The daiquiri is a maligned cocktail. For years it was relegated to the college spring-break crowd, a blended monstrosity of sugar, artificial flavorings, and what was reportedly rum. Luckily, the daiquiri has received a proper resurgence in the last five or ten years, and rum has been earning an increasingly esteemed status as a craft spirit.
More and more bartenders and patrons are realizing that this simple concoction of rum, lime, and sugar creates one of the most delectable drinks at anytime of year but is especially great on a warm summer day. Furthermore, like all classic drinks, the infinite variability allows for bartenders to create their own interpretation of the drink.
There are many places to sip a daiquiri in Portland, but here are a few of our favorite standouts. Have some favorite daiquiri destinations we omitted? Let us know on Facebook
Unsurprisingly, Rum Club makes some of the best rum drinks in the city. Hundreds of rums and a variety of sugar syrups means a wide range of daiquiris can be made. The house daiquiri is excellent, made with Bacardi 8 Year rum, lime, demerara syrup, maraschino, bitters, and a touch of absinthe. A more traditional daiquiri can be made with any rum, though the El Dorado 12 year from Guyana makes an amazing one, especially in the capable hands of the bar manager, Emily Mistell. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with a blended daiquiri, really, and Rum Club makes an amazing one, with a combination of high proof rums as the base. It is the perfect drink to slowly sip on the sundrenched patio. (720 SE Sandy Blvd.; 503-265-8807)
Hale Pele is a tiki bar serving up a family of cocktails primarily comprised of rum. While the daiquiri isn’t itself a tiki drink, Hale Pele still makes an incredible one. While patrons can select any rum for their daiquiri, there is always a $9 daiquiri made with a rum of the day and the owner, Blair Reynolds
’, own demerara syrup. Patrons are never overcharged for this, and many days they may be receiving an incredible deal, with a cocktail that would cost far more at another establishment or on another day of the week.
Hale Pele also benefits from being the only bar in town where you can sip on a daiquiri while a volcano erupts and a thunderstorm crackles and bursts overhead; besides having one of the best cocktail menus in town, Has Pele also has the best kitch. (2733 NE Broadway St.; 503-662-8454)
This downtown fine-dining restaurant and cocktail bar may not be the first place on your mind when you think of a daiquiri, but the bartenders at Raven & Rose and the upstairs lounge, the Rookery, are dedicated first and foremost to mastering the classic cocktails. While the cocktail menu alternates between the Hemingway daiquiri, made with the addition of maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice, and the classic daiquiri, both are available at all times, and both are equally delicious. (1331 SW Broadway; 503-222-7673)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s speakeasy style cocktail lounge’s principal cause is taking popular but easily dismissed cocktails, such as the Amaretto Sour or Grasshopper, and improving the recipe until they are a more “legitimate” drink. The Hemingway daiquiri at Pepe le Moko needed no such embellishment, so the bartenders here didn’t add one. Morgenthaler does offer a slight variation, however: he and the bartenders at Pepe serve their Hemingways over a mountain of crushed ice, rather than up, as the cocktail is normally found. This slight alteration provides a drink that lingers far longer, and allows some of the sweetness and tartness of the recipe to mellow, making for a perfect summer elixir. (407 SW 10th Ave.; 503-546-8537)
Photos by Alex Frane
How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!