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Tag Archives: minneapolis

Minneapolis, MN – August 18, 2012

Recently Gwen and I found ourselves in Minneapolis for a weekend for a back to school shopping expedition to the Mall of America – but that’s another story.  The good news is that we were able to meet up with my good friend Ashish and his wife Lori for cocktails.  Ashish had picked out the Marvel Bar, and it was a winner!

The Marvel bar has a definite urban hipster vibe, from the low leather seating to the cool funk, jazz and electronica playing in the background.  On this Friday night the crowd cut across all age groups and was mostly dressed to impress.  However, the star of the show were the many craft cocktails on the menu, chock full of homemade ingredients.  Be prepared to wait as these drinks aren’t just sloshed into a shaker and then poured.  They do take some time to put together.

My favorite of the night was the Lincoln County.  Consisting of charcoal filtered Antica Formula vermouth, Campari and Cabin Still bourbon, this was an incredibly complex and amazing cocktail.  The Antica Formula is an Italian red vermouth that is deeper and richer than most sweet vermouths.  With the added charcoal flavor this was the dominant flavor, followed by the herbal bitterness of the Campari.  I was not familar with Cabin Still bourbon, but it did provide an excellent, if not economical base for the cocktail.  I thoroughly enjoyed this sipper and look forward to having it again!

All in all the Marvel bar stacked up well to its excellent press clippings and the praise the Ashish had heeped on it.  A definite must stop place when you’re in Minneapolis!


Bradstreet Cocktail

Day 146, Cocktails 143 & 144

The fun continued at the Bradstreet Crafthouse Friday night with Ashish.  After enjoying the Vincent’s Ruin cocktail and some delicious small plates it was time to get serious about selecting the next cocktail.  One offering on the menu in particular garnered my attention because it included egg white. 

Now before you get all squeamish on my please understand that egg whites a common ingredient in many classic cocktails.  The origin of using egg whites goes all the way back to the Ramos GinFizz.  This cocktail was invented by Henry Ramos at the bar of the Meyers Restaurant in New Orleans in 1888.  During especially busy times Ramos employed scores of boys to shake the cocktails and yet still had difficulty keeping up with demand.  The use of the egg white provides a particularly delightful creamy foam at the top of the drink as well as providing some body.  Trust me, it’s delicious, and you won’t be tasting raw egg in a well made cocktail containing egg whites.

Back to Bradstreet.  What caught my eye was the Bradstreet Cocktail.  The ingredient list includes Jim Beam Rye, lemon juice, house made jasmine syrup, egg white and Bradstreet bitters.  What can I say – this drink was incredible!  Smooth and creamy with a hint of jasmine.  The rye was the foundation and the flavor of it did come through but it was not overwhelming – not really a boozy cocktail, but really a fruity cocktail either, it was just right.  I’m definitely inspired to try egg white cocktails at the Twilight Lounge.

Next I was ready to continue with rye or bourbon but had developed a hankering for maraschino.  I asked the waitress for a drink that would include both of those … and was mildly disappointed when she brought out none other than a Brooklyn cocktail.  Now don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, a little lighter on the bitters than the one I made recently, but I was hoping for something new.  After finishing the Brooklyn I went up to the bar and had a talk with the bartender.  I described for him what I liked and he had a few questions about specific flavors and then told me he’d send a drink over to our table.  After a few minutes our waitress delivered my next drink.  It was terrific!  The rye was there as the base and the maraschino was right there with it.  It also had a slightly orange flavor and I also detected a bit of anise flavor on the back end of this. 

I went back to the bar to find out what exactly I was drinking.  It was a no name cocktail – meaning it had been created on the spot for my drinking enjoyment (don’t you love getting an original?).  It consisted of what I thought it did – rye, house bitters, Luxardo maraschino, lemon and Chartreuse (I failed to ask which color).

The night was finally completed with a French 75, which was very well made and was a nice night cap.  All in all the evening was a lot of fun.  The staff at the Bradstreet Crafthouse did a great job.  I highly recommend stopping by there if you are in Minneapolis.


Day 146, Cocktail 142

Back at last (to posting that is).  A very busy week on the business front (and leaving my laptop in Milwaukee while in St. Louis) has kept me offline.  Rest assured though, I’ve been keeping up.  I’m skipping ahead of some of my St. Louis explorations to last night.  Gwen and I drove to Minneapolis for a weekend of mixed business and pleasure with another couple.  Last night we met my business associate and friend Ashish and his wife Lori for dinner and cocktails.  At Ashish’s suggestion we went to the Bradstreet Crafthouse, located in the Graves Hotel. 

I’ve got to tell you that this is my first visit to Minneapolis since the early 80’s and wow, this city is amazing!  The downtown area was alive and vibrant last night with all kinds of night life and a Twins game going on at Target Field.  I was drooling as we passed by one cocktial lounge and restaurant after another.

Back to the Bradstreet Crafthouse.  This establishment is dedicated to the art of the craft cocktail and features a number of classics and new mixes created locally.  You can also select a variety of small plate dishes from the extensive menu (try the satay and lamb sliders!).  My first drink of the night was the Vincent’s Ruin.  This features Bulliet Bourbon, lemon, St. Germain and Pernod.  (Yep, the combination of bourbon and St. Germain is what caught my eye.)First, a terrific presentation as the drink was served in a rocks sized glass with a generous lemon peel and the large, round ice ball – about half the size of a baseball.  I’ve seen this before at Bryant’s in Milwaukee and its a very neat and stylish way to keep you drink cold.  It’s also practical as the ice melts much slower, reducing the amount of dilution.   As for the flavor, it was amazing!  Each flavor was subtle on its own and perfectly blended to create a very harminous drink.  With the slightly smokey bourbon providing a solid foundation the elderflower, lemon and anise flavors were each distinct but not overwhelming. 

I could have drunk this all night, but there was more to explore.  Unfortunately, that will have to wait as it’s time to get going to the tailgate before the Minnesota – USC game this afternoon.