Baby, it’s cold outside! Even though we’ve been blessed with some confusingly sunny weather this week, it is still winter in Portland, and we’re all in need of some hand- and heart-warming beverages. Lucky for us, bartenders around town are turning to classic wintertime cocktails that are sure to take the chill off.
Some cocktail fans would argue that a true hot toddy includes liquor, hot water, sugar, and spices, while others would say all that matters is that it’s boozy and served warm. Whatever side you come down on, you’re sure to enjoy these cocktails from all around the city:
Teardrop Lounge: This Pearl District go-to is pulling out all the stops for their warm drinks this month, including “the granddaddy of eggnog" Tom & Jerry (with rum, Hennessy, egg whites, vanilla, allspice, bitters, and steamed vanilla milk, $10) choose-your-own-spirit Toddies with meyer lemon and saffron, and a true indulgence, Foie Gras Hot Buttered Rum (!), $12. 1015 NW Everett St.; 503-445-8109
Bar Avignon: When the temperatures drop on SE Division, neighbors flock to this cozy bistro for the Butter Cup, with Goslings dark rum and special house-made butter rum mix (with brown sugar, butter, clove, and nutmeg), all topped with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg, $7.50. 2138 SE Division St.; 503-517-0808
The Observatory: In need of some detoxing after all of December’s holiday parties? Head to this Montavilla Neighborhood hot spot for The Cleanse (rooibos infused whisky, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon, $8) or just dig deeper into your winter hibernation with their Chai Spiced Hot Buttered Bourbon (house made butter mix with chai-infused bourbon, topped with whipped cream, $7). 8115 SE Stark St.; 503-445-6284
Bar Bar: This watering hole adjacent to Mississippi Studios has several hot drinks to help you defrost, like the #8 Winter (Bacardi 8 with Caffe Vita coffee, $8) and the extra-large #7 Toddy with ginger-infused Jack Daniels for $7. 3939 N Mississippi Ave.; 503-288-3895
Rum Club: This industry favorite is shaking up two cozy cocktails this season, the Hot Buttered Rum (with Black Seal and aged rums, butter, sugar, and spices, $7) and the Tom and Jerry (with Anejo Rum, brandy, eggs, sugar, and spices, $7). 720 SE Sandy Blvd.; 503-467-2469
Besaw’s: Besaw’s Hot Buttery Rum boasts Myers Dark Rum blended with wintery cardamom and cinnamon, $9, perfect for a blustery day in the Northwest. 2301 NW Savier St.; 503-228-2619
Pok Pok: This Southeast Thai institution is putting their own spin on some winter classics, like the Yuzu-Honey Whiskey Hot Toddy (with Korean yuzu-honey tea and bourbon, $8), Vietnamese Coffee spiked with brandy ($9), and the Butterscotch (house-made butterscotch with Scotch or spiced rum, $9). 3226 SE Division St.; 503-232-1387
Huber’s Cafe:: The oldest restaurant in the Rose City has plenty of experience serving up hot drinks to cold Portlanders—their signature flaming Spanish Coffee is an elaborately-prepared wonder that is a must for locals and visitors alike (Kahlua, Bacardi 151, Bols triple sec and coffee topped with whipped cream and nutmeg, $9.50). 411 SW 3rd Ave.; 503-228-5686.
The Bent Brick: At this Slabtown eatery, bartender Adam Robinson is stirring up an OG Toddy (the OG stands for original gin) with Anchor Distilling "Genevieve" Genever-style gin, lemon juice, ginger syrup, Herbsaint anise liqueur, and three kinds of
bitters, $9. 1639 NW Marshall St.; 503-688-1655
Produce Row Café: This Industrial Southeast hangout boasts several "warmers" that will get you through the winter, including the Oak Street Grog (with Barenjager, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, honey, Water Ave coffee, cream, and orange zest, $8), the Fallen Toddy (with Lairds Apple Brandy, lemon, ginger, and honey, $7) and a classic Hot Buttered Rum (with Kraken Black Spiced Rum, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cloves, $6.5). 204 SE Oak St.; (503) 232-8355
Clyde Common: Dive into a classic Hot Buttered Rum at this popular SW Stark eat-and-drinkery and you’re in for a sweet surprise. Clyde’s take on the cocktail uses Appleton rum, butter, sugar, spices, and Salt & Straw vanilla ice cream, $8. 1014 SW Stark St.; 503-228-3333
Dick’s Kitchen: The second outpost of this paleo-friendly diner has a full liquor license, which paved the way for their playful Hot for Toddy, with Clear Creek pear brandy, Tuaca, house-made ginger syrup, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and cardamom bitters, $8. 704 NW 21st Ave.; 503-206-5916
Branch Whiskey Bar: This NE Alberta hitching post has their own punny take on the hot cocktail, the Toddy or Nice (with cinnamon-infused whiskey, apple brandy, agave, lemon, and orange maple syrup, $8). 2926 NE Alberta St.; 503-206-6266
Grüner: This Alpine-inspired eatery is serving up a Mulled Cider (with Slivovitz plum brandy, $9) that would be fit to serve on the slopes of the Alps. 527 Southwest 12th Ave.; 503-241-7163
The Woodsman Tavern: Bartender Evan Zimmerman is serving up a Vac-Pot Hot Toddy (made with Apple Jack, rye, cinnamon maple syrup, and house secret "toddy mix in a vacuum coffee pot, $10) and the decadent Pintura Hot Chocolate (nutella cocoa and tequila, $8) to tempt your shivering taste buds. 4537 SE Division St.; 971-373-8264
The Country Cat: Celebrate the season at this Montavilla Neighborhood staple with a warm Harvest Moon (with Gran Marnier, brandy, sugar, hot water, and orange, $8) or the Fallen Maple Leaf (with Pendleton whiskey, lemon, hot water, and maple syrup, $8). 7937 SE Stark, 503-408-1414
There are certainly dozens of cozy cocktails that I’ve missed, so add your favorites to the comments below! If you’d like to recreate the magic effect of warm winter cocktails at home, here’s a sure winner from bartender Kyle Webster of SE Clinton’s St. Jack.
1.5 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
1.5 oz Cocchi di Turino sweet vermouth
.75 oz of fresh lemon juice
.5 oz Drambuie
.5 oz 2:1 honey syrup (two parts honey, one part water)
2 barspoons Gran Classico bitter
3 dashes Regan’s No. 6 orange bitters
3 oz boiling water
Zest the tempered glass with a fresh lemon, and garnish with a long lemon spiral. Happy warming!