For those of you who don't know, I also write for Serious Eats, covering cocktails in Portland, OR. I am going to start re-posting those articles here on the blog, but you can find them all on Serious Eats here. Now, in no particular order is the first, from a recent visit to Clyde Common to check out their new brunch menu, with photographs courtesy of Katie Burnett.
"Since Clyde Common has become well known for our regular cocktails, I knew that if we were going to serve brunch cocktails, I really wanted them to be exceptional morning-inspired drinks that aren't quite the usual suspects," says Jeffrey Morgenthaler. "I started by thinking about all of the typical cocktails that you'd find on a brunch menu: the Bloody Mary, French 75, Tom Collins, Spanish Coffee, and then made some variations."
The only cocktail that's pretty true to the original is Clyde Common's Caesar, a faithful rendition of Canada's most popular brunch drink. "Clamato is so un-Portland—house-made ingredients are the standard at most bars, but sometimes you've got to make it the way you're supposed to make it," says Morgenthaler. "When Canadian patrons come in and compliment us on our Caesar, we know we've nailed it." The cocktail is served with a tiny Southern Oregon Pilsner beer back, inspired by friends who would slowly pour a few ounces of beer into their Bloody Marys to nurse away hangovers.
Though some of the other drinks are based on historical recipes, others are inspired by Morgenthaler's own memories: "When I was living in Eugene, I would come into Portland to stay at the Ace Hotel for the weekend," says Morgenthaler. "I remember waking up and starting my day with the Kick in the Pants cocktail, made with Stumptown cold coffee, Wild Turkey whiskey, Nocello, and sweetened condensed milk. It was amazing." He tweaked that recipe to make the Bridge Club, a cocktail that pays tribute to the past while standing on its own for a new generation of brunch-crazed Portland drinkers.