Where to Drink in Portland This Week

Midnight Society makes two secret-menu vermouth blends.

1. Guilder Cafe

1005 W Burnside St., guildercafe.com. 10 am-8 pm daily.

Newly arrived in the corner spot at Powell’s City of Books, Guilder Cafe West is the second location of a local coffee business steaming up coffee drinks and roasting beans with as much of an eye on ethics as one might expect from a cafe named after a heroic fantasy adventure like The Princess Bride. “We all need to pay more for coffee because it costs more than we think to produce it,” the menu reads. That sentiment and menu items like the Farm Boy Oats or the Autumn Miracle Pill (a latte with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, panela sugar, cold brew and salt) are the subtle ways Guilder shows its inspiration. You’re unlikely to be called m’lady.

2. Push x Pull

821 SE Stark St., pushxpullcoffee.com. 8 am-2 pm Monday-Friday, 8 am-3 pm Saturday-Sunday.

Coffee may be ubiquitous in our city, but Christopher Hall, the 37-year-old co-founder of coffee roaster and cafe Push x Pull, possesses a singular focus on natural process beans. “Natural process” refers to fermentation of the entire coffee cherry after harvesting. In Push x Pull’s capable hands, the results are flavorful espresso shots and captivating cortados.

3. Midnight Society

3341 SE Belmont St., themidnightsocietypdx.net. 4 pm-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday.

When it’s an option, vermut de la casa is the best and cheapest vermouth choice you can make—and is assuredly the least FDA approved. Midnight Society co-owner and bartender Estanislado Orona makes two secret-menu blends. The white combines Dolin Dry and Padró & Co.’s Myrrha Blanco with saline to give the sweet and nutty mix a tang, like sour verjus. The red is a mix of Dolin and Cocchi Storico reds, set over cacao nibs for a week. The first sip is cherry cola and fudge. As it mellows on ice, clove and banana come out.

4. Cooperativa

1250 NW 9th Ave., Suite 100, 503-342-7416, cooperativapdx.com. 7:30 am-9 pm Wednesday-Saturday.

New to the menu at the Pearl’s Italian market, the World Vermut Tour flight comes with three 3-ounce pours to remind drinkers that—to quote bar manager Joel Schmeck—”really killer vermouths” are made internationally and domestically. Alongside Spanish Lustau vermut rosé and Cnia Mata red vermouth, Cooperativa features Son of Man’s “Someday” vermouth. Made with the Basque-style Sagardo cider, brewed in Cascade Locks, this dry white warps the vermouth category—a category known to have few requisites other than being made with wine. The cloudy yellow bottle carries tart sips of kumquat and rhubarb.

5. Nightingale

18 NE 28th Ave., 971-254-9017, nightingalepdx.net. 5 pm-midnight Thursday-Saturday, 5-11 pm Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

There’s something subdued about Nightingale, even with a decent weekend turnout of groups dining both inside and out—on the bar’s festive but understated streetside patio. The elusive quiet bar on a Saturday night, its cocktail menu consists of well-conceived concoctions, most with a “peaty” cast to them owing to the liberal deployment of mezcals, scotches and smoked bitters.