When we aren’t sure what to put in our glasses, we turn to the pros. Particularly, we wanted to reach out to professionals — winemakers, sommeliers and brewers as well as bartenders and distillers. We asked the chefs to tell us what they are currently drinking. They had a lot of interesting options to choose from, including non-alcoholic sodas and post-meal vodka. These picks are a great choice for gastronomical sensibilities. We’re even willing to give them a try.

Since 1994, Greg Higgins is a fixture in the Pacific Northwest’s culinary scene. He opened his restaurant named after him. We have enjoyed some wonderful recipes from the chef, such as his version of Cioppino (an Italian fish stew). He enjoys coffee, wine and brandy at home. He says, “There is always something to drink in our house.”

It’s all about quality caffeine in the morning. Higgins states that the morning usually begins with Nossa Familia French Press coffee. It’s the blend of freshly-roasted beans with hand grinding using an old-school crankburr grinder that produces a great cup of coffee.

Then it will be on to great wines from far and near. Higgins currently enjoys an Alto Adige wine, Kerner from Abbazia di Novacella. The Kerner white is multifaceted and well balanced with crisp acidity. Higgins says it’s a great white, that goes well with seafood and cheeses.

He’s enjoying a great red thanks to some Willamette Valley work. Brickhouse’s 2017 “Cuvee du Tonnelier” Pinot Noir is a special mention. He says that Doug’s Pinot Noir “is the whole package.” Organic, sweet, red fruits, smooth tannins and oak. This is great with wild salmon grilled to perfection.

The final drink to finish off the meal and take you out on the town in style. He says that Armagnac has a more rustic flavor than Cognac. The Delord 15 Year Reserve is complex and concentrated with the rough edges mellowed by more aging. The perfect drink to finish the evening.

Sedona Kusler, a chef at Montelupo Portland. She recently gifted herself a SodaStream to help her stay hydrated at home. Kusler isn’t content with fizzy water as delicious as it may be. Kusler likes to increase the flavor by adding Som’s Ginger Cordial, and some bitters. This is a refreshing, vibrant, spicy, tropical mocktail that’s perfect for all times of the day.

Her passion for ginger is evident and she enjoys being able to customize her drinks. She says that DIY soda allows you to control how much sugar you add, which makes it less sweet. It also gives you more ginger flavor.

Toby Amidor, a Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author and nutritionist based in New York is Chef Toby Amidor. Amidor has more than 20 years of experience in this industry. Amidor is a big fan of tea and prefers it prepared in a particular way. She says that chai tea is her favorite drink because of its powerful antioxidants, bold taste and appealing aroma. Purecane is my secret weapon for sweetening my morning tea, and it’s also my favorite way to keep calories low.

Amidor boils the chai and adds a teaspoon of sweetener to the water. She also stirs in a little bit of skim milk. It brings out the richness of the chai’s earthy and rich flavors and balances the drink.

Will Preisch is one of those people who doesn’t like alcohol or coffee. Innkeeper and Abbey Road Farm farmer Will Preisch likes matcha latte with lavender syrup. He says, “I love to spend two minutes of my day making this.” This ritual is something I look forward to. Mizuba Tea Company’s matcha is used. I make the lavender syrup by myself. Abbey Road Farm has a lot of lavender.

He turns to a classic when he needs to quench his thirst. He says Topo Chico is his favorite beverage. It’s refreshing and crisp, with small bubbles. The plain is better than the twist.

Sushi Note in southern California is home to Kiminobu Saito, a chef known for creating delicious Japanese-inspired seafood. The beloved chef loves classic French white wines right now. Chablis is a great wine to pair with sushi and it can be enjoyed all day. This iconic Burgundy cool-climate white is bright and acidic. It’s a great sipper, but it also works well with fish, poultry and other vegetables. This wine is great to have even if your palate doesn’t like it.

Are you still thirsty? Get a drink.



Chef Greg Higgins is a Portland native and has been in the restaurant industry since 1994. He enjoys coffee, wine, brandy, and is a fan of Cioppino.


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