Bars Cocktails

Alternatives to the Same Old Cocktails

Most of us are creatures of habit. When we go to a bar, we tend to order the same drinks over and over again. And if you've found something you love, why not? The downside, though, is that we end up missing the possibility of discovering a new favorite. 

Nobody knows good new drinks like the bartenders at the cocktail bars in Portland. Five of the best suggest craft cocktails that you can order as alternatives to the tried-and-true.

  • If your usual drink is a Lemon Drop, try an Elderflower Gimlet (Gin, Lime Juice, Sugar, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur). This is a bold choice. Definitely worth trying. St-Germain has a unique flavor: floral, fruity and fascinating.
  • If your usual drink is Maker's on the Rocks, try an Old Fashioned (Bourbon, Sugar, Bitters, Citrus). Great suggestion! I love an Old Fashioned. There's a reason that this drink has persisted since the beginning.
  • If your usual drink is a Cosmopolitan, try a Negroni with Carpano Antica (Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth). I'm not sure about this recommendation. The flavor profiles of the two drinks have some similarities, but are still quite different. Most people who order a Cosmo are looking for something sweet, and a Negroni isn't sweet, even when made with Carpano Antica.
  • If your usual after-dinner drink is Baileys, try some Pastis instead. This is a very odd suggestion, as the two liqueurs are nothing alike. Baileys is sweet and chocolately, while Pastis (e.g., Pernod or Ricard) is bitter and aromatic, and tastes like licorice.
  • If your usual drink is a Gin and Tonic, try a Gin Rickey instead (Gin, Lime, Sparkling Water). This is a great pick. I love a Gin and Tonic — one of the best, simplest cocktails around — and the Rickey is similar, but makes for a nice change of pace. Plus, it's the official cocktail of Washington, D.C., named for Colonel Joe Rickey, a 19th-century lobbyist.

Granted, your local T.G.I. Friday's will probably screw up these drinks. But if you can find a halfway decent bartender, you'll be in for some fun.