On a recent visit to Cooper’s Hall, the new keg winery/taproom in Southeast, there were a couple of nice surprises. Firstly, despite publicity shots suggesting the space had all the charm of an aircraft hanger, the taproom has been skillfully designed to convey a warm, almost intimate quality... even at a time when it wasn’t particularly busy. Secondly, though known for the dozens of wine choices available by glass, carafe and growler (capped and sealed so you can take it home) they also have a cocktail menu.
Sure, it may just feature a half dozen options, but the menu displays both ingenuity and flair. The bartender, Erik—partly responsible for creating the list—enthused about the cocktails and his collection of potions (including saline, herbsaint, Mt. Hood hops and Boker’s Bitters) as much as the wine, and rightly so. The Coopers Shandy mixes lager, white wine, rose liqueur and lemon in a pint glass over ice resulting in a drink that is surprisingly balanced and refreshing. The Cue Lazarus, meanwhile, is a blend of gin, lemon, apricot, vermouth and absinthe, a combination that isn’t as boozy as it sounds, with a crisp, almost medicinal flavor. Cooper’s is a welcome addition to the cocktail scene... even if it is a winery.
Cooper's Hall, 406 SE 6th