Slideshow: Portland Drinking Guide: The Best Spots for Cocktails Right Now

Nothing Gold Can Stay ($13) at Teardrop Lounge
Nothing Gold Can Stay ($13) at Teardrop Lounge

This refreshing cocktail, composed of Encanto pisco, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, and Pineau des Charentes, sweetened with Bonne Maman's orange marmalade and brightened with lemon, will usher you into spring. Served up in a coupe glass, this sunny, pale golden drink combines gentleness and acidity for a must-drink cocktail.

Caroline's Fancy ($14) at The Rookery
Caroline's Fancy ($14) at The Rookery

This must-drink barrel-aged cocktail was created with a master eye for the end product. Made from Casa Noble single-barrel reposado tequila, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, demerara sugar, and Scrappy's cardamom bitters and served on a large rock with an orange garnish, the silky tactility of this drink carries its crisp punch perfectly.

Tequila ($10) at Barwares
Tequila ($10) at Barwares

Drinks at Barwares are named for their base spirit, and the menu is simple and compelling. The Tequila is built with Cazadores Reposado tequila, Ramazotti Amaro, Combier Rouge cherry liqueur, and Regan's Orange Bitters, with the spritz of Herbsaint for a compelling earthiness garnished with a flamed orange twist and served up. The result is a boozy, satisfying Manhattan riff that touches both the sweet and the savory before subsiding slowly from your palate.

Nasturtium ($8) at Clyde Common
Nasturtium ($8) at Clyde Common

The Nasturtium is an exceptionally floral drink, almost like sipping clover honey. If you like sweeter drinks that behave well on the tongue, try this golden cocktail made from Dolin Blanc vermouth, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, and Bonal Gentian-Quina, garnished with lemon peel.

Precariat ($12) at Expatriate
Precariat ($12) at Expatriate

Owner Kyle Linden Webster invented this Manhattan riff with an eye to evoking a mountain feel—and the herby, dry drink does call to mind a perfect moment standing in the snow after a bracing hike, with cold nose and toes, while reality suspends and revery begins. It's made with Old Weller Antique 107 Bourbon, Suze, Cocchi Americano, Dolin Genepy des Alpes, and Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters, with a garnish of lemon.

Molotov Cocktail ($9) at Rum Club
Molotov Cocktail ($9) at Rum Club

This take on a whiskey sour sits lightly on the tongue while subtly hinting at revolution. Which makes sense given one of its ingredients: Zwack, a Hungarian spirit invented by a court physician in 1790. Zwack bottles are rumored to have contained the first Molotov Cocktails, but the herbal liqueur complements this drink's Dickel rye, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, lemon, and honey-rooibos syrup quite well. Shaken and silken, it's a stylish cocktail.

Tipperary ($13) at Multnomah Whiskey Library
Tipperary ($13) at Multnomah Whiskey Library

Any drink you try here will be memorable, but the Tipperaray captures the lush experience perfectly. Made with Bushmills Black Bush Irish whiskey, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and Green Chartreuse, the cocktail is delicate and whiskey-forward, highlighting strong notes of chocolate and citrus.

Three Dots and a Dash ($14) at Hale Pele
Three Dots and a Dash ($14) at Hale Pele

Hale Pele's version of the Don The Beachcomber classic is memorable: a perfect crushed-ice mound, El Dorado 21-year rum, Mount Gay Eclipse rum, lime and orange juice, honey, falernum, allspice liqueur, and Angostura bitters. The drink evokes candied pineapple, mince pie, and blackberry, warming you from the inside out.