PEOPLE LOVE TO TALK about what Portland loves: tattoos, birds on stuff, being weird, drinking, goddamn brunch. I think those last two are related. We love brunch because we wake up with just barely enough energy and cognitive functioning to stand in line for an hour so we can eat a pancake.
We sit down, spread a napkin on our lap, drain a mug of coffee, and before we know what's happening, before we've even seen a food menu, we do the absolute best/worst thing we possibly can: We order a Bloody Mary. Maybe a mimosa too (vitamin C).
The day after should be this way: a hot breeze that still feels cooler than the blood rushing almost audibly through our veins, with glasses of booze and iced coffee sweating in the sun. A cocktail desperately drunk and shakily held against the temple, brow, or neck, the drink's icy drip on an ideal downward course, arterial or venal, toward the heart, currently heaving fitfully somewhere between an overworked liver and shell-shocked stomach.
It should be like that, but it isn't always. There are a ton of reasons to be up and drinking at 8 am or earlier. Here's a brief field guide for the morning drinker. May your summer days be as clear as your memory isn't.
The Perfect Morning
This is that day described above. This is Trinket, a youngish brunch and dinner spot in Southeast Portland. Warmly lit through big windows, Trinket's an almost impossibly comfortable place to drink the morning away. Bonus points here for a modern classic, the Negroni Sbagliato (made with dry bubbles instead of gin; $7), sharing menu space with a pink Aperol and a grapefruit liqueur cocktail named after a Nicki Minaj song (Roman's Revenge; $8). Trinket, 2035 SE César E. Chávez, brunch daily 8 am-3:30 pm
Meanwhile, up north, what I will gladly describe as the greatest cocktail ever, the Sidekick, is back on the menu at the Hop and Vine, where the bar crew continues to squeeze the absolute biggest bang out of every buck you drop. The $8 drink's an ever-changing beast, topped with whichever IPA is on draft at the moment, but the foundation remains the same: gin, Galliano, orange liqueur, lemon, and cucumber. The Hop and Vine, 1914 N Killingsworth, brunch Sat-Sun 10 am-2 pm
No, I'm Not an Alcoholic, This Is Tea
Longtime Portland tea company Townshend's has finally released a full line of tea-based spirits, which means your stepmom's tea parties just got a whole lot more fun. At least one bar was ready and waiting for this moment: The Hazel Room, which dedicates much of its menu to both hot and cold tea and coffee cocktails. The Sweet Tea liqueur shows up in the Robert Palmer ($8), a gin-soaked nod to the Arnold Palmer and a lovely and addictive cocktail (get it?), but the star at Hazel was a coffee cocktail, the Andy's Parlor ($8)—with aged rum, iced coffee, grapefruit, and angostura bitters, it's dark and spicy, but lively. It feels built for a summer more tropical than ours—not just hot weather, but monsoon weather. It makes you want to wear nothing but linen and sweat it out fast enough to drink another. The Hazel Room, 3279 SE Hawthorne, brunch daily 8 am-4 pm
Taking Care of Business
Various responsibilities drag us out of bed day after day. Usually, it's work. But sometimes it's laundry. For you godawful one-percenters with washing machines in your homes, good for you, you can just have your butler throw a load in while you catch up on your beauty rest. For the rest of us, there's Spin Laundry Lounge. Throw your laundry in the machine and sit back with a cool pint of draft beer or a glass of wine. (Plus, have you seen the amenities at Spin? Nobody has this setup at home.) Spin Laundry Lounge, 750 N Fremont, open daily 8 am-midnight
Another up and at 'em population, and a particularly terrifyingly energetic one for 6 or 7 am: FIFA fans. Gotta catch a game live from Munich before the sun's even all the way up? Gotta have a pint of cold beer, too? Head to 442 Soccer Bar. Typically open for any game that enough fans show interest in, 442 offers a house beer brewed by Lompoc and a Timbers-themed cocktail called Green and Gold (at $5, a perhaps slightly color-theme-over-flavor mix of Midori and aged tequila) and a handful of TVs, so you won't miss a second. 442 Soccer Bar, 1739 SE Hawthorne, brunch Mon-Fri 11 am-1 pm, Sat 7 am-1 pm, Sun 8 am-1 pm
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Bottoms Up at Sunup