Now that it is Thanksgiving week, I am ready to officially declare it the holiday season. To me, that means celebrating family and friends and all the wonderful relationships you have that enrich your lives, and being thankful, appreciative, and celebratory.
You should start off by doing a little walk around Pioneer Courthouse Square and the block around Pioneer Courthouse. The gigantic Christmas tree for Portland’s outdoor living room is getting ready for the big lighting ceremony on Friday November 28 after Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, the various statues (I especially love the various Animals in Pools) at the Square and around the courthouse are cheerfully wearing festive holiday sweaters around Southwest Yamhill and Morrison streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
These photos are sweaters from last year and also this year, and they also change out the sweaters periodically so they may not be what you see when you visit
Then, you should warm up with a few drinks and good company just a couple blocks away at the Heathman. I love their Tea Court Lounge with its fireplaces and sparkling chandeliers and comfy seats and no cover charge Wed- Sat evening live jazz music.
If During this time of year, they ramp it up by upgrading their regular Afternoon Tea to Holiday Tea (running Nov. 28-Jan. 4) because of extra yuletile splendor in the atmosphere. There’s also a Peter Rabbit version for the younger guests! Seatings for Holiday Tea are extended from Afternoon Tea to be available at 11:00 AM, 1:00 and 3:00 PM. Tea service is $32 per adult and $14 per child.
If you want to enjoy the Afternoon Tea Service that is one way to take in the warm atmosphere, but I prefer pampering myself with the fancy cocktails and mocktails.
I’ve shared before some of the Heathman cocktails that they unveiled in the spring and which they are still offering this season. To get the best of both worlds, consider bringing tea and cocktail together by ordering the Broadway Punch, which when I had it was called the Tea Court Lounge Punch but is fundamentally the same, crafted of Bacardi select rum, Courvoisier Vs Cognac, various citrus juices (I think Pomegranate, guava, orange & lemon juices) along with Fonte earl grey tea spiced syrup. It is served tableside right from your individual pot into a snifter of angostura foam. It can’t make you feel any more royal than this!
Another beautiful presentation and tasty concoction is the Vineyard Margarita with Milagro reposado tequila, Combier d’orange, Fresh lime, organic agave nectar, Fresh rosemary, topped with a float of Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot noir.
First photo is mine, Second photo © Evrim Icoz Photography, third photo is mine
Or, go for the Bubbly Elixers like Oregon Berries & Bubbles Cocktail with New Deal Vodka, Oregon raspberry puree, lemon elixir, Argyle sparkling, or the Provence Cocktail with Grey Goose Vodka, Il Tramonto limoncello, lemon elixir, lavender bitters, Argyle sparkling. So fancy!
Also still on the menu are the Luxury Spiced Vermouth Manhattan with Templeton rye whiskey, House-spice infused red vermouth, Liquid Kitchen Golden Era bitters, stirred and served up with a spirited cherry & 23k gold , Orchard Old Fashioned with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Clear Creek Pear Brandy syrup, organic baked apple bitters, and ice sphere, and Northwest Grapefruit Negroni with House-bottled Aviation gin, Carpano antica, Campari, Combier Pamplemousse. Check out the blog of incredible photographer Aubrie LeGault at Portland Oregon Food Photographer where she also shares not only beautiful photos but also the recipe for the Orchard Old Fashioned (below I show the photo of the drink in the glass when you order it, versus the sample in the smaller glasses we sampled at a Fall Cocktail Launch event).
There are also new items from the lady who dreamed and made real these lovely beverages, Bar Chef Kathy Casey (and queen of Liquid Kitchen). There is a new version of the 50 Shades cocktail, I believe this is version #3. This one boasts Tanqueray Gin, Fresh Tangerine, Pomegranate Juice, Lemon, and Fresh Thyme and also a small pair of handcuffs to up the sexy factor. Check out the much more sexier photos that blogger The Good Hearted Woman captured!
For a wonderful mocktail, consider the non alcoholic Sparkling Raspberry Rosemary Lemonade with fresh lemon, cane syrup, Oregon raspberry puree, fresh rosemary and soda bubbles. There is also a new signature on tap cocktail available, the Huckleberry Mule with Absolut Vodka, fresh lime, housemade ginger ale and topped with Liquid Kitchen huckleberry preserves. Delicious!
Kathy Casey, Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®
Heathman Cocktails: Harvest Pumpkin Toddy Recipe
- 1 lemon wedge
- 1 ounce brandy or bourbon
- 1/2 ounce Frangelico (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Spiced Pumpkin Mix (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- Cinnamon stick for garnish(optional)
- Squeeze the lemon wedge into a coffee mug, cup, or heat-proof glass, then drop in the rind.
- Measure in the brandy, Frangelico, if using, and pumpkin mix.
- Now add the boiling water. Stir until evenly mixed.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if using.
Spiced Pumpkin Mix Recipe
Makes 3 cups, enough for 24 drinks
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 can (15-ounce) of pumpkin puree
- In a mixing bowl, whip the butter, brown sugar, and spices with an electric mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape the bowl as needed.
- Add the pumpkin and continue to whip until pumpkin is totally incorporated and mixture is fluffy, about 5 minutes more.
- If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books
If you pop in for brunch, you might also consider the Portlandia Mary with Krogstad Aquavit, Spicy Mary Mix, and Pickled Garnish, the Marionberry Ramos Fizz with Tanqueray Gin, Oregon marionberries, dash of cream, orange flower water, and fizzed with soda, or the White Peach Rosemary Bellini with prosecco, white peach puree and fresh rosemary. That way, you can enjoy the cocktails crated by Kathy Casey as well as the food created by Executive Chef Michael Stanton and smooth and friendly service by the Heathman Restaurant staff! Check out some of the marvelous samples of brunch possibilities at the Heathman Restaurant by executive chef Michael Stanton I was able to nibble on to try at an Autumn Cocktail Menu Launch.
If you want to take a break from the kitchen on Christmas Day, the Heathman will be doing their Big Christmas Buffet with seatings at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30 PM. The menu includes a huge selection of almost a dozen kinds of salads; displays of cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, and fruits and also one of seafood that includes prawns, oysters, mussels and clams, snow crab claws, various takes on salmon, and ahi tuna; carving stations of ham, prime rib, and lamb; additional entrees and sides like pork loin and petrale sole and acorn squash and potatoes dauphnoise; and oh more than a dozen types of desserts in pie, bar, cookie form and more.
Of course if you haven’t already solidified your Thanksgiving plans already, the Heathman is having a Thanksgiving Feast as well.
Have you been downtown to appreciate the holiday decorations that are going up/are up now, or been to the Heathman for the holidays yet? What cocktail would you try?
Disclosure: I attended a complimentary Fall Cocktail Launch Event at the Heathman, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.