The second annual Portland Cocktail Week (it's actually only three days, but you can always start drinking a few days early) hits town Thursday. It's more a conference for professional mixologists, but cocktail nerds of all stripes are welcome. In addition to seminars on the finer points of cocktail crafting, there are plenty of drinking-focused events, including a whiskey party at Ground Kontrol, a Yacht Rock and rum concert at Lola's Room, a single-malt scotch cocktail dinner at Beast, a battle between robots and bartenders at the Jupiter Hotel and more. The festivities also coincide with the Great American Distillers Festival, where small-batch distillers from across the country come to Portland to share sips of their spirits. 

To celebrate, we asked Beaker & Flask bartender and Oregon Bartenders Guild honcho Brandon Wise to create a cocktail especially for us. "Here's a cocktail inspired by our beloved Willamette Week," he writes. "A slightly bitter, boozy libation all jacked up on the great things about Portland. What says Willy Week more than a subtly sweet, knock-you-on-your-backside, take-no-prisoners blast of liquorous flavor? Buy the ticket, take the ride…."

Willy’s Wild Ride

1.5 oz. Ransom Old Tom Gin    |    1 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth    |    .25 oz. Fernet Branca    |    .25 oz. Deco Coffee Rum    |    A dash Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters    |    Rinse of House Spirits Krogstad Aquavit

"First pour a splash or two of the aquavit in an Old-Fashioned glass and add a couple of ice cubes to let it coat the glass. Build the rest of your ingredients in a separate mixing glass, add ice and stir for 15 to 20 seconds. Discard the aquavit and ice from your glass and strain the contents of your mixing glass into the aquavit-laced glass. Drop in a BFC—a Big F—in' Cube of ice. (You can buy silicon ice molds online—they're rad and they're cheap!) Garnish with a swath of orange using a vegetable peeler and squeeze the peel to express the oil over the drink before you drop it in. Cheers!"

GO: Portland Cocktail Week runs Oct. 20-23. Venues and prices vary. Visit for info and tickets. The Great American Distillers Festival runs 1-7 pm Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 22-23. $10 for one day, $16 for two. See

Headout Picks


The only thing scarier than the monsters at Fright Town is the line on Halloween weekend. Stop by the block-long haunted house as All Hallow’s Eve draws nigh and you’ll see people standing around as though they’re waiting to buy some doughnuts. Fright Town, Memorial Coliseum at the Rose Quarter, 300 N Winning Way. 7 pm. Oct. 19-23 and 25-31. Info at $20.


[DANCE] Chunky Move
This Australian contemporary company returns to White Bird to launch the North American premiere of its work, Connected. The central set piece is a giant kinetic sculpture made by Reuben Margolin and hung from the ceiling by wires. Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave. 8 pm Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 20-22. $20-$30.
[MUSIC] E-40
Bay Area legend E-40 is a renaissance man: He’s an innovator of slang (“fo’ shizzle”), tycoon of the California fast-food industry (Fat Burger) and two-decade veteran of the rap game (3 million sold). Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8 pm. $28.50. All ages.


Michael Shannon thinks the sky is falling, and by the end of this harrowing movie, you don’t know if you’d rather he was right or wrong. Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10, 846 SW Park Ave., 221-3280. Multiple showtimes. $10.50.


There’s little innovation in Lucio Fulci’s Dawn of the Dead knockoff, but there is an extended underwater fight between a zombie and a shark, and one of the most excruciating eyeball impalements in history. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215. 9:30 pm. $7.


Endless Now
Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 894-9708. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.


The New York quartet performs pieces by two visionary 20th-century composers: Steve Reich and John Cage. Cage’s percussion classic Child of Tree features an amplified cactus. Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 224-9842. 7:30 pm. $27-$40.