With more and more people visiting Portland, Maine on a regular basis, the craft cocktail game in the city has gotten stronger. Locals remember that it wasn’t THAT long ago when the Old Port was filled with dive bars and dance clubs. These days, upscale restaurants and bars are the name of the game with many of them are serving up some ridiculously delicious cocktails that you need to put on your bucket list immediately. Here are 15 of the very best craft cocktails being served up in Portland right now.
Mutiny On The Bounty (Blyth & Burrows)
Voted the single best cocktail in Portland via the Best Of Portland Old Port Awards 2021, Mutiny On The Bounty is perfection for scalawags or seasoned pirates alike. Irish whiskey, pineapple absinthe, charred coconut, house falernum and tiki bitters make up this bountiful cocktail that Blyth & Burrows proclaims “is good enough to cause an uprising”.
Hot & Unbothered (Paper Tiger)
This cocktail from newcomer Paper Tiger, charted to the tops as one of the best cocktails available in Portland in a matter of weeks from their opening date. Made with Mezcal, Strega (An Italian herbal liqueur that literally translates to “witch”), Campari, a house-made pineapple and Thai chili syrup, lime juice and fire tincture, the final result is a cocktail that is the perfect combination of smokey, biter, dry and floral. Paper Tiger puts the final touches on with just a spritz of rose water on the glass for a clean, flowery aroma. Garnished with an edible flower that is frozen to maintain beauty.
Rufus Page Black Walnut Old Fashioned (Independent Ice Co.)
Voted one of the best bourbon bars in the United States, Independent Ice Co. stands out along Wharf St in Portland’s Old Port for numerous reasons. One of them is their spin on a classic cocktail, their Rufus Page Black Walnut Old Fashioned which feature Elijah Craig small batch bourbon, sugar, black walnut bitters and an orange peel. Simple recipe, big results.
Pear Martini (The North Point)
The cocktail menu at The North Point is filled with plenty of different delicious options but one particular drink has been a continuous crowd favorite. Their Pear Martini, a mixture of Absolut Pear Vodka, pear puree, fresh squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup. Keep track of how many you’re having because they taste so good, it’s easy to forget.
Strong Paw (The Honey Paw)
The menu at The Honey Paw is loaded with wildly tasty options but when looking for a cocktail amongst all the tantalizing eats, look no further than the Strong Paw. The signature drink of The Honey Paw features tequila, mezcal, honey, lime and chili. One sip and you’ll think there are a few more hidden ingredients.
Dracarys (N To Tail)
Stop by N to Tail on Exchange Street for the mouthwatering Korean barbecue, and make sure you to grab yourself one of their signature cocktails, the Dracarys. It’s the perfect drink for a Game of Thrones cocktail night or a brisk winter evening. It’s a mix of jalapeño-infused tequila and passion fruit mango mix along with a salted rim. Feel the heat of the dragon in every sip.
Cucumber Basil Collins (Lazzari)
Lazzari along Congress Street has a menu stacked with twists on classic cocktails including their absolutely delicious Cucumber Basil Collins. A mix of cucumber gin, lemon, muddled basil, cucumber, simple syrup and soda water all pair together to make an exciting sip. Perfect for a hot summer day or to pretend it’s hot and summery outside.
Sicilian Negroni (Via Vecchia)
There are negronis to be found all around Portland, but then there’s the Sicilian Negroni found at Via Vecchia. Forget that antiquated recipe and welcome yourself to the new age. The Sicilian Negroni at Via Vecchia is a mix of gin, Antica Torino, Amaro dell’Etna, Campari and Salted Grapefruit Oleo. Skip the long flight to Europe and transport yourself to the old land with this iconic drink.
Green Eyes (Portland Hunt+ Alpine Club)
Inside the cozy confines of the Hunt + Alpine Club, you’ll find a lengthy list of tremendous cocktails prepared by some of the best bartenders in Portland. One of those cocktails is Green Eyes, a mix of gin, green Chartreuse, lime and egg white. The cocktail is named after its brilliant green color that resembled the eye color of many people in Ireland and France during the 1930’s when it was created.
The Daily Fix (Regency Hotel)
Sometimes the simplest cocktails can just hit different. That’s the case with The Daily Fix at the Garden Cafe at the Regency Hotel. A recipe of black tea infused Tito’s Vodka paired with lemonade on ice. This crooked take on an Arnold Palmer is exactly what it promises to be, a daily fix of deliciousness.
Blushing Rose (Top of the East)
When you’re looking for a subtly seductive cocktail in a premier Portland setting, look no further than the Blushing Rose at the Top of the East. Voted one of the top cocktails in the Portland Old Port Best Of Awards 2021, the Blushing Rose is a mix of champagne, grapefruit, and house made rose syrup. There’s something alluring about this delightful drink.
Hades (Luna Rooftop Bar)
After the Gods of Olympus created humans, they may have focused their powers of craft cocktails at Luna Rooftop Bar. One of the immortal drinks on the menu is Hades, a concoction of Plantation Dark Rum, banana, black tea, honey and lime . Sip lightly while sitting on top of the Old Port.
Chocolate or Espresso Martini (Gross Confection Bar)
Whoever said that chocolate and alcohol do not mix was horribly mistaken. Cheat a little here and get decadent at Gross Confection Bar with their take on the classic Chocolate Martini or Espresso Martini. The Chocolate Martini is a mix of Valrhona caribe chocolate, rye and Amaro dell’etna. The Espresso version features Coffee By Design Espresso, rum, Zucco Rubarbaro. Don’t just think of it as a dessert drink because is there ever really a bad time for chocolate or espresso?
Pandemonium (Crispy Gai)
Visit for the Thai fried chicken, stay for the roaring good times at Crispy Gai. Causing quite the uproar, Crispy Gai’s Pandemonium cocktail has you swimming through a sea of coconut foam on your journey to Pandan Island. Made with Pisco gin, Pandan, lemongrass, lime and coconut foam. Offering up a roaring good tim
Margarita (Bird & Co.)
Leave no margarita overlooked. Making the Top 10 list of ‘Best Cocktails’ for the Portland, Maine Best of 2022 Awards, Bird & Co.’s margarita serves up a simple yet refreshing taste which no margarita lover can refrain from. Made with tequila (duh), fresh lime, agave and triple sec, Bird & Co. does the beloved cocktail just right.