Vex Cocktails Provides Sophisticated Drinks and Relaxed Ambiance
Vex Cocktails and Small Plates is a relatively new addition to the downtown Forest Grove bar scene, but is growing increasingly popular for bringing a sleek, stylish cocktail experience to the area.
Just a block away from campus on Pacific Avenue, Vex boasts a wide selection of craft cocktails, local wine, finger foods, and desserts. The bar opened its doors on July , 2022 to serve Forest Grove high-end specialty cocktails in a relaxing environment. Part-owner Bob Moats, who is also part-owner of Blackdog Bar and Grill in Forest Grove, wanted to design a relaxed atmosphere while still retaining the elegant nature of the cocktails the bar serves.
“I live here, and I want to create a nice, comfortable place for people in the community to gather,” said Moats.
According to Moats, one of the key factors that set Vex apart from other bars is its handmade ingredients and unique cocktails.
“We also make a lot of our own ingredients, which is something you don’t find everywhere,” said Moats. He explained that most of the syrups, juices, and add-ins that go into Vex cocktails are made in-house and mixed to order, with the notable exception of some of Vex’s most popular drinks.
“We have a Dubliner, a Sazerac, and a Black Manhattan, which are aged in a cask before we handcraft cocktails,” said bartender Kalie Neumeyer. “Those are some of our best-sellers here.”
Vex also concocts ingredients like liqueurs in-house. Their handmade limoncello, for instance, is a sweet lemon liqueur and is used to make Limoncello Drops, a play on the classic Lemon Drop cocktail. Besides using mostly housemade ingredients, Vex endeavours to elevate customer experiences with laser-engraved ice cubes, which are ordered custom from the Portland Ice Company.
“That’s something very traditional to Vex that you won’t find in town,” said Neumeyer. “In addition to serving our signature cocktails, we try to elevate the customer’s experience by giving you something unique and cool.”
As Vex grows, Moats and the staff have plans to introduce small events and entertainment.
“We plan on having live music, and we’re in the middle of promoting a poker game right now,” added Moats. These plans also extend to possible future discounts for Pacific students and faculty, as well. The bar also features an extensive board game wall for anyone who would like to play a game while enjoying a beverage. — Isabelle Williams