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Hemmed in by the Pacific Ocean, Tualatin Mountains, and a network of converging rivers, outdoorsy Portland takes food and drinks very seriously. After all, with millions of acres of nature to explore, its residents are a hungry and thirsty bunch who won’t settle for anything but fresh – especially when it comes to cocktails. It’s this natural penchant for farm-to-table everything coupled with Oregon’s pioneering spirit that’s produced a tall order for lofty libations. Outpacing the country’s larger spirited settings, the City of Roses has emerged as the hotspot for craft cocktails.
Before we imbibed the city’s most sought-after sips, we caught up with Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Portland’s unofficial master of mixology and barman at local tavern Clyde Common, to see why’s he’s shaking up the country’s cocktail scene. Morgenthaler approaches the art of the cocktail with an academic detail derived from dual degrees in physics and interior architecture, proving there’s art and science in every pour. Not satisfied with run of the mill rum, apple juice, or egg nog, he makes or ages his own, perfecting the flavor over months of tinkering. Part of an elite team of cocktail stars – the equivalent of celebrities in these parts – it’s these local bounty-to-beverage fanatics who are making your mixed drinks. No basic beverages here, only time-tested, barrel-aged, and passionate pours await your palate in PDX.
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