Treat yourself to boozy milkshakes, build-your-own bubble tea and other quintessentially Portland bevvies with our insider’s guide to the city’s best summer drinks.
Nitro Cold Brew at Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Portland’s latest coffee craze draws inspiration from the city’s other beverage of choice: beer. Stumptown Coffee Roasters locations now sport pressurized nitrogen taps that dispense not hoppy IPAs, but chocolate-y cold brew. The nitrogen gives the coffee a creamy, full-bodied texture with a thick head of foam reminiscent of a frothy pint of Guinness. Bottoms up!
Jelly Beer at Whiskey Soda Lounge
Across the street from Pok Pok awaits the famous Thai eatery’s sister bar, Whiskey Soda Lounge. The popular watering hole has imported special machines straight from Thailand that freeze and jiggle bottles of Singha beer, transforming them into sub-frozen slushies with a snow-like consistency. Move aside, Coors Light — this is the world’s coldest beer!
Bubble Tea at Townshend’s Tea
Unleash your creativity at cozy Townshend’s Tea, where the build-your-own bubble tea menu includes four tea bases, three milks, three “tidbits” (tapioca pearls, fruit jellies and aloe jellies) and nearly two dozen fruity flavors. Bubble tea not your style? The tea shop also offers hundreds of iced teas and housemade kombucha on tap.
Ice Cream Cocktails at Fifty Licks
The sorbet at Southeast scoop shop Fifty Licks tastes even better in cocktail form. Favorites include the Bitter Rose, made with the aperitif Cocchi Americano Rosa, orange bitters and grapefruit rosewater sorbet; and the Velvet Shiso, which contains shiso leaf, plum wine, Alexeli Riesling and coconut lemon saffron sorbet. If you’d rather opt for ice cream, order a float with root beer, Cuban coffee or chocolate porter beer.
Espresso Shakes at Jim & Patty’s
Patty and Jim Roberts have been perfecting their handcrafted coffee concoctions since 1975, and their decadent mochas and milkshakes have become the stuff of local legend. Skip the Frappuccino line in favor of Jim and Patty’s original recipes, available in indulgent flavors like Caramel Fudge, Habanero Mocha, Mokaluah Screamer and Alameda Mudslide.
Slushies at White Owl Social Club
Spring’s first sunny days herald the return of the White Owl Social Club slushie machine, churning out sweet creations like the Kiwrita, a blend of kiwi and tequila, and the Lil Melon Jammer, made with rum, grapefruit juice and house-made melon puree. Sip the daily special on White Owl’s sprawling backyard patio, complete with a fire pit and tabletop s’mores — the ultimate summer dessert!
Iced Chocolate Drinks at Alma Chocolates
The crafty chocolatiers at Alma bust out the ice tray when warm weather hits, offering cold versions of many of their signature hot chocolate drinks. They also feature summer specialties like horchata, chocolate-infused coconut water and the Cascadia Shaker: coconut milk, melted chocolate and berries fresh from the farmers’ market.
Grown Ass Milkshakes at Tasty ‘n’ Alder
Known as a must-try brunch destination for its biscuit boards and chocolate potato doughnuts, Tasty ‘n’ Alder also boasts a boozy trio of “Grown Ass Milkshakes.” Choose from the classic Grasshopper, the Brandy Alexander — think cognac, crème de cacao and chocolate bitters — and the Toro Bravo, made with Kahlua, Combier and Bacardi 151. (A few blocks away, the Original Dinerant also offers a half-dozen adults-only shakes).