It's no longer up to Our Blessed Lady of Schnapps to get us through the long, cold winters in Minnesota. The cocktail selection in the Twin Cities has exploded over the past few years to become an innovative drinking culture. To understand Minneapolis and St. Paul tastes, visit these essential bars.Read More
Every Important Minneapolis and St. Paul Cocktail Bar, Mapped
Drinking well in the Twin Cities.
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From the moment this hidden bar below The Bachelor Farmer opened, the cocktail game in Minneapolis was forever changed. From the perfect ice to the pristine spirit flavors coaxed forth by the wildly talented bar staff. This is the bar where those who study cocktails come to nerd out. Try the Gatsby - one of the first cocktails in town to utilize a little salination and extra dilution for maximum flavor. It still beats on against the current.
Spoon and Stable
The national press is all over the food inside Spoon and Stable, but what cannot go without mentioning at this North Loop hot spot is the innovative beverage program. Go straight to the rum old fashioned made as god and Robb Jones intended it. Intense caramel and roasted pineapple flavor this modern twist on the most classic of cocktails.
The friendly, fast and easy service behind the bar at Parlour belies the seriousness of the cocktails crafted within these walls. The drinks might be cerebral in their creation, but it's got the heart and soul of a dive bar. Order the Old Fashioned and taste how good this classic can be.
People may come for that burger, but they stay for a second (or third) cocktail. The bar staff is made up of a highlight reel staff from La Belle Vie to Heyday, this is a well-versed, talented crew serving a well-edited drink list. Every meal is made better by finishing with the Canadian Cold Press, the best combination of whiskey and coffee ever brewed.
If all the new distillery cocktail rooms bring this much talent, we're about to experience a sea change of local drinking. Start with a gimlet so perfect it'll make you want to burn down the Rose's factory, but stay for ultra cool room and chill vibe.
Back when Hola Arepa was a turquoise truck slinging those heavenly masa cakes, we were stuck tasting only n/a concoctions from co-owner Birk Grudem. As tasty as a rhubarb ginger lemonade can be, we were waiting on the all important vitamin booze. Thankfully, the restaurant has a full liquor license and a wildly talented, fun bar staff. Now, the cocktails are every bit as flavor packed and affordable as the food served. Take a long, slow pull off a Wecking Ball and imagine your toes in some tropical sand.
Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar
If you'd told us last year that one of our new favorite drinking spots would be inside a Richfield strip mall, we'd have slapped you silly and demanded you get the next round. Yet, here we are. Even better, these aren't North Loop prices. Most of the drink prices top out at $9. Perfect for the season, try the Cut Cut Stab Kill, as autumnal as burning leaves, soft sweaters, sunshine on the back of your neck and a crisp breeze on your brow.
Eat Street Social
The is a bar designed by bartenders for bartenders. This is the proving ground for tomorrow's talent. The laundry list of basic ingredients that require hours of prep are tossed together and poured for guests with a quick flourish, and a smile. Your new favorite flavor combination is waiting to be discovered on this list.
Every since they opened their doors, Heyday has been an intoxicating mix of intriguing food, warm hospitality and cool kid neighborhood gathering spot. The drinks are both forward thinking and familiar. With a quote from The Replacements above the bar and black jean background music, this restaurant has fast become ground zero quintessential Minneapolis drinking. The Slow Thaw tastes like spring coming with grapefruit, bourbon and a sambal kick.
It's a wonder Meritage didn't debut with the attached bar. Although the strong cocktail game has been with this Parisian bar since day one, the space to enjoy those drinks is just a couple of years old. Just order the sazerac and taste how perfectly balanced this classic can be.
The Rabbit Hole
Food fans had fallen under chef Thomas Kim's spell of heavenly spiced dishes with a comfort food twist. But a stellar cocktail program has given the Twin Cities new favorites like the Not Doing Jack in the Morning.
Travail Kitchen & Amusements
Leave it to the masters of reinvention to grace the world with a wiggly bar and drinks dolloped with Dippin Dots. Inside The Rookery, the bar is designed for easy conversation between guests and the drinks continue to play with expectations on texture and flavor.
Bradstreet Neighborhood Crafthouse
One of the innovators of great cocktails in Minneapolis, the restaurant has moved, but the bar program remains strong. Slip into a quiet corner or belly up to the bar and sample the House of Hard Knocks to taste a beautiful balance of bitter and sweet.
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