Craft Cocktail: Of The Northern Fashioned at The Hasty Tasty

As we gaze into our crystal snifter and divine the future of cocktails, one trend we’re seeing with greater frequency is the decreasing importance of brand names on cocktail lists. There’s hardly prestige in a top-shelf call when you lose that flavor under a barrage of other ingredients.  We’d rather have a bar program that’s … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Bitters, The Liquid Spice Rack

The long fence of tiny bottles between you and the bartender at your favorite cocktail spot can be intimidating. Most imbibers know the basics of bitters—the potent infusions of herbal elements and flavor extracts—but for those who aren’t regularly making cocktails for themselves, there’s still a lot of confusion about them. Thankfully, using bitters doesn’t … [ Read more]

2018 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

Each year, we ask our readers to nominate and vote for the best of the best in Minnesota beer, spirits, food, and arts and culture. This year, a record number of readers cast their ballots to determine the winners of the Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards. These are the breweries and bars serving up great craft … [ Read more]

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Year in Review: Minnesota Wine & Spirits in 2018

A martini at Nye’s Bar is a fine drink to reflect on the year 2018 in local spirits. In January, this bar, Nye’s in name only, opened in the dust of the demolished Polonaise Room, a place whose divey charm earned it the Best Bar in America designation from Esquire in 2006—a lifetime ago, from the … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: December 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. James Norton, Food Editor ■ Urban Growler Wild Rice Brown Ale Urban Growler’s Wild Rice Brown Ale connects with the mission of its Plow to Pint series by utilizing … [ Read more]

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]