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Six Under-the-Radar Twin Cities Cocktail Spots

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WA Frost.
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There are a handful of bars that get all the top shelf glory. It's easy to give them their due thanks to their national recognition, standout drinks, and industry trail-blazing. However, there are also several fantastic places to assuage your inner booze snob and catch a taste of the up-and-comers behind the bars. This summer, why not try something new in addition to the mainstays? Here, now, a few cocktail spots you should add to your list.
—Joy Summers


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Amore Victoria

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1601 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 823-0250
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While they may seem like a spot that specializes only in wine, the staff inside knows how to shake a serious martini. The bar was represented by Lakesha Novicky at the last Iron Bartender put on by the North Star Bartenders Guild competition and her team dominated its round. Settle in on the rooftop patio, order a martini, and prepare to be impressed. [Photo]

2. Eli's Food & Cocktails

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1225 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 332-9997
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Whether you're checking out the cozy original spot in downtown Minneapolis or the angled dining room groove of the East location, both of these place boast more than just a great burger. Their bars are judiciously stocked with top shelf spirits and staffed by a team that makes a phenomenal Old Fashioned. [Photo]

3. OTG Management

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7300 Glumack Drive, Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
Saint Paul, MN 55111
Sure, you've got to be booked on a flight to get into these spots inside the Lindbergh Terminal, but the talent here goes way beyond opening a tiny bottle of Bacardi and sending you on your way. Make sure to plan the time into your trip to visit these inspired eateries with their distinctive local flare (created with the expertise of some of Minneapolis' top chefs like Doug Flicker and Lenny Russo.) Stop by Volante, Shoyu or Mimosa for top pre-flight drinks. Mimosa. [Photo]

4. Lake & Irving Restaurant and Bar

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1513 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 354-2453
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Much has been said about this brother-run spot since they opened— most of it being you're going to want to hit the dinner and brunch menus hard. What hasn't nabbed the headlines as much are the cocktails, and we would like to correct that. Bonus: Get $1 off local taps during happy hour. [Photo]

5. WA Frost & Company

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374 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-5715
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Although its known for boasting the ideal patio dining, the inside age-old bar is where you'll want to cozy up on cold night. The newfangled take on an Old Fashioned is made by adding rock candy to a Rye bottle and allowing it to age for months. Served over ice with bitters and orange peel, this is just about as good as this classic cocktail gets. [Photo]

6. The Mill Northeast

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1851 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 315-2340
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What was once a gyro shop by way of a drive-in has been remade into a hip neighborhood hangout. Those that live near this Central Avenue spot love to settle up on one of the coveted bar seats and linger over beautifully mixed drinks. The Root of All Evil serves up a bitter, powerful mix of rye, Grand Marnier, and Fernet Branca.

1. Amore Victoria

1601 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
While they may seem like a spot that specializes only in wine, the staff inside knows how to shake a serious martini. The bar was represented by Lakesha Novicky at the last Iron Bartender put on by the North Star Bartenders Guild competition and her team dominated its round. Settle in on the rooftop patio, order a martini, and prepare to be impressed. [Photo]
1601 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408

2. Eli's Food & Cocktails

1225 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Whether you're checking out the cozy original spot in downtown Minneapolis or the angled dining room groove of the East location, both of these place boast more than just a great burger. Their bars are judiciously stocked with top shelf spirits and staffed by a team that makes a phenomenal Old Fashioned. [Photo]
1225 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

3. OTG Management

7300 Glumack Drive, Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), Saint Paul, MN 55111
Sure, you've got to be booked on a flight to get into these spots inside the Lindbergh Terminal, but the talent here goes way beyond opening a tiny bottle of Bacardi and sending you on your way. Make sure to plan the time into your trip to visit these inspired eateries with their distinctive local flare (created with the expertise of some of Minneapolis' top chefs like Doug Flicker and Lenny Russo.) Stop by Volante, Shoyu or Mimosa for top pre-flight drinks. Mimosa. [Photo]
7300 Glumack Drive, Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
Saint Paul, MN 55111

4. Lake & Irving Restaurant and Bar

1513 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Much has been said about this brother-run spot since they opened— most of it being you're going to want to hit the dinner and brunch menus hard. What hasn't nabbed the headlines as much are the cocktails, and we would like to correct that. Bonus: Get $1 off local taps during happy hour. [Photo]
1513 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408

5. WA Frost & Company

374 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Although its known for boasting the ideal patio dining, the inside age-old bar is where you'll want to cozy up on cold night. The newfangled take on an Old Fashioned is made by adding rock candy to a Rye bottle and allowing it to age for months. Served over ice with bitters and orange peel, this is just about as good as this classic cocktail gets. [Photo]
374 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102

6. The Mill Northeast

1851 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN
What was once a gyro shop by way of a drive-in has been remade into a hip neighborhood hangout. Those that live near this Central Avenue spot love to settle up on one of the coveted bar seats and linger over beautifully mixed drinks. The Root of All Evil serves up a bitter, powerful mix of rye, Grand Marnier, and Fernet Branca.
1851 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN

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