Now that you won’t have to compete with the crowds, make the rounds and sample the delicious cocktails Corvallis has to offer. Although I don’t recommend trying them all in one night, even if you aren’t driving. Hot, fruity, salty, or sour—there are cocktails to tickle every taste bud. And at the Advocate, we’ve sampled quite a few of them. I’m not implying writing pushes us to alcohol. Not all of us, anyway.
Toddy – China Delight (325 NW 2nd St., Corvallis)
Russell at the China D is more than a bartender—he’s part apothecary, part personal wellness coach. His secret? Whisky. He makes a lovely toddy for those of us who are just well enough to get out of bed but just sick enough to get drunk instead of going to work. The drink is a perfectly portioned mix of honey, tea, and whisky. It takes away the aches, chills, and memories of how incredibly crappy you look and feel. Bonus: he serves it with a smile.
Daniel’s Bloody Mary – Impulse Bar and Grill (1425 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis)
With a garnish of celery, black and green olives, cheese, and crispy pepperoni, Daniel’s Bloody Mary at Impulse Bar and Grill is a snack and a cocktail at the same time. It’s savory and spicy and the pepperoni is perfect. The balance of garnishes makes it hard to stop drinking this Blood Mary. It’s dangerously crisp and salty, and a great drink for a warm summer evening.
Strawberry Margarita – Laughing Planet (127 NW 2nd St., Corvallis)
I dig Laughing Planet for a lot of reasons, but their $5 strawberry margarita might be the icing on the cake. Enjoy one of these blended drinks—made with real strawberries, of course, and served in a sugar-rimmed glass—while basking in the sun on the front patio. Perfect for enjoying with friends before catching an evening performance downtown. Just make sure to grab one of these tart, alcohol-spiked smoothies before summer’s out—they’re seasonal.
Hands down, the best cocktail in town is “The Zinger,” which can be found at the Downward Dog. To describe what this drink is seems nigh impossible. In reality, it is incredibly hot and sour at the same time. Metaphysically, it’s like swallowing a spinning galaxy that explodes in your stomach while it reaches out of your left eye socket and punches you repeatedly in the throat. People who hate this thing still drink it.
Crowberry Cooler – Crowbar (214 SW 2nd St., Corvallis)
Crowbar manager Seth Waddell is like a wizard—mixing his potions and infusions he casts a spell of conviviality over the crowd inside the bar in the alley. My favorite concoction of Seth’s is the Crowberry Cooler. He muddles lemon and mint, shakes it up with marionberry-infused Old Crow, and tops it with a little ginger ale. A little sweet, a little ginger-spicy, and a whole lot of smoky bourbon goodness.
FREE SHALIMAR – Shalimar’s Place
Summer’s just about here, which means that it’s time to start my annual blood-thinning regimen. Or is that winter? Hmm. To be on the safe side, I’ll start a serious regimen of alcohol consumption anyway. A woman’s gotta protect her health. My favorite drink is a take on Ava Gardner’s favorite, the Cuba Libre. I call it the Shalimar Libre: combine cola, Malibu coconut rum, a wedge or three of lime, and a heap of ice. It’s thinning my blood and keeping me refreshed! Pop that sucker in an old Big Gulp and you’re good for the day.