The Perfect Holiday Party Nightcap Recipe: The Hearthsider

The fire is dying, the kids are asleep. Time to reward yourself for a party well-thrown. Let’s stop in to Bardo where our cocktail columnist, Zachary Sapato, stirs up the perfect nightcap. “Hechicera Rum has a ton of banana-coconut-tropical notes to it, but also the vanilla and caramel flavors you want from a barrel,” he … [ Read more]

Holiday Punch: Easy as 1-2-3-4

P unch is a celebratory drink and quite a remarkable thing. At its core, it is a simple combination of distilled spirits, citrus, juice, sugar, water, and a touch of spice. Like many culinary endeavors that have withstood the test of time, punch starts with a simple formula and evolves with complexity as the user … [ Read more]

Dashfire debuts a bottled old fashioned you can’t make at home

Dashfire Bitters have become mainstays at cocktail bars all over the Twin Cities. Bartenders know them like second nature, but consumers can be a little more hesitant. “People love my bitters but might have no idea what to do with them,” says Lee Egbert, owner of Dashfire Bitters. “We’re really good at balancing flavors, so … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Orange & Plum at Hyacinth

I’ve always thought St. Paul looks good in the rain. This old railroad town can proudly wear a coat of misty grey. And walking down Grand Avenue with the autumn chill in my bones, how pleasant it is to step into the new Hyacinth restaurant for a mighty glass of bourbon.  It’s not exactly citrus … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Drinking Vinegar

If you’ve been to a bar or grocery store in the last five years, you’ve seen terms like “shrub,” “drinking vinegar,” and “switchel.” What sound like landscaping, a punishment for swearing, and a Southern-style spanking are actually all pieces of a prominent category of vinegar-based concoctions roaring back into popular drinking culture.  Imbibers are wary … [ Read more]

Heirloom Liqueurs: Oddball flavors, excellent mixers

No one has ever accused the Bittercube group of being too straight-laced, and their newest project is appropriately off-the-wall—a collection of intense liqueurs in surprising flavors, but ones that are easy to mix and a delight to drink. Heirloom, from Bittercube founders Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz, partnering with their research and development coordinator Brandon Reyes, is … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Copper Crow Distillery in Bayfield, Wisc.

Lake Superior’s South Shore is one of the world’s most legitimately spellbinding places. Add the character of a mighty, ever-changing body of fresh water to a series of tightly knit, remarkably welcoming little communities, and you’ve got a spot that invites visitors to return again and again. For Copper Crow Distillery owners Curt and Linda … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: God Save The Queen at Nightingale

When you’ve met as many bartenders as I have (on purely journalistic endeavors, mind you, or at least that’s the story I’m going with), you start to notice where they hang out after their shifts. One prime locale for the late-night industry crowd is Nightingale, the sleek and cozy Lyndale Avenue hangout where you might … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Barrel Gin

The walls are crumbling. The boundless creativity of the craft movement has ensured that spirits are becoming less and less boxed into the stylistic traditions that once defined them. On our shelves now, we’re treated to products like “aged vodka,” and beer-barrel-aged whiskey, and gins with every botanical under the sun. Spirits are being blended … [ Read more]

The Twin Cities’ newest Scotch whisky bar is a Viking ship

Minnesotans interested in fine Scotch whisky have an unlikely, new bar to visit: a 30-foot viking longship in front of U.S. Bank Stadium. Throughout the 2018–19 Vikings football season, Highland Park—which hails from an island at the intersection of the Atlantic and the North Sea—will be doling out samples of its single-malt Scotch whisky in … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Fruit Brandy

I can’t claim this as objective fact, but my prejudice is this: a great deal of the unaged brandy in the world is disgusting. From Italian grappa, to French marc, and eau de vie of all stripes—so many are little more than a nerve-shattering mouthful of fiery ethanol. That’s why I’ve become fixated on four fruit … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Wicker Chair Widow’s Kiss at Al’s Place

All month long, we’ve been traipsing through orchards in search of the botanical complexity that marks a well-crafted cider. For our cocktail, we wanted something just as floral and herbaceous made with an apple spirit.  We found it at Al’s Place, the Prohibition-era inspired top floor of Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room, where drinks are named … [ Read more]

Everyone Highballs But US

Highball cocktails are buzzing with popularity all around the world—that is, everywhere but the United States. While cocktail culture capitals like Tokyo, London, and Singapore have been doling out highball variants for decades, stateside hubs like New York, San Francisco, and Minneapolis (if we do say so ourselves) are only beginning to participate. The bones … [ Read more]

A Pocket Full of Rye: How a lowly, northern grain is mounting a comeback through whiskey

Stalks of rye bob in the summer breeze in a field near Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a cereal grass in the wheat family—seeded in the fall, it stays green and patient throughout the winter, then skyrockets in the early spring. It shoots up from the gray, powdery soil, gets a deep tan, and then grows … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: The Summer Spritz

The wine spritzer went through some dark years during the time coolers and alcopops had their heyday and Bartles & Jaymes was a picnic staple. But now, with the wealth of liqueurs the craft cocktail movement has brought to our shelves, making delicious and unique wine spritzers has never been easier. Here’s the general idea: … [ Read more]