Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Portland, OR, Oregon, Where to drink, Bartender’s Recs, Clyde Common, The Ace Hotel, Northwest, Where to eat, Where to drink, Where to shop, Liquor Stores, Wine Stores, Beer Stores, Restaurants, Bars, Cocktails, Best Bartenders, San Francisco, CA, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, IL, Illinois, Liquors, Liqueur, Spirits, Bartenders Tools, Cocktail Tools, Ice Trays, Water, Gum Syrup, Coffee, Where to drink coffee, Best coffee in Portland, Best cocktails in Portland


“Jeff Morgenthaler is one of the best bartenders I know because he gets the big picture. He understands what it takes to run a program with consistency. He's also been the most widely read blog in the country for cocktails and is so widely respected. Bartenders like when they get to meet him and are just so thankful because they learned from him.”

- Bartender Daniel Shoemaker of Teardrop Lounge in Portland, OR

Q & A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Q. Please tell us about the Clyde Common:

A. Clyde Common is kind of a European-style tavern. The word gastropub gets thrown around a lot. I don’t know if anybody loves that word, but I think it’s probably pretty appropriate.

Entrance to Clyde Common through The Ace Hotel

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Q. The cocktail program that you’ve created at Clyde Common has become recognized all over the country. How did you become part of the team?

A. I was bartending in Eugene and didn’t have any real plans to leave. I was pretty happy there. It was a little college town and I was doing great. I made a pretty decent little name for myself there making cocktails. But I always loved Clyde Common and it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up, so when they offered me the job, I took it.

Clyde Common was already a really successful bar and restaurant at that time. But I looked around and I saw a million things that I wanted to change. It was tough because I was like the new kid in town and I didn’t really come from a very respectable town in terms of bartending prowess. I mean, Eugene is certainly not on the map. But I knew that we could do something even kind of greater with the program. So I just kept pushing through, and after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I think we’ve taken it up to the next level. 

Q. It seems that cocktails have become a much more respected part of the whole restaurant experience.

A. Now it's kind of like a respectable career, but I guarantee you in the late ‘90s it was not a respectable career. The fact that cocktail programs are now recognized by the James Beard Award Foundation is a huge milestone to be included with our brothers and sisters in the food world, and alongside winemakers.

Q. How many syrups and things are you making in-house and how many of them are you buying?

A. My rule is we only really make them when there's not an acceptable commercial substitute. We don't really make stuff just to show off that we know how to make it, we make it because we can't get it. But grenadine is a perfect example. There's just no good grenadine out there, so we make our own.

We do buy Small Hand Foods’ raspberry gum syrup, which is incredible. We use it for really traditional Clover Clubs.

Q. You’re now serving bottles carbonated cocktails at Clyde Common. How did you decide to start doing them?

A. I’ve been getting a lot of credit for them, but I certainly didn’t invent the idea. I really got the idea from Aviary in Chicago. They had the Pisco and fig cocktail that was carbonated in a bottle. I thought I’d like this to be part of our program.

We’re doing café style cocktails that are already a carbonated drink, like an Americano or an Aperol spritz. We have one that is our creation, the Broken Bike. It’s Cynar, a dry white German wine and water. They won't spoil, so I can bottle it and keep it around for a week and it will taste as fresh as it did when it went in.





Clyde Common



The Ace Hotel, 1014 SW Stark Street, Portland, OR 97205

T: 503.228.3333



Portland, OR



Photographs courtesy of Clyde Common & Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Advice & tips


My favorite quote on ice comes from Eric Alperin down in LA. He said ‘ice is the bartender's fire -- we use ice in the same way that a chef / a cook would use heat.’ Brilliant! When I heard him say that I thought, of course, genius!

My suggestions for ice is get it as cold as you can. I use the Tovolo Perfect Cube Trays at home and they're great. Just filter water using a Brita.

[See details.]


Bartender’s Recs | Spirits

Find | Spirits


I like that is has touch of sweetness with a lot of spice. We use it in a drink called Kavalier and Clay, just like the book by Michael Chabon. It's tequila, Becherovka, lemon and pineapple gum syrup.

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Bartender’s Recs | Bartenders

The Woodsman’s Tavern | Bartender Eric Adkins | Prizefighter in San Francisco

Photographs courtesy of The Woodsman’s Tavern (David Reamer) | Eric Adkins | Prizefighter

Portland, OR | Evan Zimmerman of Woodsman Tavern

He is almost avant garde with his exploration of flavor. He is so cutting edge.

San Francisco, CA | Eric Adkins of Slanted Door & Heaven’s Dog

Erik is one of my favorites. He makes pretty much the best drinks I've ever had.

San Francisco, CA | Jon Santer of The Prizefighter

He used to be the brand ambassador for Hendrick's Gin. He opened Bourbon and Branch back in the day. And he recently opened a bar called The Prizefighter. He is one of the saints in this business, his drinks are flawless and he's just a great host.

Los Angeles, CA | Justin Pike of The Tasting Kitchen

Justin used to work for me. I've watched him grow from kind of just a guy who was a good bartender and didn't really seem to care all that much about it, to somebody who is running one of the more innovative cocktail programs in the country. It's been a joy to watch.

[See details.]


Bartender’s Recs | Portland, OR

Pearl Specialty Market: The Beer Selection | The Entrance | Bitters

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Find | Liquor Stores

Pearl Specialty Market

It's the only liquor store in the state that also carries beer and wine. They have a really broad selection. They have all sorts of vermouth and bitters and things that other stores don't get.

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Wings at Pok Pok | Pizza at Nostrama

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink. | Photograph courtesy of Nostrama

Eat | Restaurants

Pok Pok

For everything -- I like the wings; I like the beer and the whiskey selection.


An amazing restaurant -- the bar program is really good and the food is unparalleled. It's Italian food that's just spectacular.

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The Woodsman Tavern | The Clinton Street Pub | Daniel Shoemaker’s cocktail at Teardrop Lounge

Photo Credit: The Woodsman’s Tavern (David Reamer) |  Jeff Alworth [flickr] | Find. Eat. Drink.

Drink | Cocktails

Teardrop Lounge

It’s where I go to get schooled. My drinks are very sort of normal, just good old plain drinks. I try to make our drinks fit into the mold and all they do is just break the mold over and over and over again. They have my Amaretto Sour recipe on their menu right now, I think that's pretty cool, but their menu often changes.

Woodsman Tavern

To see Evan [Zimmerman].

Driftwood Room

It's not like the most cutting edge cocktail program in the world. It's not Death & Company, but it's classic and it's just a cool bar.

The Clinton Street Pub

One of my favorite bars is also one of Murray Stenson's favorite bars and it’s a great dive. They’ve got a great bartender named Phil Rutherford.

[See details.]


Coava | Stumptown Coffee Roasters at The Ace

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Drink | Coffee


Really beautiful rich, deep, dark coffee.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

There are a bunch of them, but one is right here with us in the Ace Hotel. It's just consistently one of the best coffees in Portland.

Spella Caffe

They’re a small roaster here in Portland worth checking out.

[See details.]


Details of Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recommendations on where to eat, drink and shop in Portland, OR.

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