The Ultimate Home Bar in 20 Bottles

Whether you’re an aspiring bartender or just a novice looking to get their home collection up to snuff, we’ve got your guide to the must-have building blocks for any bar worth its salt. We asked members of the Minneapolis–St. Paul chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild to curate a list encompassing the three tiers of … [ Read more]

Distiller Profile: Ralf Loeffelholz and the opening of Dampfwerk Distillery’s cocktail room

There’s a simple reason that Dampfwerk Distillery didn’t open a cocktail room when it started production in August 2016.  “I am not a mixologist,” head distiller Ralf Loeffelholz says. He is cheerfully unapologetic about this, and for good reason. His craft and calling is distilling, and his singular focus on creating true-to-tradition products has helped … [ Read more]

Craft Whiskey: It Changes

Whiskey seems like a constant. You imagine that the bottle of Four Roses in your hands tastes the same as the one you bought last year, and will taste the same as the one you’ll buy next year. And for bourbons produced by the gigantic whiskey houses like Beam Suntory and Brown-Forman, that’s mostly the … [ Read more]

Spirits of the Party: Aperitif, Digestif, and Nightcap recipes for the holidays

Aperitif Cocktail: Snowbird Spritz The botanical elements in the amaro and absinthe will stimulate the palate—jump-starting the body’s digestive process—and making it the perfect aperitif. The bubbly, slightly dry profile make a moreish combination with a bouquet of aromas crafted to delicately begin any meal among community. Ingredients 2 ounces Heirloom Pineapple Amaro 1 teaspoon … [ Read more]

The Suburban Martini Spectrum

The Martini List, which would always be capitalized and contain a Cosmo and an appletini, is a relic of the early-2000s and dates with Carrie Bradshaw. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are still places that feature a Martini List, especially out in the suburbs. The Sunshine Factory is consistently named one … [ Read more]

Best Suburban Drinking Streets Power Rankings

When it comes to assessing the drinks scene in Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul often suck the oxygen out of the room. And not without good reason, considering the wealth of mixological talent and the seemingly limitless number of beer taps behind Twin Cities bars. But, like a magician’s sleight of hand, while we’re distracted … [ Read more]

When Craft Cocktails Come to Town

Like the glass of water starting to ripple in Jurassic Park portending the arrival of the T-Rex, many suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities have heard the clinking of shaker tins and felt the stomping of ironic combat boots coming towards them as cocktail bartenders quickly expand their reach outside of downtown. When 30-somethings move out … [ Read more]

Two Speakeasies Bringing Theatricality and Cocktail Culture to the Suburbs

Prohibition may seem like ancient history, but two suburban speakeasies are reviving the nostalgic romanticism of that era while giving timeless classic cocktails tasty new twists. Reminiscent of the original speakeasies, both the Mudd Room in Mendota and Volstead House Whiskey Bar and Speakeasy in Eagan are fittingly inconspicuous—Volstead House is accessed through a red … [ Read more]

New lounge cocktails at P.S. Steak: serious, fun, seriously fun

In the past decade, the lounge of the 510 Groveland building has been the site of some legendary drink-making. So how does P.S. Steak’s new bar manager Keith Mrotek step into this space? With confidence, but also reverence. “This space has been synonymous with Johnny Michaels,” he says, noting the former La Belle Vie barman … [ Read more]

Raise the Dead with This Corpse Reviver Recipe

Many cocktails have a quasi-medicinal origin story. Herbs and flowers have long been infused into alcohol and used to treat illnesses like digestive issues, scurvy, or fevers. People once made their bitter medicine more palatable by mixing it with sugar and spirits (sounds like an old fashioned, no?) Tonic water began as simply dissolved quinine … [ Read more]

Travail’s homage to Solera debuts Friday and we drank all the drinks

When Solera opened on Hennepin Avenue in 2002, it was a BFD in the local restaurant scene. Tim McKee and Josh Thoma were basking in the early critical glow of then-Stillwater-located La Belle Vie, and the tapas they installed next to the Orpheum were a revelation. It was a foundational restaurant for many in the … [ Read more]

New distillery and cocktail lounge, STILHEART, coming to the North Loop in fall 2019

We’ve been hearing rumblings all summer, and a press release confirmed it this morning: the team at Lawless Distilling Company is behind a new distillery and cocktail room concept, STILHEART, opening in the North Loop this fall. The two-level space will have seating on both levels, including views of the downstairs distillery. The cocktail room … [ Read more]

Botanical Bonanza: The aromatic additions that define our local gins

Gin is by definition is a juniper-flavored spirit—but it’s also flavored with everything else. It was born in Holland, where the Dutch East India Company once conglomerated all the world’s spices. Juniper had been soaked into medicinal spirits and tonics since the Middle Ages, and later, so was every exotic spice that was scurried back … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Farmers Market Cocktails

Whether it’s foraging, tending to a garden or farm, bringing home a CSA box, or visiting a farmers market, local produce is making more appearances in city homes. Here’s how to turn your late-summer farm finds into delicious drinks. Muddling The fastest way to incorporate fresh flavor is smashing it into the bottom of a … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Quit Smoking

You order a drink and a slate tablet appears in front of you. On the tablet, the bartender ignites a small pile of woodchips and covers it with a rocks glass that fills with white fog. The glass is then quickly upturned and the bartender adds a stirred cocktail. The smoke slowly drifts away as … [ Read more]