Craft Cocktail: Avocadarita at fig + farro

Margaritas and avocados go hand in hand, especially when the weather turns hot and humid. And at fig + farro, both can literally be in your hand at the same time with their Avocadarita. “Avocados lend an amazing, creamy mouthfeel and an awesome light color,” says Michael Dunn, bartender at fig + farro. “Sweet orange, … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): 10,000 Drops Craft Distillers in Faribault

It’s an expensive proposition to make grain to glass spirits when just starting a distillery business, but for the founders of 10,000 Drops Craft Distillers, soon to open in downtown Faribault, it’s an important commitment to make in an industry burdened with artful deception. “From start to finish, we do the work,” says Rob Kruchoski, … [ Read more]

Bob Dylan to release his own line of whiskey, Heaven’s Door

In addition to being a folk music god and winning a Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan can now add a whiskey brand to his extensive repertoire. Having crooned about whiskey many times throughout his storied career, next month the Americana icon will release a collection of three whiskeys under the brand Heaven’s Door Spirits. The idea … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Murakami Tea Punch at Martina

There’s an old rhyme from Barbados that describes the ratio of ingredients in a bowl of punch: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak.” When Dustin Nguyen won the punch-making competition for Martina at this year’s Minneapolis regional of Cochon555, his creation followed those proportions. But it wasn’t that … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Lesser-Known Liquor

The craft cocktail movement, aided by exciting boutique importers, is bringing so many interesting new bottles of booze to our local shelves. But which ones are worth a bother? Which are versatile enough to play around with, and easy to mix into your favorite drinks? We asked MSP bartenders to endorse three of the stranger … [ Read more]

Palmer’s Bar selling to longtime Grumpy’s NE bartender Tony Zaccardi

Palmer’s Bar in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside is an institution. Opened in 1906, the bar was owned by Minneapolis Brewing Company as a tied house, and it’s rumored that during Prohibition it operated as a speakeasy with a tunnel connecting Palmer’s to the 5 Corners Saloon (what is now known as the Nomad). In the 1930s, there … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Absinthe

Absinthe is loaded with misinformation. So let’s get a few things straight: Absinthe in America is as “real” as the absinthe in Europe. Since before Prohibition, we had mistakenly attributed mind-altering properties to a compound called thujone that’s found in wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), the main flavoring agent of absinthe. Thujone is not hallucinogenic and, despite … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Lychee Keen at Hai Hai

Outside of Hai Hai in Northeast Minneapolis, the snow banks are growing and the wind is howling. Inside, there’s sugar cane being pressed, limes being juiced, and a thicket of green herbs covering the bar. As long as I don’t leave this bar seat, it’s no longer winter as far as I’m concerned. Let’s keep … [ Read more]

Tattersall, other Minnesota distilleries medal at 2018 American Craft Spirits Association awards

The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), a national nonprofit aiming to support and elevate the U.S. craft spirits community, released the results of their Fifth Annual Judging of Craft Spirits, with a few notable nods to Minnesota distillers in the mix. Meal winners were selected from 500 entries across 39 states, including D.C., with the … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktails: Martini recipes from Marvel Bar

Gin, vermouth, bitters, ice, stir, strain. The most classic of all cocktails is as simple as it is spectacular. Here, the martini experts at Marvel Bar offer five takes: On Marvel’s house martini Peder Schweigert, General Manager “You’re trying to create this thing that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not about … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: White Aperitifs

When you’re making cocktails, there’s easy, and there’s interesting, and rarely the twain shall meet. On the one hand, you can buy pre-bottled cocktails and take your rail booze with a side of preservatives and corn syrup. On the other, you can spend the better part of an afternoon infusing spirits, simmering gomme syrup, and … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Walter Mondale at Young Joni’s Back Bar

February drinking in Minnesota often leads us down dark alleys into dark basements, drinking dark spirits to soothe our darkening spirits. But this alley behind Dangerous Man Brewing is leading me toward something a little more lighthearted. “It’s served up, it’s elegant, and has this really pretty color,” says Adam Gorski, pouring a copper-orange drink … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: I’m Trying to Break Your Heart at Hewing Hotel

The lobby of the Hewing Hotel looks so charming in winter. A glowing fireplace, surrounded by warm accents and cozy chairs. If we were in the mountains, it would be the kind of place you’d wind down with a bourbon après-ski. But Trish Gavin, who leads the cocktail program here, steers us toward something lighter. … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: January 2018

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor ★ New Glarus Cherry Stout This beer is less stout than it is cherry grand cru, but whatever you call it, it’s damn good. Sweet … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Sloe Gin

Sloe gin is one of those liqueurs, like crème de menthe and peach schnapps, that strongly recall the dark days of American cocktails. You’d no sooner order a sloe gin fizz than you would a banana daiquiri or a brandy Alexander. But if you get Trish Gavin at the Hewing (see Craft Cocktails, I’m Trying … [ Read more]