Bar Talk: Minneapolis
Sometimes, it’s good to get out of town and get some perspective, see what’s happening outside the Aspen bubble.
I recently got out of town and ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It was my first time in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and although my visit was quick, I was eager to find some time to bop around to a few different bars and breweries to see what people in the Twin City area were filling their cups with.
While Aspen is still obsessing over tequila (and there is nothing wrong with that), amid the breweries we stopped at, I found a plethora of gin drinks featured on Minneapolis cocktail menus.
Speaking of breweries, much like Colorado, there are a plethora of Minnesota-brewed beer to try and breweries to spend a few hours at. The two we hung out at were Modist Brewing Co. and Fair State Brewing Cooperative, and both were pouring some brewery classics along with some creative fruited sours and an interesting amount of THC seltzers.
But back to the cocktails.
One of my favorite drinks of the weekend happened to be poured at a bar nestled in the middle of the North Loop Galley food hall.
The mixed drink was called Snake Eyes, crafted from organic gin, pear simple syrup, lime, and basil, and the first words out of my mouth after my initial sip were “That’s delicious.”
It’s a seemingly simple cocktail, with only four ingredients, but it was created with a particular attention to flavor detail that can sometimes be overlooked when building a drink.
The Snake Eyes was tart and juicy and kind of felt like a creative take on the flavor profile of a mojito. While it had fresh basil leaves as a garnish, the fresh, herbal taste of the basil carried throughout the entire libation, making its presence much more than just a garnish.
Pear can be a tricky ingredient to work with, as it can either be too light or sometimes strange and overpowering (for example, the juicy pear Jelly Belly bean, which is a major ick in my book). But I think whoever created this cocktail was on to something by infusing the pear into the simple syrup because it truly captured the flavor of a fresh pear nicely, giving that hint of sweetness.
The Snake Eyes is one of those cocktails you can drink down easily and happily enjoy a second, and the price point of $12 — not on happy hour, mind you, that’s just the normal price — made it easy to do.
I would love to find more drinks that play with the flavors of pome fruits, and now is a perfect time since these fruits (apples, plums, loquat, etc.) are traditionally harvested in the late summer and early fall, the exact season we find ourselves in now.
As always, I was happy to return to Aspen after my weekend away, but I was even happier to return with some fresh perspectives on what’s happening in the world of drinks outside this lovely mountain town.
North Loop Galley
– Wide selection of Minnesota brewed beers and ciders, plus tasty, creative, and affordable cocktails
– Ultra unique drinks that are served like mini works of cocktail art — and don’t skip the food here, it’s Japanese Italian and the best meal I had
– Just-opened, hip, speakeasy-style bar beneath Porzana (also newly-opened), featuring classic cocktails and specialty drinks with elevated presentation and notable ingredients