How to drink in the woods: Pro tips to elevate your beverage experience in the backcountry






We’re approaching that glorious time of year when we shed what’s left of our winter layers and head north in search of fresh air and open spaces. What’s an adventure trip without some delicious drinks to enjoy after those long, summer days? We talked to some Duluth-based experts who shared their recommendations on the best … [ Read more]




Craft Cocktail: Branch Water at Norseman Distillery






On the first beautiful day of spring, I was admiring the Wüsthofs at Eversharp when I noticed the patio at Norseman Distillery. A single table was bathed in golden sunlight, as if the heavens had sent down a reservation placard for me and my girlfriend. We skipped across the parking lot to that table and, … [ Read more]




Spirits Close-Up: Water






This month’s Craft Cocktail is the Branch Water at Norseman Distillery, a remarkably uncomplicated whiskey and water. So, for this month’s Spirits Close-Up we decided to take a look at how water can enhance the whiskey-drinking experience.  Are you telling us to water down our cocktails? You’re doing it already. Water is an important ingredient … [ Read more]




J. Carver Distillery rolls out two new whiskeys and brandy






J. Carver Distillery is no stranger to grain-to-glass spirits, whether it’s gins, vodkas, or whiskeys produced at their Waconia, Minnesota, facility. On Monday, April 10, J. Carver announced it would be adding three new spirits—Brickyard Straight Bourbon, Runestone Straight Rye, and Island View Brandy—to its lineup, each distilled and aged in Minnesota-made barrels. “Non-chill filtered … [ Read more]




Craft Cocktail: Late Tea Time at Revival St. Paul






“I wanted to stick to things that pair well with the food,” says Nate McLemore Raczkowski. He’s mixing a cocktail behind the bar at Revival St. Paul, as plates of fried chicken, collard greens, and brisket go wafting by.  “I don’t drink coffee anymore. I drink a lot of Earl Grey tea in the morning. … [ Read more]




Spirits Close-Up: Infusions






This month’s Craft Cocktail, the Late Tea Time at Revival St. Paul, uses Earl Grey-infused gin to add flavor to the drink, so we decided to take a closer look at how and what to infuse with your favorite spirits. Infusing a spirit is an easy way to make show-stopping cocktails at home. It’s almost impossible … [ Read more]




Now Open (Or Damn Close): Copperwing Distillery






Three scientists—Chris Palmisano, Brian Idelkope, and Kyle Kettering—are spreading their wings with the opening of Copperwing Distillery in St. Louis Park. Kettering studied mechanical engineering; Palmisano studied electrical engineering before attending law school; and Idelkope studied genetics, cell biology, and development, before becoming a physician. Palmisano and Idelkope met each other as neighbors in South … [ Read more]




Craft Cocktail: Paloma at Pajarito






With all the unseasonably warm weather, I’ve been jumping the gun on spring. Maybe if I buy potting soil and sunscreen, just maybe I can will the season to change. That goes for drinks, too. I’ve been brooding with bourbon since Halloween. No more, I say. Give me something light and citrusy, and maybe the … [ Read more]




Spirits Close-Up: Honey






This month’s Craft Cocktail, the Paloma at Pajarito, uses honey to provide a little subtle sweetness, so for this month’s Spirits Close-Up we’re taking a closer look at honey and its many uses behind the bar. Why would I make a cocktail syrup out of honey? Isn’t it already a syrup? Kind of, but we … [ Read more]




3 Minnesota distilleries take home medals from 2017 American Craft Spirits Awards






Minnesota’s spirits scene may be young, but the state has some top-notch distilleries that are producing award-winning libations. At this year’s Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show in Nashville, Tennessee, the American Craft Spirits Association judged 550 spirits across categories including whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and grain, brandy, and specialty. When the votes were tallied, three Minnesota distilleries … [ Read more]




Loon Liquor Company debuts Lac Coeur Coffee Liqueur






For Minnesota’s distillers, coffee is the liqueur du jour. Du Nord Craft Spirits recently released Café Frieda. Norseman Distillery recently teased one as well. And now, Northfield’s Loon Liquor Company—with three primary spirits under their belts (Loonshine, MetropoliGin, and Wheaton Barley Vodka) and with the February chill in everyone’s bones—figured the time is right to bring to … [ Read more]




Spirits Closeup: Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur






  This month’s Craft Cocktail: Aviation at Red Rabbit, uses Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur for a bit of sweetness. Here are some additional uses for the liqueur you can try at home. You want me to buy a $30 bottle of cherry liqueur? That’s what I pay for bourbon! I hear you. But that straw-wrapped bottle looks … [ Read more]




Craft Cocktail: Aviation at Red Rabbit






Some cocktails should never change. Their formulas were perfected a century ago and no amount of modern mixology will improve them. The aviation is not one of those cocktails. I find the original turn-of-the-century formula—gin and lemon juice with maraschino and violet liqueurs—too bitter and dry. Maraschino liqueur (see this month’s Spirits Close-Up) is semi-sweet, … [ Read more]




Photos: How bartenders at Eat Street Social come up with new cocktails (and 4 to try now)






If you’ve spent time in a restaurant kitchen, you look forward to the day when chefs test out new recipes. Dishes will make their way around the line, being tasted and critiqued by prep cooks and sous chefs, and whoever else is lucky enough to be around, before they’re brought to the executive chef for consideration. … [ Read more]




Lessons for the 20-something wine drinker






The tension was palpable. Everyone was looking at me (everyone being my father and our waiter) and anticipating my next move. After a couple seconds of uncomfortable silence ticked by, it was too obvious. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I always laughed at my father when a splash of wine … [ Read more]