Albany Concoctions: Creative Boozings
Sweet Red Bistro
If you’re looking for a specialty cocktail menu for a fun evening out, Sweet Red Bistro in Albany has what you want. Their dim lighting, candles, and soft music provide the kind of intimate dining experience that you’ll want to experience more than once. Their Spicy Thai Gimlet (which can be ordered “cyn spicy” or “sensible spicy”) consists of their house infused Thai chili vodka, lime, and mango.
At Vault 244, you will find high-quality drinks that are made by knowledgeable bartenders. All of the cocktails attain perfection, but the Pearfection is especially wonderful with its Clear Creek pear brandy, triple sec, lemon, and simple syrup. And then there is the Vault Chocolate. Made with Bacardi 151, Baileys, peppermint schnapps, hot chocolate, and fresh whipped cream, it will warm you up on a cold night.
Feel like good drinks, food, and live music? Head on over to The Still in Albany, or as we like to call it, the bar formerly known as JP’s. They just recently reopened as a classier joint, and there’s no doubt about it, they make a mean craft cocktail. Make sure to try out the strawberry mint julep, made with moonshine, fresh strawberries and mint, cane sugar, lemon juice, and soda.
By Hannah Darling
Corvallis Coffee: Choices of Bean and Brew
If you’re looking for a great place to sit and drink a delicious cup of coffee or tea, look no further than Coffee Culture’s three sit-down locations. Though sometimes a little pricey, the great environment and delicious java will have you coming back again and again. And they’ve got warm service to accent their wealthy drink and treat selection. They score highly with staffers that prefer high-quality black coffees.
Allann Bros. Coffee
Allann Bros. Coffee, aka the Beanery, has three locations in Corvallis serving consistently quality coffee alongside a wide range of menu options, with the most choices for food at their 2nd Street location. Do note, however, that their espresso shot is not quite consistent with the typical “American” espresso style. Allann Bros. coffee is instead made with a more European-style espresso, which is far stronger. When you order your triple-shot 16-ounce Americano, latte, or what have you, remember you’re getting the potent dank here, so you may want to tone it down a notch and stick with a single shot.
The dream of the ‘90s is alive and well in Corvallis. Interzone is its beating heart. When you walk through the purple-framed door, past all the scrawled band flyers, you could almost believe that Gibby Haines doesn’t need to take a nap before playing a 9 p.m. show. Their drink menu features standard coffeehouse fare with specialties such as the cardamom honey latte for a bit of frou-frou. They do a pretty good breakfast beyond bagels and pastries if you’re so inclined. Back in my day, though, we lived off the cream and sugar in our coffee and we were grateful for it.
Oregon’s answer to the Starbucks mega behemoth is a mini mega behemoth all its own here in Corvallis. These guys are known for their coffee and tea drinks more than their classic coffee or espresso. But they are popular for a reason and they have many locations throughout town.
You can be sure that each cup of joe the folks at Purple Moon are whipping up is organic and awesome. If you’re not into coffee, don’t fret because they have an array of equally tasty juices and smoothies. Not to mention they have a special nearly every day of the week, and they top that smooth and rich espresso drink with none other than a chocolate-covered coffee bean. You can find their quaint coffee stand in the parking lot of the South Corvallis Co-op, or visit them on Saturday mornings at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market.
A taste of Italy is just around the corner in Corvallis. Grab a cup of delicious coffee and a bowl of creamy gelato at this adorable little restaurant on 2nd Street. It’s important to note that this is not an ideal location for a quick cup of plain coffee. Espresso is king here. But the combination of Italian ice cream and delicious espresso drinks will have you dreaming of Rome.
These folks regularly host live music and displays of local artists’ work. Each table is decorated with paper and a can of colored pencils, encouraging those who are hanging out sipping a cup of coffee to get in touch with their artistic side. Customer service is great; the baristas take pride in knowing their customers’ names. What’s more, any extra profit made goes right back to charities to support coffee-growing families.
Tried and True
These are the new kids on the block. Their cozy SW Madison shop is filled with small indoor plants and an adorable hexagonal shelf. Our go-to staff coffee expert describes their black coffee as almost tea-like and their mocha as high quality and balanced; hers featured some pretty intricate latte art.
Corvallis’ Top Concoctions
At Downward Dog, delicious drinks are served either inside or outside on picnic tables. The Mango Cooler is by far one of the best drinks on the menu. Made with vodka, lemon juice, lime juice, mango puree, and Sprite, it will satisfy any sweet tooth. Garnished with a small mango slice and three gummy bears or sour patch kids, this drink is great for any night out.
Located in the American Dream Pizza on Monroe, the Handle Bar has some of the best drinks made to go with your slice. The Sucker Punch tastes just like it sounds and is packed with different flavors. Made with infused pineapple-coconut rum, infused blood orange spiced vodka, muddled orange and lime, pineapple juice, orgeat (a sweet syrup made from almonds), and a Gosling’s rum, this drink tastes just like an adult fruit punch.
Packed with karaoke, billiards, and an upstairs dance floor, the Peacock offers different types of entertainment and quality drinks. If you’re looking for a refreshing fruity drink the My Little Pony will satisfy your needs. Probably named after the Ponies for its light pink color, this drink is made with strawberry, cranberry, and lemonade sour, and topped with a lemon slice.
Located in the American Dream in Downtown Corvallis, the Crowbar has not only interesting drinks but interesting names to go with them. For those who love a blend of coffee flavor and liquor, the Crowquistador is a must-try. Made with Flaming 151 rum, coffee liqueur, coffee, cream, nutmeg, and a caramelized sugar rim, this drink blends together the world’s greatest things: coffee and liquor. On a nice night, enjoy your drink on the rooftop.
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I was excited to try the 4-Story Macho Nachos at Sky High Brewing, but a little nervous about choosing a cocktail. I ended up ordering the Thirsty Beaver (vodka, blood orange puree, fresh muddled lime, and triple sec) and was pleasantly surprised. While a strong drink, I considered having more than one and at $7.50 a drink that’s saying something. Other cocktail options were the Hotuaca, Brewmaster’s Coffee, Holy Godiva, Hot Buttered Rum, and the Lavender Lemondrop. There are even variations of the Moscow Mule as well as the Bloody Mary. My mouth is watering—I will be visiting again.