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Portland's Rum Club has landed a coveted spot on Esquire’s annual Best Bars list.

For the ninth year, Esquire’s David Wondrich — billed as the world’s foremost cocktail historian — has named the nation’s best places to have a drink.

At The Rum Club, 720 N.E. Sandy Blvd., Wondrich describes the experience as "precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills."

He singles out the "old quartermaster," a $9 drink with "aged Guyana rums, blended & smokey scotch, PX sherry, benedictine and orange oil."

Rum Club opened in 2011 as a project of Kevin Ludwig, owner of Beaker & Flask, on the same Sandy Boulevard block.

The 2014 Bar City of the Year went to Rye in Detroit, Mich.

Also in the Northwest, Seattle's Blue Moon and Whiskey and Bitters Emporium received mentions.

Rounding out the list: Rye in Baltimore; Corazon Y Miel in Bell, Calif.; J.J. Foley’s Bar & Grille and The Hawthorne in Boston; Berlyn and Long Island Bar in Brooklyn, New York; Paper Plane in Decatur, Georgia; The Pastry War in Houston; Stockade Tavern in Kingston, New York; Frolic Room in Los Angeles; Palmer’s Bar in Minneapolis, Minn.; Anchor Restaurant in New Haven, CT; Broussard’s and Erin Rose in New Orleans; Daddy-O, Attaboy, Saxon + Parole and Golden Cadillac in New York City; The Roosevelt in Richmond, Va.; Shady Lady Saloon in Sacramento; and Kelly’s Irish Times in Washington, D.C.

Esquire's growing directory of the Best Bars in America is featured in the June/July issue on newsstands now.

Check out the story here: www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/best-bars-in-america-2014#slide-1.

Spirits, berries inspire new ice cream lineup

This summer you can have your artisan ice cream and feel good about it too.

Salt & Straw, the Portland brand that just announced its expansion into Los Angeles, will devote a portion of sales from its Summer Cocktail Ice Cream Series to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, in support of (RED)’s "EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES" campaign, which runs June 1 to June 10.

Salt & Straw will designate a special (RED) menu item as part of their participation in the event. The cocktail series, inspired by stories from local bartenders, will be available May 30 through July 3.

Flavors include: Chocolate Chip Mint Julep from Brandon Wise of Imperial, Strawberry & Verbena Pimm’s Cup from Ross Hunsinger of Aviary, and Pineapple Honey Dorléac fromKyle Webster of Expatriate.

Head ice cream maker Tyler Malek was also inspired by Oregon's berries, vegetables and meats.

The Oregon Berry Series will be avilable on July 4, and include flavors like Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, Melon with Hand-Cured Prosciutto, and Black Raspberries with Pork Belly.

Each series is available for purchase online through the summer. The price is $65 for five pints; visit www.saltandstraw.com to order.

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