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slides: Ask A Bartender: What’s A Good Morning Cocktail?

Friday, February 20, 2015


Irish Coffee is an exceptional way to relax and wake up at the same time.

Having a drink in the morning is sometimes the only thing that makes sense. When you’re looking for immediate relief, the best remedy is to go back to that place you were six hours ago. So when an aspirin takes too long, here are five ways to imbibe in the hair of the dog. But remember: It’s just the hair, not the whole dog. Otherwise this cycle can go on forever. 

See Slides Below: The 5 Best Places to Get a Drink Before Noon in Portland

Drink plenty of water with your morning cocktails (I try to achieve a three to one ratio), and you should be hydrated as well as slightly buzzed in an hour or two. 

If you’re drinking with friends, think of a good toast that fills you with optimistic spirit. If you’re drinking alone, say something gentle to yourself like a prayer: That I may discover the strength and confidence to face the rest of my day. 

Irish Coffee 

This is a simple drink and every bar should have the ingredients: Jamison, sugar cubes, coffee, and just a bit of whipped cream. There are other coffee drinks as well -most notably the Spanish coffee. But the Irish coffee is a mellow way to start your morning. Stay away from anything that is high enough proof to light on fire. 


This drink, as with any vodka drink, I’ll only order in the morning. Vodka is a neutral grain spirit. That is it’s selling point: cleanliness and purity, aka get you through the day without spoiling your breathe. The functional alcoholics go-to, close your eyes and tell yourself you’re drinking orange juice. 

Blueberry Tea

This is a great way to drink earl grey tea from a snifter (or a coffee cup if you’re going incognito). Just add a bit of Amoretto and Grand Marnier. Won’t get you drunk but will warm you up just the right amount. It also makes for a great nightcap but doesn’t really belong anywhere in between. 

Corpse reviver is just what the Dr. ordered for severe lethargy.

Corpse Reviver 

All drinks above have had the added bonus of surreptitious possibility. Not this one. This is a straight up martini, so good luck drinking it in front of your boss. That being said, it was invented as a hangover cure. Think of it as the last in your arsenal. The big gun that you were saving for the moment when you are absolutely worthless; have nowhere to be but can’t really sleep either. Break out a jigsaw puzzle, play your favorite video game, just don’t engage in anything too cerebral- you’re only kidding yourself. 

Bloody Mary

The classic is a classic for a reason. Order this at night, and you’ll probably get scoffed at (not that you should care). It’s a very obnoxious drink but also very tasty. The garnish is the obnoxious part. It looks like you’re trying to sneak up on someone every time you take a drink, and is enough to give Vietnam Vets the jitters so take heed when drinking it around your girlfriend’s dad. All that aside, this drink is a great vehicle for those who care enough about themselves to eat breakfast but lack morning appetite.  


Related Slideshow: The 5 Best Places To Get A Drink Before Noon in Portland

Portland is the city haunted by perpetual sleep. Especially in the winter, it's important to get out of the house and enjoy what our fine city has to offer. Sieze the day, have a laugh. And what better way to start out than an early morning cocktail?

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My Father's Place

I’ve never woken up and decided to go to MFP. I have, however, been up still and decided I need to eat something and drink something and maybe then I can sleep. Buyer beware: This place is Depressing. But they serve a stiff drink, have a jukebox and a reasonable array of Midwest-style greasy spoon breakfast food. Grease up dem guts and go take a nap. 

My Father's Place, 523 SE Grand Ave. 

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Iconic is a new bar on Broadway. I sincerely hope they succeed. They are less busy than Swift and the food is as good or better. They also have black and white movies on the projector you can stare at. It’s a nice, clean bar with big windows. Not dark, not pretentious. Just good food, nice pours and friendly staff. Not depressing in the least. Only open early on weekends. 

Iconic, 2226 NE Broadway. 

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Jam on Hawthorne

Another non-desolate spot on the list. Last time I was there the bartender had a very engaging story about the last time he smoked crack (it was years ago). Big windows here as well. Good breakfast and giant bloody marys’ of various flavors and spice levels.  

Jam on Hawthorne, 2239 SE Hawthorne. 

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Beaches- PDX airport

Even though the post 9/11 regimen that advises travelers to get arrive to the airport two hours prior to flight is no longer as timely as it once was, there are worse things than having an hour to kill at an airport bar. I have had some great conversations next to real estate agents, flight stewardess’, amateur skateboarders and down and outers. Even made some contacts that I keep up with to this day (hello Susi). You can rub elbows with anybody in an airport because everybody’s stuck just like you are. You’ll never see them again- probably- and you can skip the niceties and step right into the real gritty stuff. 

Beaches Located at the PDX airport and in Vancouver at 1919 SE Columbia River Dr. 

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Acropolis Steakhouse

What would a list of am bars be in Portland without a stripclub? I was tempted to put in Sassy’s based on my own harrowing experience on a Christmas morning, but the Acropolis is open at 7am, so that wins. Scum it up with strippers and steaks, and what better place to do it than Beaverton? 

Acropolis Steakhouse, 8325 SE McLoughlin


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