1015 NW Everett St., 503-445-8109, teardroplounge.com. 4 pm-late daily. Happy hour 4-6 pm: select cocktail specials.
Established: July 2007
Like the center ring at a circus, the focal point at Teardrop Lounge is the oblong bar shaped like its namesake. Within that space, you'll watch the work of Daniel Shoemaker, a veteran barman who helped bring the craft cocktail craze to Portland a little over a decade ago with Teardrop's opening. Seasonal house creations like the the Tempest (blended whiskey, honey liqueur, white vermouth and Campari; $13) and the Nightwing (oolong-washed rye whiskey, apple brandy and crème de cassis; $12) highlight the bar's creativity and clear understanding of balance. Giving credit where it's due, classic cocktails like the Whiskey Flash date as far back as 1896, and a full page of drinks from fellow cocktail pioneers, like the Taylor Precedent (apple brandy, Italian vermouth, cinnamon, brut sparkling and tiki bitters; $10) by Meaghan Dorman from Raines Law Room in New York, grace the "Friends" section. Don't worry if you don't know what half the ingrediants are—a glossary on the back page will bring you up to speed while Shoemaker brings these dazzling drinks to life in a hypnotic fashion.