Most Creative Cocktails In Minnesota

January 30, 2013 7:00 AM

When it comes to creative cocktails, the Twin Cities has no shortage of places to go to grab one with the guys, the girls or while out on a date. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, sour, spicy or bold, there is definitely a drink for you nearby. Two bars downtown, Union Restaurant & Rooftop and Bradstreet Crafthouse, and one bar in Uptown, Primebar, feature some of the most creative cocktails around. 

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Union Restaurant & Rooftop
731 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 455-6690


The MsMn drink, found at Union Restaurant & Rooftop, is served in a beautiful martini glass, garnished with a preserved blackberry and is oozing with lemon frothy delight. It’s made with preserved lemon gin, vanilla, black cardamom and egg white olive oil emulsion. All of these ingredients combine to create a sweet, earthy, but light-tasting cocktail. It’s a perfect one to order while up on the rooftop bar enjoying the stars on a weekend night.

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

And the most creatively named cocktail goes to The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, created by Union’s mixologist Johnny Michaels who also works at La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. Michaels designed this cocktail to include a special house-infused six-spice brandy mixed with quince lemon sour. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a classic drink that will warm you up from your head to your belly to your toes on cold nights and breezy winter days.

Related: Best Rum Selections in Minnesota

3001 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 235-4295

Smokin’ Presidente

Created by Ryan Winkler and team for Primebar in Minneapolis, the Smokin’ Presidente is a drink that packs a real punch. To get this drink just right, the bartender dips the rim of the glass into black sea salt, then mixes Avion tequila, agave nectar and fresh citrus. And to top it off, he floats a ‘tequila boat’ in it and serves it straight up. What’s a tequila boat you ask? Well it’s half of a jalapeno with a shot of tequila in it of course.

Pear-Ginger Smash

For anyone that loves a funky, fruity drink, the Pear-Ginger Smash at Primebar is just for you. Made from Jameson whiskey, ginger liqueur, muddled pear and citrus and ginger ale, this libation is one you just can’t pass up. Primebar is located in the old Figlio’s space on the corner of Hennepin Avenue in Uptown and it has a nice cocktail list so you can try others after you’ve had one of these.

(credit: Jupiter Iamges)

(credit: Jupiter Iamges)

Bradstreet Crafthouse
601 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 312-1821


Bradstreet Crafthouse, located in The Graves Hotel downtown, is a must for anyone interested in experiencing classic mixology. The dimly lit, glowing interior of the bar/restaurant sets the stage magically for the killer creative cocktails that are served. Toby Maloney, a mixologist from New York City, worked closely with the restaurant to imagine and build new and exciting cocktails. The Catamaran-hattan is mixed with care, as it features Jamaica’s own Appleton White Rum, specialty Lemon Hart Dolin sweet and blanc vermouth and orange bitters to top it off. The bar features new and classic cocktails with a twist, a must whenever you venture downtown.

Related: Best Margaritas in Minnesota

Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at

Watch & Listen LIVE