Nothing tastes better on a dark and stormy evening than decadent hot chocolate or cozy rum cocktails. Raise a toast to winter with these top-notch seasonal drinks:
Baba Sima’s Tonic
Celebrated Russian restaurant Kachka is best known for its infused vodka flights paired with traditional zakuski (drinking snacks), but the true showstopper is Baba Sima’s Tonic, a brandy concoction made with overproof rum and Townshend’s Crème de la Earl Grey Tea. The potent concoction is prepared tableside in an ornate stein and comes topped with a flaming sugar cube.
Tom and Jerry
Each year, Portlanders eagerly await the day that Teardrop Lounge’s seasonal Tom and Jerry cocktail returns to the bar’s menu. This adults-only eggnog starts with a thick custard batter — made with eggs, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and bitters — then adds rum, cognac and nutmeg. ‘Tis the season, indeed!
Drinking Chocolate Pour-Over
Discerning chocolate shop Cacao offers its own spin on the classic Italian affogato: Chocolatiers pour churned drinking chocolate over Salt & Straw’s savory olive oil ice cream, then spoon on glazed cocoa nib clusters nicknamed “Craque” to create a rich, crackling cup of heaven.
Organic Abominable Winter Ale
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Portland’s Hopworks is beloved for its light golden lager and summery kolsch, but its winter beers are well worth warming to. The annual Abominable Winter Ale promises a spicy, citrusy medley of organic Northwest hops. (And in true Portland fashion, we recommend upcycling the festive-looking 16-ounce can into a Christmas tree ornament.)
This Tabor Tavern cocktail bursts with comforting winter flavors — think cider, coffee, cinnamon and rum — for the ultimate seasonal beverage. A lengthy ingredient list includes Myers’s Dark rum, Amaretto Di Saronno, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, house-made apple bourbon bitters, coffee, whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.
Bid aloha to the winter blues at atmospheric tiki bar Hale Pele, which offers an array of tropical rum delights. Gather your friends around the Volcano Bowl, a group drink made with grapefruit, lime, allspice and aged rums, served in a giant goblet topped with towering flames.
A deep roster of hot toddies awaits at laidback Central Eastside gastropub Produce Row. Banish winter chills with the Applejack-powered Apples to Oranges, the Oaxacan Winter, fueled by mescal and tequila, or the Monkey Business, made with scotch and absinthe.
Thai Coconut Cup
The artisan makers at Alma Chocolate don’t limit themselves to solid bars. The dynamic drink menu includes decadent creations like the exotic Thai Coconut Cup, made with lime zest, candied ginger, coconut milk, chili and milk chocolate ganache.
Raven and Rose
The best pick-me-up on a rainy afternoon? We’d argue for a classic Irish coffee at downtown’s Raven & Rose. Head upstairs to the Rookery Bar, the carriage house’s hidden drinking hole, for a creamy, caffeinated cocktail made with good Irish whiskey and local Spella coffee.
Established in 1879, Huber’s Café has been pleasing patrons with its signature drink for more than a century. Kahlua, Bacardi 151, Bols triple sec and coffee are mixed and topped with fresh whipped cream and nutmeg, and flamed tableside with great flair.