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Portland Bar Review: Hamlet

We visited Hamlet, a small but unique spot in the Pearl District of NW Portland during their opening week. Apparently a project to complement the success of Oven and Shaker located just around the corner, Hamlet is another great place to eat from the imaginations of chef Cathy Whims, Ryan Magarian and Kurt Huffman. If Oven and Shaker is any indication, this place could do very well.

Two things stand out about Hamlet: ham and sherry.

Featuring several different service options that include amazing, hand-sliced jamón ibérico as well as domestic, acorn-fed varieties, you basically start with your cured meat selection and add accompaniments. We ordered the best ham they serve along with a baguette & butter. Ham service like this is not something we have seen anywhere else, so this alone is worth checking out. The cocktails are also delicious. There is a focus on sherry drinks which is

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Portland Bar Review: Kask

It's easy to think of Kask as a drinker's waiting room for Grüner or even the Multnomah Whiskey Library, but if you make that mistake you are likely to skip the other places completely and just hang out here for the evening. With a fantastic selection of signature cocktails and house-made mixers, there's something for everyone. The menu includes a daily punch special (possibly be the best cocktail value downtown) alongside a half-dozen seasonal recipes that punctuate a very complete cocktail list of recurring classics and originals. Everything is nicely laid out by spirit category. We love how each category is further divided into "Shaken" and "Stirred" sections giving clues to the type of drinks you might expect (shaken cocktails often contain citrus or other cloudy ingredients, while stirred drinks are always spirit driven). The cozy space also serves small bites

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Portland Bar Review: St. Jack

What can we say? It's on our list, so you should assume St. Jack has great cocktails, because they do. The bar has a slick vibe with huge drippy wax candles. We drank the delicious Jack's Manhattan which is rye-based and includes Bonal Gentain-Quina and Dry Curaçao in lieu of vermouth. We always enjoy cocktail service that includes an ice cold vintage glass with the extra poured into a personal mini carafe. The bar opens at 4pm and features a 4-6 happy hour every single day. It's aways nice to know a good spot to get quality craft cocktails on NW 23rd.

Portland Bar Review: Mediterranean Exploration Company

Another successful restaurant from the folks that brought Toro Bravo and others to life, the Mediterranean Exploration Company is definitely worth exploring. They even take reservations which is a nice bonus. Finding a parking spot in the Pearl, however, can be another matter. Give yourself plenty of time. The food is fantastic, and the drinks are good enough to match. We were there during the soft launch and tried an Arak Frappe which is no longer on the menu, but a few months later, the signature 50 Year Old Virgin cocktail pictured to the right is simply wonderful. Other interesting spirit and liqueur combinations round out the menu so there is something sure to satisfy anyone. An extensive spirits, wine and beer list along with a selection of non-alcoholic options will help everyone have a good time.

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Seattle Bar Review: Canon

Jamie Boudreau's Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium in Captitol Hill, Seattle, WA is perhaps the best bar in the Pacific Northwest. That's saying a lot, since we are fortunate to have some fantastic places to enjoy great drinks in this part of the country. The menu is innovative and the shelves of spirits packed three deep all the way up to the tin ceiling can be overwhelming. For cocktail geeks that's a good thing, and casual enthusiasts intimidated by the menu need only suggest their spirit of choice—or even a mood—and the helpful staff will create something sure to satisfy.

We've mentioned Mr. Boudreau a couple of times over the years, so it was exciting to finally visit his establishment in person. The attention to detail is impeccable and subtle flair such as ornate silver coasters and the antique cigar tin to hold our hand-written bar tab are fine

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Portland Bar Review: Multnomah Whiskey Library

Despite the unusual seating process, Multnomah Whiskey Library remains one of the most interesting, if not the most striking places in Portland, Oregon to sip spirits. It has a rustic elegance with a "basement library" vibe. If you are not at the bar, you are cosily seated at one of several arranged leather lounge chairs or around the long, green banker's lamp lit library tables. Instead of books, the stacks are filled with bottles. You'll need the gigantic Captain's Manual to search the entire inventory, but thankfully, MWL provides a list of suggestions in the form of a changing abridged list of spirits and a delightfully short cocktail menu.

They bring the bar to you at MWL where a bartender quite literally wheels a mobile drink station right to your chairs and mixes your selection before your eyes. It's a nice touch for an overall experience that can be

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Rhubarb Blush

We have a lot of content to add to our compilation of bar reviews. There are so many great places to order cocktails Portland, Oregon and the list keeps on growing. One favorite restaurant is Pok Pok and what is often considered the Pok Pok waiting room—the Whiskey Soda Lounge. Here's one of their drink recipes that is easy to make and quenches the heat of a hot, spicy meal.

In the right season, rhubarb bitters are easy to make at home. Otherwise, you may be able to find Fee Brothers at your local shop. Once you do, pulling together this refreshing recipe is simple. Just combine equal portions of gin, lime and Aperol with a few dashes of bitters. Shake with crushed once and dump the whole works into a tall glass and garnish with

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