Where to Find the Best Coffee Cocktails in Portland

by Alexander Frane on Mar 28, 2017 in Roundups

Portland is a coffee mecca, with cafés on every corner and dozens of roasters, including the world famous Stumptown Coffee. It’s no wonder, then, with our love to drink the stuff and our love for booze, that bartenders would find a way to combine the two. Here are eight of our favorite boozy coffee drinks, including some classics, originals, and an iconic Portland beverage. Let us know where you like to get your buzz on while getting buzzed at our Facebook or Twitter.

Trifecta Tavern
The White Russian ($11)
Outside of Big Lebowski viewing parties, White Russians haven’t been getting much love these days. It’s too bad, as it’s a perfectly good drink, and even better when Trifecta Tavern’s Colin Carroll is applying his mad brilliance to it. The coffee portion is cold brew made with Ristretto Roaster coffee beans and then, in a wild twist, made with an amaro rather than water. The cream is poured tableside to afford the guest a view of it swirling and mixing beautifully into the black coffee and Capitol Vodka. The Dude never drank anything this good. (726 SE 6th Ave.; 503-841-6675)

 
Shift Drinks
Ada to Irene ($12) and Rockets & Shillelaghs ($6)
Gin, lavender milk, maraschino, honey, and orange oil get mixed with cold brew coffee in the Ada to Irene at Shift Drinks. Bar manager Alise Moffat is gifted at developing unexpected and tasty concoctions, and this one is no different. Instead of focusing on the rich, dark aspects of coffee, the ingredients highlight its floral qualities. For the time being, there’s also the Rockets & Shillelaghs. Part of a Stumptown Coffee cocktail contest, it uses the barrel aged spirit of the month, Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey, along with Stumptown’s sparkling cold brew and some housemade grenadine for a zippy, rich drink with at touch of sweetness. It’s part of their all day happy hour and costs just $7, so get in there and get it while you can. (1200 SW Morrison St.; 503-922-3933)
 
Pépé le Moko
Irish Coffee ($11)
It’s not difficult to find an Irish Coffee on a menu, nor is it a challenge to make at home, as it’s just whiskey, coffee, and whipped cream, but Jeffrey Morgenthaler has perfected it at Pépé le Moko. Tullamore D.E.W. and Stumptown Coffee make for a great base, but what finishes it beautifully is the hand shaken heavy cream. It provides a thick layer of insulation, as well as a delicious elegance, just what you would expect at one of Portland’s best lounges. (407 SW 10th Ave.; 503-546-8537)
 
Andina
El Anticuado ($12)
Andina is an excellent restaurant that specializes in upscale, modern Peruvian food and drinks. El Anticuado perfectly encapsulates that approach as a cocktail: Buffalo Trace bourbon is infused with Nossa Familia Selva Andina coffee beans, then sweetened with a citrus cachaca syrup and served over a big ice cube with a twist. Think of it as a sexy, Peruvian version of an old-fashioned with a kick. (1314 NW Glisan St.; 503-228-9535)
 
Q Restaurant & Bar
The Cafe ‘Murica ($9)
Veritable Quandary, one of Portland’s most beloved restaurants, is gone, but its spirit, and staff, live on at Q restaurant. You can find the Cafe ‘Murica on the brunch menu. The name is a bit of a play on words: It’s an Americano highball—Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water, with an orange slice—built over coffee ice cubes for a touch of the Americano coffee drink. It’s subtle at first, then gets stronger, and better, as the ice cubes melt; this is definitely a drink to nurse. (828 SW 2nd Ave.; 503-850-8915)
 
 
Rue
The Dominick Decocco ($10)
There’s just something about Campari and coffee that pairs well together. Jon Lewis at Rue demonstrates that with the Dominick Decocco, a “coffee negroni”. Half of the Campari is subbed out for Sfumato Amaro, and, along with the gin and sweet vermouth, the drink gets some dashes of cardamom, chocolate, and molé bitters. Finally, a pour of Stumptown Cold Brew is floated on top. The result is unmistakably a Negroni, but smoothed, elevated, and enriched. It might just ruin a traditional Negroni for you. (1005 SE Ankeny St.; 503-231-3748)
 
Stacked Sandwich Shop
Wake Up Call ($9)
Stacked Sandwich Shop is a new and welcome addition to the industrial district. All food here is sourced locally and, save for the bread, made in house. It also boasts a solid cocktail program, managed by Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library alum Jeanette Conner. The Wake Up Call marries Nossa Familia Coffee nitro with Sambuca, creme de cassis, bitters and lemon oil for a rich, smooth, and lightly sweet coffee drink that will get you going real good. (1643 SE 3rd Ave.; 971- 279-2731)
 
Huber’s
The Spanish Coffee ($10.50)
Huber’s is Portland’s most venerable establishment, founded in 1879 as a men’s saloon and operating ever since. It was here in the 1970s that the Spanish Coffee was developed; that’s right, the Spanish Coffee is actually a Portland drink. And while you can find the boozy coffee drink just about anywhere, it’s still best at Huber’s, where its creator, James Louie, still works. The drink is made table-side so guests won’t miss the pyrotechnics; rum and triple sec are lit aflame to caramelize a sugared rim, then topped with kahlua and filled with coffee. Cool whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg finish it off for a delicious, boozy, and iconic Portland coffee drink. (411 SW 3rd Ave.; 503-228-5686)
 
Photos via Alexander Frane; Shift Drinks; Rue
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