Tag: Downtown Portland

Just a Sip… (What I’ve been drinking lately)

Lately, I feel like there have been quite a few occasions surrounding, well, drinks. In the summertime, it’s easy to settle in on the deck with a cold beer, but the cold weather seems to bring out some more interesting, unique cocktails, or a glass of that red wine you’ve been saving in the basement for the past few months. (Yes, there is a bottle of red I’d been saving for my birthday, and yes, it was opened over the weekend.) So let me tell you a bit about what I’ve been drinking lately.

Brunch for Dinner with ZICO Chilled Juice Blends

Brunch for Dinner with ZICO Chilled Juice Blends from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately)// Serious Crust
Brunch for Dinner with ZICO Chilled Juice Blends from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

To celebrate the launch of their new line of chilled juices, ZICO Coconut Water threw a “Brunch-for-Dinner” fête. These juices are a perfect blend of the hydrating benefits of ZICO’s coconut water with the taste of your favorite fruit juice. Noshing on brunchy bites like fruit and yogurt, flapjacks with apricot chutney, and breakfast sandwiches, the evening was a lovely celebration of both healthy and delicious. Because why not have the best of both worlds? As for cocktails, the Sunset in Paradice was on the sweeter side, made with gin, sake, ZICO Chilled pineapple mango juice blend, bitters, and a lime cordial. The Spicy Orange was my favorite – a little spicy from the ginger, not too fruity or sweet, and bubbly from the champagne. You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

The Heathman Restaurant and Bar’s New Fall Cocktails

The Heathman Restaurant and Bar's New Fall Cocktails from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

The Heathman Restaurant and Bar's New Fall Cocktails from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust
The Heathman Restaurant and Bar's New Fall Cocktails from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

If you find yourself in downtown Portland, looking for cocktails after a show at the Schnitz or a long day at the office, might I recommend The Heathman Restaurant and Bar? They just launched their new fall cocktails, and let me tell you, they are stellar.

Collaborating with Kathy Casey of Liquid Kitchen, the new drinks are refreshing, wintery, fun, and most of all, awfully tasty. Combine them with a few bites from Chef Michael Stanton, and you’ll be a happy camper. Trust me. My favorite might have been the new 50 Shades of Gin beverage (inspired by the book set at the Heathman) with gin, fresh tangerine, pomegranate juice, lemon, and fresh thyme. Or the Orchard Old Fashioned, an old fashioned featuring clear creek pear brandy and apple bitters. It’s hard to decide.

Winter Warmers in NE Portland

Hot Buttered Rum at The Box Social from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

A couple of my favorite spots in my neighborhood, The Waypost (when I’m feeling like going somewhere relaxed and homey, where the bartenders are incredibly friendly and you can often find great music) and Box Social (where I go when I’m feeling a little fancier, or am out past midnight), have released their own fall drinks. When I go to The Waypost this time of year, you can pretty much expect to find me with a glass of their pumpkin infused bourbon. But the other night they had run out, so I let Antonio talk me into their cider toddy instead, and man oh man was it good – gingery, spiced, and just all around cozy. The Box Social, the last stop on my birthday celebration train, made it hard for me to decide on a nightcap. Do I go for the hot toddy, the mulled wine, or a delicious bourbon cocktail? No, I went for dessert in a glass: a hot buttered rum. I haven’t had a hot buttered rum in a long time – my mom used to make them around Christmas from a mix she bought at Williams Sonoma – but the one they made me at Box Social convinced me that they should rival hot toddies as far as winter warming drinks go.

Wine Tasting Class at WineUp on Williams

Wine Tasting Class at WineUp on Williams from Just a Sip... (What I've been drinking lately) // Serious Crust

We’ve lived in our house for over a year now, which means we’ve been walking by WineUp on Williams for, well, a whole year. Why we’ve never gone in is beyond me. Jonah bought me a groupon for a wine tasting class there, which finally got us in the door, and now I have a feeling we’ll be there a lot. The place is owned by a fellow named Wayne, who is chatty and friendly, and will not accept any excuses for why you aren’t drinking more wine. He is crazy knowledgeable, the staff is very kind, and their wine selection is great. After class ended (it was an hour an a half, tasting 5-6 wines, chatting with fellow classmates, and noshing on bread and cheese), we sidled up to the bar for some more. If the class isn’t so much your thing (they happen every two weeks) consider just stopping in for a glass of wine and music (on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights). I recommend sitting at the bar and getting to know the folks who run this lovely spot.

So there’s a little taste of what I’ve been sipping. Have you had any must try (or must make) cocktails lately? Opened a bottle of wine you love? What are you planning on drinking with your Thanksgiving dinner? Whatever is your fancy these days, I hope it keeps you nice and warm!

ZICO Spicy Orange Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail


Ginger Syrup

3T grated ginger
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

Cocktail Assembly

2oz ZICO Chilled Orange Juice Blend
1oz Vodka
¼oz ginger syrup (recipe below)
1oz Champagne
1 dash Old Fashioned bitters


Ginger Syrup

Bring mixture to a boil to dissolve sugar, strain, chill. Makes about 1 cup.

Cocktail Assembly

Combine vodka, syrup, coconut water, and bitters in a shaker. Shake with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with champagne.

Restaurant Review: Boxer Ramen

Boxer Ramen, PDX // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

The other day, after a trip to the library and a few hours in a coffee shop attempting to plan our trip to SE Asia (we’ve gotten a little further, at this point, and have narrowed it down to northern Vietnam, and have even booked tickets), Jonah and I were hungry. Very very hungry. We were near the library in downtown Portland, and needed something relatively quick and relatively cheap and completely delicious. It was a cold sunny day, and Jonah wanted pho. I started thinking noodle soup, and Boxer Ramen popped into my head.

Boxer Ramen, PDX // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

It’s not pho, but it is really good ramen. The restaurant is inside the New Union way shopping arcade, so it’s pretty much what one would call a hole in the wall. A few larger tables, a few deuces, and a bar, all with stools, line the brightly colored space. And there are 4 options (well, 6, if you count the sides). Sometimes I hate when there are so few options – I feel like I don’t really have any choice at all. But here, it seems to work. There’s the standard, the spicy, the mushroom, and the vegetarian curry. Jonah went for the spicy red miso, and I went for the standard tonkatsu-shio. We decided to skip the sides, though I have heard good things about the okonomiyaki tots.

Boxer Ramen, PDX // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

The food came within about 5 minutes, and we immediately started slurping down our noodles and broth. The soup was rich and warm, and so perfectly what we both wanted. The ramen noodles were really light and tender – not as stiff as some I’ve had in the past. The broth was perfectly savory, a tiny bit almost creamy, and felt perfectly viscous, not too thin, but not too thick. There was a delicious slab of pork belly floating in the soup, which was a nice textural addition, as well as lots of green onion.

As far as ramen in Portland goes, this place is definitely the tops. I can imagine if I worked downtown, this would be a go to lunch spot (though my guess is that there’s a line at lunch time), and it makes a great pre-Living Room dinner too. I can’t wait to go back.