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 a glass pane illuminating the still and barrels on the distillery floor.
Lawless has contracted Bittercube to administer the cocktail program for at least the first full year. Dustin Nguyen assumes the role of head bartender, assisted by Jeffrey Fricke, Adam Witherspoon, and Raul Saud.
Bittercube co-founder Nick Kosevich (above, left) predicts that Lawless will become a place for bartenders to let their hair down—a place to pick up a shift in a more casual, easy-going atmosphere, where they can take off their aprons and let loose. Don’t be surprised to see Kosevich or other bartenders in the Bittercube sphere behind the bar at random intervals.
And what about the drinks? It’s only gin and vodka on the menu right now. But with the help of 14-plus housemade liqueurs and cordials, Bittercube bitters, and some flavor ingenuity, the drink list is diverse and delicious.
Our top five cocktails to drink at Lawless Distilling right now:
1) Greenway Gin & Tonic
Before you build a crazy cocktail program, you have to nail the basics, and the Lawless house G&T does just that. The cocktail is on tap, and the tonic leans in a lemongrass-chinchona-keffir lime kind of way.
2) Hecho en Mexico 7-up
Remember in college when you’d pour a few ounces out of a Coke bottle, top it off with a little something stronger, and recap it for an inconspicuous drink in the park? The very same is on the menu at Lawless. The sodas (Coke, Squirt, Orange Fanta, 7-up) are dosed with Tippling House Vodka and other flavors, which are carbonated in a soda stream, added to the bottle, and re-capped. Our favorite is the 7-up version, which gets a dose of bright ginger liqueur and Jamaican #1 bitters.
If you make gin, you need to serve a martini. But what if you don’t make vermouth? Obviously, you reverse-engineer it by making a high-proof botanical vodka and cutting it with clarified grape juice to mimic the flavor.
4) Green Isaac’s Special
From the tiki section of the menu, Green Isaac’s Special was first described by Ernest Hemingway in “Islands In The Stream,” and is a refreshing combination of gin, coconut water, and bitters. The Lawless take is served in a dried coconut, and is chilled with liquid nitrogen.
5) Chi Chi
Who says you need rum to make good tiki drinks? Chi Chi is essentially a vodka painkiller, with pineapple, coconut cream, and Jamaican #1 bitters. And it’s served with a bomb pop, because why not?
Photos by Aaron Davidson, The Growler Magazine
2619 S. 28th Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Grand Opening: June 23