While many of the major legal issues for beer fell flat in the 2014 legislative session, Minnesota’s craft distillers celebrated a change to the law allowing micro-distilleries to sell craft cocktails at a distillery “cocktail room,” similar to a brewery taproom.
On January 9, 2015, Du Nord Craft Spirits will open the doors to the first licensed cocktail room in the Twin Cities. Founders Chris and Shanelle Montana worked with Mike Rasmussen of La Belle Vie, Marin, and Bluestem Bar to craft a cocktail menu showcasing Du Nord’s L’Étoile Vodka and Fitzgerald Gin.
Prior to the law change, micro-distilleries could only sell their products to distributors. “This is about common sense,” said Shanelle, who is also President of the Minnesota Distiller’s Guild. “The cocktail room allows us to showcase our spirits the way most people consume them, but we have more work to do.” Minnesota law still prohibits micro-distilleries from selling bottles of their products to consumers.
Du Nord will offer samples of their spirits as well as serve full-sized cocktails from a seasonal cocktail menu that incorporates many traditional Minnesota flavors. The possibilities for cocktails are endless—a fact that sets them apart from brewery taprooms.
“Our bartenders will be whipping up fantastic classic cocktails, but also signature cocktails that you will not find anywhere else. We will have something for everyone,” said Shanelle. “So, unlike a taproom that may have four or five beers on tap, we have an endless amount of drinks we can make with our products.”
Fitzgerald and Tonic: Gin, tonic, garnish of dark cherry and star anise
Du Nord Salty Dog: Vodka, grapefruit, Peychaud bitters, salted rim
Moscow Mule: Vodka, lime, ginger beer, lime garnish
L’Etoile / Fitzgerald Martini: Vodka or gin, stirred in ice, served in coupe glass
Hot Gin Toddy: Gin, honey, lemon, hot water, served in hot mug with lemon slice and star anise garnish
Steady Eddie: Gin, cranberry, lime sour, pinch of salt
Holly & Ivy: Gin, lime, mint, splash of soda, and pomegranate seeds
George Leigh Mallory: Vodka, honey, lemon, peppermint
Orchard State: Vodka, house cider, served in hot mug with an apple slice
Voyageur: Vodka, almond liqueur, hot cocoa, served in hot mug with whipped cream
Du Nord will also allow patrons to order food from local businesses and local food trucks. “This area of Minneapolis is really taking off,” said co-owner and head distiller Chris Montana. “We are surrounded by French, Indian, Ethiopian, Japanese, and American food, all of which go great with a cocktail.”
The cocktail room will be open to the public after a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4pm on January 9, 2015.
Du Nord Craft Spirits || 2610 E 32nd St., Minneapolis MN 55406 || dunordcraftspirits.com