Every Saturday, Mike Augustyniak finds the best mixologists in town to see what they’re stirring up. This week, he stopped by Hola Arepa in Minneapolis to find some creative pairings to one of America’s favorite seasonal snacks: Girl Scout cookies.

Caramel Delite Cookies; paired with Hola Arepa’s “We Surfed Here”

  • 2 oz Brugal Anejo Rum
  • ¾ oz grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ¾ oz cinnamon syrup
  • 3 dashes habanero bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice, and strain into an iced Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

This cocktail is carbonated at the restaurant; you can use a Soda Stream machine to accomplish this at home (after combining and shaking all ingredients), or simply serve it without carbonation.

Lemonade Cookies; paired with the Hola Arepa’s “Rum & Cranberry Tonic”

  • 2 oz Brugal Extra Dry rum
  • Tonic
  • Splash of 100% Cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail)

Add rum to an iced Collins glass. Add a splash of cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail), and top with enough tonic to fill the glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Shortbread Cookies: Paired with “Tea Time”

    • 2 oz Bulleit Rye
    • ½ oz Earl Grey Tea Syrup*
    • ½ oz Fernet Branca
    • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

*To make the syrup: steep Earl Grey tea in 1 cup of hot water until ready; add 1 cup of granulated sugar, bring to a boil, and stir until dissolved.

Stir all ingredients over ice until chilled; strain and serve in a wine glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon peel, after expressing over the cocktail.

Thin Mint Cookies: Paired with “It’s Mint To Be”

      • 1 ½ oz Agavales Silver Tequila
      • ½ oz Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
      • 1 oz Lemon Juice
      • ¼ oz Ancho Reyes Liqueur
      • ½ oz Tempus Fugit Crème De Cacao
      • ½ oz Demarara syrup
      • 1 Dash Habanero Bitters

Add mint leaves to the shaker, combining with other liquid ingredients. Shake vigorously, strain, and serve straight up in a coupe glass with a mint leaf for garnish.

Taste Tests

Hola Arepa bartender Nate McLemore-Raczkowski is a lover of Girl Scout cookies — he may have eaten the entire test box of Caramel deLights before shooting the segment. He says that they key to each pairing is to complement the flavor of each cookie, not to mirror it.

The Caramel deLights (formerly Samoas) were paired with a tangy rum cocktail that is on the menu at Hola Arepa as “We Surfed Here.” Coconut and rum complement each other without competing; a touch of habanero bitters and the grapefruit add some tanginess that shines through.

The Lemonade cookies were paired with Hola’s Rum & Cranberry Tonic. Here the tart cranberry flavor combines with a dry, light- flavored rum, to complement the bright and smooth flavor of the lemon icing.

The Shortbread cookies were paired with an Earl Grey tea syrup – think tea and crumpets! – and rye whiskey. The mild, sweet, buttery shortbread offsets the spicy heat of the rye, and the bitter tea and Frenet Branca notes perfectly… and this was my personal favorite pairing.

Finally – the Thin Mints; which, Nate says, was the hardest to pair, despite his initial thought that it would be easiest. Mint is a strong flavor that you definitely don’t want to double-up on. So, he chose to pair the cookie with smokey, savory, and sweet Latin American flavors that come from tequila, mezcal, and the Ancho Reyes Liqueur, along with crème de cacao to tie everything back to the chocolate.

Hola Arepa started as a food truck, and is now one of the most popular restaurants and bars in south Minneapolis.

Mike Augustyniak

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