Craft Cocktail: Jackalope at The Velveteen

On a quiet side street in downtown Stillwater, leaves skitter across the pavement through the orange glow of the few street lamps shining onto the sidewalk. Around the corner, in the lobby of an event center, a Rorschachian pair of rabbits etched on the floor lead through a nondescript door and downstairs to The Velveteen’s … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Fall Cide-Car at Lyn 65

October means apples in the Upper Midwest. On your obligatory orchard trip in the next few weeks, consider snagging a jug of cider to mix into a seasonal cocktail. We’ll let our friend Jami Olson, who you’ll find behind the bar at Lyn 65, explain: “The change of seasons always inspires what’s on our menu, … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Garden Sling at Lawless Distilling

The impending chills of October may have you craving hot drinks (See: Spirits Close-Up). But not so fast—there’s still time to eek out a few drams of summer. I mean, just look at your herb garden. It’s about to bite the dust. And what can you do with a full bush of thyme and all … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn at Dakota Jazz Club

The circumstances always dictate the right drink, and the quirks are what make them memorable. Last week, I ordered a Brooklyn cocktail at the Dakota Jazz Club, turned around to clap for a bass solo, turned back around and there it was in front of me. I was surprised. I hadn’t heard the rattle of … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Wilde at Bar Brigade

Drinking at Bar Brigade is all about rosé on tap and riffs on cocktails that were popular in fin de siècle Paris. We settle in a cozy nook, brimming with greenery, and pass on a pretty French wine list in favor of a cloudy cocktail to beat back the sweltering afternoon. Haden Riles is behind the … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Swedezerac at Fika

It’s a splendid May afternoon and I’m gazing up at turrets and spires, relaxing in the courtyard of a castle. Inside, there’s a stark white cafe where I found a bitter and spicy cocktail that feels just right for the season. “I’ve been playing with infusions lately, and specifically, my newfound love of Skaalvenn Aquavit,” … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Branch Water at Norseman Distillery

On the first beautiful day of spring, I was admiring the Wüsthofs at Eversharp when I noticed the patio at Norseman Distillery. A single table was bathed in golden sunlight, as if the heavens had sent down a reservation placard for me and my girlfriend. We skipped across the parking lot to that table and, … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Late Tea Time at Revival St. Paul

“I wanted to stick to things that pair well with the food,” says Nate McLemore Raczkowski. He’s mixing a cocktail behind the bar at Revival St. Paul, as plates of fried chicken, collard greens, and brisket go wafting by.  “I don’t drink coffee anymore. I drink a lot of Earl Grey tea in the morning. … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Paloma at Pajarito

With all the unseasonably warm weather, I’ve been jumping the gun on spring. Maybe if I buy potting soil and sunscreen, just maybe I can will the season to change. That goes for drinks, too. I’ve been brooding with bourbon since Halloween. No more, I say. Give me something light and citrusy, and maybe the … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Aviation at Red Rabbit

Some cocktails should never change. Their formulas were perfected a century ago and no amount of modern mixology will improve them. The aviation is not one of those cocktails. I find the original turn-of-the-century formula—gin and lemon juice with maraschino and violet liqueurs—too bitter and dry. Maraschino liqueur (see this month’s Spirits Close-Up) is semi-sweet, … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Contemporary Gin Fizz at Esker Grove

Wait, they’re putting garbanzo bean water in my drink? I hadn’t noticed at first, as I had become transfixed by the look of Esker Grove—the new restaurant in the Walker Art Center. The clean lines, the stately back bar, the false perspective of the floor-to-ceiling windows that make it look like the restaurant extends into … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Knives Out at Lawless Distilling

My cocktail garnish has murderous intentions. There’s a fist gripping a knife, floating on my Negroni. “It’s a very lighthearted menu here. Very tongue-in-cheek,” says Bittercube’s Nick Kosevich. “We’re trying to be less vest-and-tie and more glitter-and-sparklers.” It’s this lack of pretense that makes Lawless Distilling’s cocktail room such a compelling place to drink. Bare … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Allspice Dram

This month’s Craft Cocktail, The Everything Nice at Lyn 65, uses allspice dram to give the drink that unmistakable autumnal spice. Bottles of St. Elizabeth’s can be hard to find, so for this month’s Spirits Close-Up we’ve got an easy-to-make recipe for whipping up a batch at home. Why should I have allspice dram in … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Everything Nice at Lyn 65

There’s a stock image in my mind of a place with a good cocktail list. It’s dark. It might be in a basement. There’s exposed brick and plush seating. The bartenders are wearing Carhartt aprons. There are strange liqueurs on the menu I won’t dare try to pronounce. This is what makes drinking at Lyn … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Fender Bender at Hi-Lo Diner

Hi-Lo Diner looks like something from another galaxy—a gleaming silver craft that landed in the Cooper neighborhood after an interspace voyage—or at very least from a different time. In fact, the 1957 Fodero diner only traveled from Pennsylvania to East Lake Street, but their cocktails are still out of this world. Simeon Priest is our … [ Read more]