First, some helpful hints. A few of these drinks are original and delicious creations of which your bartender may not be aware. So be nice, as well as prepared to rattle off the ingredients. And while some can be prepared in your average dive bar, others depend on fresh fruit and your bartender's ability to "muddle" (smooshing up fresh fruit and ice in the glass). Portland is home to many muddling bars, such as Mint, XV, Bluehour, Colosso, Squeeze, Kennedy School, and White Eagle (just to name a few), so don't let it scare you. Just step up, tell 'em what ya want, and let's get fancy drunk!
* THE SWABBIE--Like 'em sweet? This delicious concoction could easily be mistaken for a kiddy's cream soda--that knocks you on your ass. It's made with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and 7-Up in a short or tall glass, but I would recommend going tall. Five of the shorties, and you're going to hangover hell.
* THE MOJITO--A favorite of Ernie Hemingway after a hard day of killing marlins--and you'll soon see why. This Cuban classic is concocted with light rum, lime, sugar, soda, and muddled mint. Light, refreshing, and a top contender for your 2001 drink of the year.
* MAESTRO--A fun drink to order at any bar, it's for those who require more of a sour/bitter fix. It's also easy to remember; just ask for a gin or vodka tonic (your choice) with grapefruit juice. Make sure they serve it to you in a tall glass, and hold on there, racehorse! Don't forget the lime, 'cuz it is KEY.
* THE DELILAH--Another sadly forgotten classic! Muddled lemons (tart!), gin (aromatically bitter!), and a dash of Cointreau (just enough sweet to take off the edge!) served up and colder than a witch's tit. Perfect for the country club or anyplace where you need to out-snob the snobbiest of snobs!
* THE KJ7--Little-known, but ready to blow up! A long, tall refreshing swallow that's sure to make you kick up yer heels and do the hoochie-coochie. An acronym for Ketel One vodka (the "K"), juicy muddled oranges (the "J"), and topped off with 7-Up (that would be the "7," now wouldn't it?). It's the fresh, fizzy, lil' sis of the Screwdriver.
* SIDECAR--Bet you haven't ordered this one lately. A down and dirty alternative to the lemon drop, the Sidecar spotlights brandy, lemon juice, and a dash of Cointreau that's served up and with a sugared rim. Delicious even when mixed in the lowliest of dives, and if you want to get extra fancy-pantsy, try it with Metaxa brandy.
* THE SAZERAC--If you really want to challenge that bartender, ask for the Sazerac, and see if they pick up the gauntlet. A gift from the drunkiest city in America--New Orleans--the Sazerac originally contained absinthe as one of it's ingredients, before the patrons went crazy and started hopping out windows. Now, the absinthe has been replaced by just a touch of Pernod, along with shaken rye, sugar, and bitters in a chilled glass. Hate rye? Me, too! So just substitute that stinky rye with its Cuban counterpart--you guessed it--brown rum (Bacardi Anejo if available).
* OLD-FASHIONED--All hail the great-grandpappy of muddled drinks! As any red-nosed senior citizen can tell you, the Old-Fashioned is "the cat's pajamas" because it happily packs a boozy, sweet, bitter, fizzy punch. A nice shot of bourbon, muddle-up those cherries and oranges, toss in a bitters-soaked sugar cube, and top it off with soda on the rocks. By gum, it'll knock ya right off your walker.