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Bar Guide 2015: Dessert Cocktails

Sweet drinks for the dirty-minded.

Our Favorite 178 Portland Bars | Bar of the Year: Stammtisch | Best Bars No. 2-5

Strip Club Hangouts | Sports Bars | Shot 'n' a Back | English Bars | Dessert Cocktails 

Patio Bars | Bars That Look Like Houses | Skee-ball Bars | Cart Pod Bars

Where to Eat After Bar Close | The Most Important Little Bar 'Hood in Portland 

Pepe Le Moko

407 SW 10th Ave., 546-8537, pepelemokopdx.com.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler's sweet tooth is well-advertised—or at least his disdain for the notion that all cocktails must taste like medicine. And so there is Pepe le Moko, a bunker of a bar perfect for romantic seclusion, with expensive drinks that taste like British candy: a lovely amaretto sour ($14), a minty grasshopper sucked through a striped paper straw ($14), and a nice espresso martini ($11).


820 N Russell St., 284-5518, mintand820.com. 

Mint—once a ladder-climber destination—has steadfastly ridden its millennially loungy version of hipness past unfashionability into a patina of old-school class. It is also Portland's truest home of the lemon drop, not to mention perhaps the only home to an avocado daiquiri, a swirl of fat and sweet that might as well be spiked ice cream.

Sapphire Hotel

5008 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 232-6333, thesapphirehotel.com.

Two words: Pop Rocks. There are Pop Rocks in a drink. Sure there are classier copper-cupped gin St. Germain numbers, pages of bitter whiskey drinks and classic tipples. But know that at the heart of this menu is a tiki drink made with Pop Rocks. The dim, boudoir-themed Sapphire is sexy like a cherry stem knotted with a tongue is sexy: a little lurid, a little campy, a little full of childhood myths about explosions inside you.

Rum Club

720 SE Sandy Blvd., 265-8807, rumclubpdx.com.

Year-round, Rum Club is an aficionado of the daiquiri, that most Hemingway of manly drinks, but in the summer a subtle change overtakes the menu—and the specials chalkboards—with an ever-rotating train of fresh fruits adorning drinks served in crushed-ice columns, culminating in a masterpiece of the form, the Peach Blended, an umbrella drink made with blended rum, fresh peaches, lime and sugar. The peaches are very ripe, with enough acidic tartness to balance out all the sweetness. It's as good as blended drinks get.

Bunk Bar Wonder

128 NE Russell St., 328-2865, bunksandwiches.com.

Bunk's sub-Wonder Ballroom experiment in Tex-Mex, the Sidepipe, remains a miracle of drunk science. Based on the gringo-cantina staple in the Southwest, the drink ($10, and actually worth it) is a D-cup-sized margarita bowl slushed from the house machine, with a mini-bottle of Corona plunged into it upside down. Wonder of wonders, the beer refuses to pour until you finish your stiff-ass margarita, at which point the leftover sour from the margarita limes up your beer. Perfect.

Vault Martini Bar

226 SW 12th Ave., 224-4909.

Recently rejiggered, Vault remains a dessert-happy martini bar in the Pearl underground, a world of guava drops and mango martinis, with a series of martinis styled after all seven deadly sins but all devoted to gluttony.