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First Look: New Brunch Cocktails at Clyde Common in Portland, OR
"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.
About the Author: Greg Harned lives in Portland, OR, where he enjoys cocktails, drinking and general mischief-making in candlelit speakeasies, swanky cocktail lounges and dingy dive bars. He manages Portland Craft Cocktails where he writes about his various exploits and also dabbles in the spirits trade. You can follow him on Twitter @craftcocktails.