plenty of spirited flavor at local bars.
1. Nothing says decadence like the granddaddy of all eggnogs: Teardrop Lounge’s (1015 SW Everett St) Tom and Jerry. Not for the faint of heart, Teardrop marries a thick, custard batter (eggs, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and amargo bitters) to top shelf rum and cognac, and dusts the creamy wonder with nutmeg. Just one of these holiday happy-makers and you’ll be fortified for whatever spirited errand awaits you.
2. If you want to dip your toe in rich, wintery cocktail terrain while still keeping it light, Clarklewis' Kyo Koo has has crafted a lighter–but just as tasty–version of eggnog, infused with Madagascar vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg (Clarklewis, 1001 SE Water Ave). (PIC!)
3. Need a Southeast warm up? Make your way to St Jack’s (2039 SE Clinton St) before the season ends and be rewarded with an hot apple toddy crafted with Laird’s Apple Brandy, spiced apple shrub, and aromatic bitters--so good you want to hunker down at this adorable French restaurant for an entire evening.
4. The bar staff at Ken Forkish's Trifecta Tavern & Bakery (726 SE 6th Ave) gifts Portlanders with its sweet, slick, holly berry red Jersey Devil, which blends bonded apple jack and a bit of dry cider with English Bishop, an old school port syrup made with a oven-baked- and-caramelized orange studded with 40 cloves (!) It's the holidays in a glass.
5. Clyde Common (1014 SW Stark St) celebrates another delicious season with their signature Clyde Common Eggnog laced with anejo tequila, amontillado sherry, and a heavy shake of nutmeg. And for those who appreciate the decadence of Clyde’s Nog but don’t care for the booziness, Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw has whipped up a custard-y butterfat miracle: Spiked Eggnog ice cream. Clyde Commons will be closed Dec 24–25, and Jan 1 but be sure to stop by New Year’s Eve as they will be open for the midnight countdown.
6. Tannery Bar’s (5425 E Burnside St) “Namaste” cocktail–chai-infused vodka, averna, honey liqueur, xocolotl bitters, with a big cube plunked in the middle–is the perfect drink for those who take a more holistic approach to the season.
7. A surefire antidote to the winter doldrums? Fireside’s (801 NW 23rd Ave) Gloom Eraser. Bacardi 8, Becherovka, spiced pear lemon, dandelion, burdock bitters, and nutmeg banishes bah humbug grumbles in two sips flat.
8. Craving a mug of tea? Try the December cocktail at the haute Asian spot Barwares (4605 NE Fremont). It’s an earthy, Oolong tea–infused drink with rum, one whole egg and nutmeg goosed with orange bitters for a citrus–y punch.
9. The Victory Bar (3652 SE Division St) has got a steaming glass of happy ready and waiting for you. Choose from a roster of scrumptious hot cocktails, from the Victory Toddy (ginger, honey, lemon, bourbon and brandy) and Cider Toddy (brandy, spiced apple cider, maple whip cream) to a truly wild Chartreuse Hot Cocoa (with rum and toasted marshmallow).
10. Wanna go DIY? Upgrade your holiday pantry with Mcmenamin’s spiced rum and their hot buttered rum recipe, below. Rich with cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and brown sugar, this drink satisfies your Americana cocktail craving while adding a welcome hint of global chai spices.
HOT BUTTERED RUM
To 1 shot (1.25oz) Three Rocks Spiced Rum, add 1 heaping tablespoon hot buttered rum mix (recipe below) and fill with hot water. Stir and top with heavy whipping cream. Garnish with a swirl of chocolate and grated orange peel.
HOT BUTTERED RUM MIX
Makes ½ quart
1/4 tablespoon cloves, ground
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1 tablespoon allspice, ground
1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
Melt butter, stir in brown sugar and spices, store in covered container—enjoy all season long!