Monday, March 18th kicks off Portland Mercury's Highball Week 2019. With the average price for a Portland cocktail coming in at $11, PDX Highball Week is an excellent chance to imbibe without straining your wallet. It's also a great chance to get out and support Portland's local bartending talent.
And this year, Highball Week isn't just for happy hour anymore. Fifty-plus participating restaurants and bars will serve their specialty $5 highballs during all open hours.
Without further ado, here's your guide to getting the most bang-for-your-five-bucks. Salud!
Danwei Canting--The Beijing-style eatery, Danwei Canting developed "Gua Tou" aka "Melon Head." Chef Kyo Koo says this highball will be a "cool complement" to counter the foods' "Danwei heat." Made with bourbon, Midori, Cointreau, and black pepper, this highball may, indeed, provide some sweet relief from Danwei's spicier dishes; think La Zi Ji Chicken with whole chili peppers, Szechuan peppercorns, and ginger, and vegan dish, Qing Cai, wok-seared bok choy with spicy Chongqing sauce. "Melon Head" typically costs $11. Grab it during Highball Week for just $5.00. Open daily at 11:30 a.m., 803 SE Stark Street
Elvis Room–Showing off their "Devil in Disguise" aka "El Toro," the Elvis Room's highball is made with Hornitos Cristalino tequila, grapefruit, a chili tincture, and Aperol. Normally priced at $10, grab this one for just $5 from March 18 through March 24. This highly instagrammable burger bar has two fun floors of vintage kitsch; think velvet cat paintings and pleather booths. Open daily at 4:00 p.m. 203 SE Grand Avenue
Hey Love–In keeping with their playful '70s vibe, Hey Love is offering "Sharon is Karen." This force-carbonated, draft highball is made with cucumber, vodka, white vermouth, and ascorbic acid. Hey Love says guests can expect it to be "super bubbly and refreshing." Typically available for $9, this will be $5 during Highball Week. Open daily 7:00 a.m. Inside Jupiter Next Hotel. 920 E Burnside
Bit House Saloon–With Courvoisier VS Cognac, vanilla, citrus, and house smoked apple syrup, Bit House Saloon's "Felix & Jules" is set to please. This gluten-free kitchen is known for serving up a tasty, fried bologna sandwich alongside fried cauliflower, and organic, smoked chicken wings. Open daily 4:00 p.m., 727 SE Grand Avenue
Downtown and The Pearl recommendations:
Bluehour–Averaging $12 a cocktail during non-happy hour times, visiting Bluehour during Highball Week is an excellent chance to sit-and-sip at this high-ceilinged, stylish restaurant and bar. For the occasion, Dani Frosh developed "Sage Advice" with Jim Beam Repeal Batch, ginger, fresh-picked sage, and fig. Guests should consider ordering oysters and salmon rillettes or heading straight for the steak frites to round out their Bluehour experience. Bar opens weekdays 4:00 p.m., weekends 3:00 p.m., 250 NW 13th Avenue
Bacchus Bar–Travelers and locals alike should experience the people-watching and drinking at a hotel bar. Highball Week is a perfect chance to do just that at Hotel Vintage. Created by lead bartender, Nathan Elliot, Bacchus Bar will serve "Follow Me Sunshine." With a dehydrated pineapple and basil garnish, this brown butter washed, rum-based highball is intended to invoke sunnier days ahead. While you're at it, why not pair the "Follow Me Sunshine" with Chef Sigler's Il Solito burger made with a meatball patty and marinara sauce and an order of his lemon Agrumato french fries? Opens daily at 4:00 p.m., Inside the Kimpton Hotel Vintage. 422 SW Broadway
Jackknife–This social bar and restaurant will serve "PB&J" made with Old Grand Dad and Combier Cassis, served with crushed peanuts rim. Drinkers should check out the accessible menu; order the skirt steak tacos and keep it playful with a side of sweet potato tots. Open daily 3:00 p.m., Inside the Sentinel Hotel. 614 SW 11th Avenue
North Portland recommendations:
Liberty Glass–The intriguing garnish, half a Cutie Mandarin orange filled with Sipsmith Dry Gin, is reason enough to visit Liberty Glass for Highball Week. The rest of the drink, made with Campari and sweet vermouth, will be a welcome beverage especially for Negroni fans. Open daily 3:00 p.m., 938 N Cook Avenue
The 1905–A flamed banana bite will accompany The 1905's "Bananas Imposter". This highball is made with brown butter wash, Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, orgeat, and citrus. Keep your visit going with one of their many signature pizzas. Open daily 4:00 p.m., 830 N Shaver
PBJ's Grilled–This Northwest Portland restaurant is the newest kid on the Highball Week block. Co-owner Keena Tallman is excited to serve the "French Toast Cocktail." Made with Jim Beam Repeal Batch, maple and cinnamon syrups, egg whites, and vanilla, pair it with a grilled brunch sammy; lean in to the Oregonian on challah bread with pan seared duck and hazelnut butter or the Joy filled with coconut and chocolate ganache. Open Wed-Sun, 11:00 a.m., NW Kearney & NW 23rd