Every Friday, Mike Augustyniak picks up a new cocktail recipe from a local mixologist. Not all Valentine’s Day gifts come in a heart-shaped box. Sometimes, they can come in a glass. Throughout February, Mike’s learning some romantic cocktail recipes from Nicollet Island Inn’s bartender Troy Jurgens. This week’s selection is a creative spin on a classic British drink.

1.5 oz. of Death’s Door White Whiskey
1 oz. Crème de Cassis
4 blackberries
2 wedges lemon
1/2 cube brown sugar
.5 oz Turbinado Simple Syrup (Turbinado simple syrup is just like regular simple syrup but with brown sugar in the raw instead of regular white sugar)

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Take 2 blackberries, 2 lemon wedges, 1/2 cube of brown sugar and .5 oz Turbinado simple syrup and muddle in cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes and shake. Strain into high ball cocktail glass. Float (pour over a backside of a spoon to layer liquor) Crème de Cassis over the muddled blackberry mixture. Then float whiskey over everything else. Add 2 blackberries for garnish.

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Taste Test
In this twist on the classic English drink called the bramble, the traditional gin is replaced with Death’s Door White Whiskey. Distilled from wheat and barley, and rested in uncharred barrels made from Minnesota oak, this whiskey has training wheels on it, and has hints of vanilla instead of the characteristic oaky char of whiskey or scotch. The Crème de Cassis and blackberry muddle lends a rich, luxurious quality to the bright taste of the lemon wheels. A little time in the shaker allows for more “melt off” from the ice, mellowing out the intense flavor combination and makes this a drink that’s as tasty as it is pretty.

About Nicollet Island Inn
“At the Nicollet Island Inn, we raise the essence of a traditional inn to new levels—combining the classic and the modern to produce a truly intimate hotel, restaurant, bar, and banquet destination,” says their website. “The Nicollet Island Inn’s award-winning restaurant is the best combination of food, atmosphere and view in the Twin Cities.”

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To find more recipes from Mike’s Mix, click here.

Mike Augustyniak