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]

How to Make a Better Bathtub Gin

With a little time, ingenuity, and high quality vodka, you can make your own “bathtub gin” from the comfort of your kitchen.

Craft Cocktail: Tattersall’s Salty Dog

A clear spirit and a slug of Fresca is tailor-made for an oversized plastic cup and the ragged sunshine of June. It’s a combination that says, “I’m going to lounge on a boat that’s still tied to the dock and don’t bother me until I finish this book,” or perhaps, “I have to spend Saturday … [ 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]

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: 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]

5 Scottish gins that’ll make your forget about Scotch whisky

The history of gin in Scotland is turbulent, full of scandalous times and revivals. Back in the 18th century a Gin Craze took over the UK, where it became remarkably easy to produce gin. Thanks to an act passed in 1690, becoming a distiller was as easy as paying a small fee and hanging a … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Minnesota Gin

This month’s Craft Cocktail, The Knives Out at Lawless Distilling, uses Lawless’ Greenway Gin in a more balanced version of a  Negroni. So, for this month’s Spirits Close-Up we’re taking a closer look at Minnesota gin. The status of Minnesota-distilled spirits in 2016: the whiskeys are promising (but too young) the vodkas are fine (but … [ Read more]

New local distillery Her Spirit plans to invest in female entrepreneurs

It all started on a road trip. While driving to Nashville, Steve Merila, the founder of White Bear Lake’s Big Wood Brewery, shared with his wife, Kjersten Merila, an idea for a “distillery brand with a great cause behind it…inspiring and supporting women to get into the world of being their own boss,” according to … [ Read more]

What you should drink at the new Lawless Distilling cocktail room

Lawless Distilling, makers of Greenway Gin and Tippling House Vodka, officially opens their Seward neighborhood cocktail room today, June 23, from 4–10pm. Just down the street from the Hexagon Bar, Lawless has built a windowless, low-lit drinking den. Roughly a dozen stools ring a shadowy bar, with a few booths along the opposite wall, running up to … [ Read more]

Norseman Distillery Cocktail Room Opens Today

Norseman Distillery, the first legal distillery to open in Minneapolis since Prohibition, officially opens their cocktail room today, February 19, at 5pm. The cocktail room has Keith Mrotek (Marvel Bar) on as Beverage Director. “The new cocktail lounge combines vintage industrial elements from the 20’s and the finest Italian marble. With a seating capacity of 207 indoors … [ Read more]

Style Profile: New American Gin

Bombay Sapphire, extra vermouth (always extra vermouth), shaken like the dickens, and served with a few plump Sable & Rosenfeld olives. That was the first martini I ever consumed, shaken up after a round of golf by my uncle James. We enjoyed them at dusk prior to a meal shared with my aunt Cynthia, the pleasant … [ Read more]

Loon Liquors Debuts Cocktail Room and Metropoligin

Loon Liquors will officially open their Northfield distillery for cocktail service today, September 10, at 4pm. They are the fifth* distillery in the state to open a cocktail room and the first one south of the Metro. Simeon Rossi and Mark Schiller have built a 49-seat drinking space that consumes most of their production floor. The … [ Read more]

First Look: Tattersall Distillery

Photos by Aaron Davidson During WWII, the Thorp Building on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis housed the General Mills Mechanical Division. This highly secretive facility produced torpedo navigation systems and the first “black box” flight recorders. In their stead, a pocket of quintessential Northeast is now coming together, including the requisite bike shop (Greg LeMond’s) and a distillery. … [ Read more]

First Look: J. Carver Distillery

A massive distillery is coming together in an old car dealership off Highway 5 in Waconia. We stopped by J. Carver Distillery for a first look at an operation that will make a substantial push into the local spirits market. “We really wanted to do this in Waconia,” says owner/operator Bill Miller, “It’s right on … [ Read more]