Before pumpkin spice lattes became seasonal meme fodder, Portland was brewing up creative beverages fitting for fall’s crisp weather. Intense spices mixed with rich cream and bitter chocolate; smoky scotch with splashes of cinnamon syrup; ginger, vanilla, clove and nutmeg; all artfully combine to bring a smile to your lips and warmth in your belly.
Chai at Tea Chai Te
When searching for perfect fall flavor, it’s hard to go wrong with chai. What is hard is deciding which one to order at Tea Chai Te. Their pumpkin spice chai mixes cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, clove and nutmeg (it’s basically pumpkin pie in a mug), while their festive gingerbread chai blends notes of brown sugar and ginger, reminiscent of freshly baked holiday cookies. The caramel creme brûlée chai is a full sensory experience, so delicious and decadently aromatic you’ll wish it also came as a scented candle. Decisions, decisions …
Coconut Cardamom Latte at Dragonfly Coffee House
Step outside the pumpkin spice box and discover why the coconut cardamom latte from Dragonfly Coffee House is the new standard for caffeinated baking-spice beverages. Spicy cardamom playfully resonates throughout, complementing the espresso with a tongue-tickling kick. The coconut syrup’s sweet earthiness rounds out the flavor for creamy warmth you’ll savor on Portland’s cool autumn mornings.
Habanero-Caramel Drinking Chocolate at Xico
Like a black cauldron of witch’s brew, the habanero-caramel drinking chocolate at Xico is pure magic. Melted, sinfully dark chocolate gives way to hints of vanilla and fragrant caramel, followed by a warming smack of habanero spice. You’ll try to hide the giddy grin, but even the innocent dollop of vanilla cream on top can’t conceal the love spell that’s just been cast.
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake at Cool Moon Ice Cream
As autumn churns out its final warm days, enjoying a pumpkin pie milkshake from Cool Moon Ice Cream on the nearby fountain steps at Jamison Square becomes a cherished fall memory. Spice it up by adding a scoop of salted caramel or butter pecan ice cream. This chilly, sippable treat is the perfect companion for a shady stroll beneath the neighborhood’s falling copper and ruby leaves.
Murdered by Pirates at Victoria Bar
Murdered by Pirates is a boozy treasure from the “Princess Bride”-themed cocktail menu at Victoria Bar. Bank Note scotch and peaty Laphroaig single malt whisky set sail with black strap rum, kissed lightly by the warm winds of falernum syrup and its baking-spice sweetness. Each sip is a cannonball of candied cinnamon and smoke, and as the lemon peel garnish slowly sinks into the murky, pumpkin-colored liquid, you may find yourself wistfully thinking that being kidnapped by pirates is a good way to go.
S’mores Stout at Base Camp Brewing
Chocolate, coffee and ripe fall fruit mingle with toasted malt to form the S’mores Stout by Base Camp Brewing. Black as a moonless night and served with a toasted marshmallow on the rim, this velvety stout boasts hints of caramel and smoke that linger like imagined apparitions after a ghost story by the campfire.
Cider Toddy at Victory Bar
The hot toddy is a tried-and-true cure-all, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your core. The Cider Toddy at Victory Bar is no exception. To make this remedy, a healthy dose of brandy is poured over warm, spiced apple cider and finished with a dollop of maple whipped cream that slowly melts into your drink, adding a rich, buttery texture sure to put a warm smile on your face.