Why You Hate Vermouth

Bartenders everywhere know that people hate vermouth. Guests are constantly requesting their martini not be sullied with that same swill collecting dust in their home liquor cabinet. They employ an ever-expanding array of vocal burbles and diminutive hand motions to demonstrate how minuscule a measure of vermouth might be permitted.  But there’s no chance the … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Campfire Rob Roy at Ngon Bistro

Most restaurants on University Avenue in St. Paul deliver excellent food at the expense of their ambiance. I’ll happily eat a banh mi from a grocery store or a bowl of pho in an unadorned plastic booth. But when it’s happy hour, I want to escape. I want to drink in summer as I drink … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Sweet Vermouth

This month’s Craft Cocktail, The Fender Bender at Hi-Lo Diner, uses the sweet vermouth Carpano Antica (above, far left) to bring the flavors of the drink together. In this month’s Spirits Close-Up, we focus on this fortified wine, and why is makes sense to pop for the good stuff when mixing drinks that call for it. … [ 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]

Craft Cocktail: Inlander

Keith Werner (below) has a great idea for holiday drinking: keep a good vermouth handy. Cocchi di Torino or Carpano Antica—come the end of the night, a dose of vermouth with a strong dark spirit and bitters is an ideal fireside slug. Or mix up the vermouth in a proper drink, like the Inlander, which … [ Read more]

First Sip: 11 Wells Dry Wermut

Last week, with the heat index in the 90s, we stopped by the 11 Wells Distillery where it was at least 10 degrees warmer inside. “Yeah, mashing day,” Lee Egbert smiled. “We got some fans, at least.” But then we were handed a glass of 11 Wells’ Dry Wermut—the first liqueur produced by the St. Paul … [ Read more]

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