By Adrian Schramm

The cocktail craze has been somewhat overshadowed of late by the craft beer boom. But our Minnesota mixologists have been quietly getting better and better and creating some truly impressive libations. As complex as a great meal, with that little buzz to make your night sing, these local bars, lounges, clubs, and pubs will make drinks you can’t find anywhere else – and won’t want to.

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(credit: Viuex Carre)

(credit: Viuex Carre)


Vieux Carre
408 St. Peter St
St Paul, MN 55102
(651) 291-2715
www.vieux-carre.com

The drink for which this dark, sexy jazz joint in downtown St. Paul is named, the Vieux Carre here is unlike any other. The barrel-aged version is smooth, but with plenty of bite from a mix of bulleit rye and cognac, benedictine, sweet vermouth, and peychaud’s angostura. It’s not a drink for beginners, but then, neither is the venue. You’re not coming here just for drinks; this isn’t the place to go for just any old buzz. Vieux Carre offers nothing less than an evening of top-quality music, drinks, and maybe a few bites from their NOLA-inspired menu.

(credit: Parlour)

(credit: Parlour)


Parlour
730 Washington Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
(612) 354-3135
www.boroughmpls.com/parlour

This lounge beneath Borough in the North Loop of Minneapolis knows how to make a cocktail. One cocktail in particular stands out, and it’s an especially great drink for the cold weather of winter. The Parlour Old Fashioned mixes bourbon and rye with Mexican brown sugar and aromatic bitters for an experience that starts bold but finishes smooth. Just like winter in Minnesota. It’s best enjoyed late at night, when the low lights of the street outside bring a cozy warmth to the lounge.

(credit: Eat Street Social)

(credit: Eat Street Social)


Eat Street Social
18 26th St. W.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 767-6850
www.eatstreetsocial.com

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We had to include at least one brunch cocktail on the list, as a boozy brunch has become a must in the Twin Cities. Eat Street Social is still one of the very best places to get a drink, and their version of a Corpse Reviver, romantically called East of Eden, will certainly get you up and at ’em. Made with bell pepper and cilantro infused Citadelle Gin, Cocchi Rosa, absinthe, and with a little splash of citrus to tie it all together, it’s a drink that will remind you that a good cocktail is something that should be handled with care.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)


Ward 6
858 Payne Ave.
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 348-8181
www.ward6stpaul.com

Something a little less fancy can be found at beloved neighborhood pub in St. Paul. Reflecting the diversity of the neighborhood around it, Ward 6’s signature cocktail, aptly named the Ward 6, is at once sweet and spicy, offering a melange of flavors that is unlike anything made anywhere else in the Twin Cites. Playing off of Boston’s classic Ward 8 cocktail, St. Paul’s concoction of vodka, St. Germain, ginger, cilantro, lychee, lime, and jalapeno, is sure to stand the test of time as well.

(credit: Marvel Bar/Facebook)

(credit: Marvel Bar/Facebook)


Marvel Bar
50 2nd Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 206-3929
www.marvelbar.com

There is a lot of change at Marvel Bar, the mixologists can’t seem to help themselves playing new flavors and ingredients. One drink that has stuck around, and will probably be around for a long time to come, is the Oliveto. Olive oil and egg white make the lemon, Licor 43 and Gordon’s dance into a frothy, creamy mix of sweet and sour, creating a distinct taste that lingers long after the glass leaves your lips. It’s a drink that fits right into the cool, subterranean surroundings while exemplifying the innovation Marvel Bar has come to represent.

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Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Minnesota