5 Unconventional Brunch Beverages to Get Your Day Started

by Alexander Frane on Aug 20, 2015 in Roundups

Portland is a brunch city with most restaurants offering a brunch menu and others devoted entirely to the meal. It’s also a city where people love to drink at all hours of the day, and where bartenders hone their craft. This has lead to a plethora of brunch cocktails, and while you can always find a traditional bloody mary or mimosa to drink with your favorite eggs benedict or omelette, here are a few unique breakfast spots with unconventional and exciting drinks.
 
The Aquabeta
Broder and Broder Nord are some of Portland’s most popular brunch spots, offering delicious Scandinavian fare that varies from the usual American brunch menu. Broder also boasts a unique cocktail menu for brunch, and Broder Nord offers a full dinner menu with cocktails as well. Many of them feature aquavit, a popular Scandinavian spirit flavored with caraway, anise, fennel, and citrus. The Aquabeta (pictured above) is one such drink, made with House Spirit’s Krogstad Aquavit, orange juice, and beet juice served with a salted rim. It’s a distinctive and lovely drink, savory and earthy while still light and refreshing, with a vibrant pink flush. Brunch is available here daily from 8 AM to 3 PM. (2240 N Interstate Ave.; 503-282-5555)
 
Leventine Coffee
Portlanders are branching out from their traditional American brunch menus, with places like Broder and Smallwares, so it’s no surprise that we also have a Middle-Eastern brunch spot, Levant. Levant has only recently started serving a brunch menu, including a chef’s choice Israeli style brunch for the table, with a selection of mezza, breads, pastries, salads, and egg dishes, but it’s already a popular spot. Levant also offers a new take on brunch cocktails, including the Leventine Coffee, with Raki (an Anise flavored spirit not unlike Aquavit), dry curacao, amaretto, coffee, and whipped cream—the perfect mix of boozy and caffeinated to keep you buzzed all morning. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 2 PM. (2448 E Burnside St.; 503-954-2322)  

The Robert Palmer
The Hazel Room was originally opened as a tea shop and cocktail bar, but slowly transitioned into a wildly popular and amazing brunch spot, open every day of the week from 8 AM–4 PM for delectable and original brunch items. Owned and operated by an adorable young couple, Chris and Katie from San Francisco, the space is named for Katie’s great-grandmother, who ran a tea shop/speakeasy during prohibition. Many of the drinks here include Townshend’s Tea, and The Hazel Room is the first bar to partner with Townshend’s on their new tea-based liqueur, distilled here in Portland. The Robert Palmer (pictured right) is a boozy take on the Arnold Palmer and named for the famed musician. It’s a delicious, refreshing, and caffeinated drink perfect for the morning, made with Townshends Sweet Tea Liqueur, House Spirit’s Aviation Gin, lemon, and mint. (3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; 503-756-7125)
 
Spiced Ice Coffee
Smallwares
When your last name is Ware, and you serve small plates of shareable food at your establishment, the only appropriate name for the restaurant is Smallwares. This restaurant, self-branded as “inauthentic Asian”, is one of Portland’s most popular dinner spots, as chef Johanna Ware is one of the city’s best and most creative, having honed her skills at Momofuku in New York before coming here. Smallwares has brunch on the weekends, from 11 AM–3 PM, with its signature style small plates. While there are a few beverage options, the Spiced Ice Coffee stands out. Thai chilies, cardamom, black peppers, and condensed milk give this iced coffee a sweet and spicy kick, perfect for jump-starting your day. (4605 NE Fremont St.; 971-229-0995)
 
The Micholympia
Olympia Provisions
To wrap up, a restaurant and bar that celebrates Portland’s greatest loves; pork, brunch, and booze. Olympia Provisions, the famed cured meat proprietors, naturally have a brunch menu at both their Northwest and Southeast locations. Brunch is served at both locations from 10 AM–3 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. The menus include charcuterie and cheese boards as well as omelets, benedicts, hotcakes, and more, with plenty of sausage and pork options. For a perfect pairing to the spicy and salty food, try the Micholympia, made with house mary mix, housemade hot sauce, lime, draft beer, and served with a salt & pepper rim and absurd garnish. (1632 NW Thurman St.; 503-894-8136; 107 SE Washington st.; 503-954-3663)

Photos by Alexander Frane

 


Tags: brunch, Cocktails, Spirits
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