By Mike Augustyniak

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Each week, Mike Augustyniak finds interesting cocktails that mixologists are stirring up in the Twin Cities. This week, he heads to the brand new HAI HAI in northeast Minneapolis to try a pair of Asian-inspired cocktails.

Next Up…Sugar!

  • 2 oz Plantation 3-Star Rum
  • ½ oz Ginger Syrup *
  • ½ oz Fresh-squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 ½ oz Sugar Cane Juice **
  • 1 Bunch Thai Basil

* To make Ginger Syrup: In a saucepan over heat, dissolve 1 part granulated white sugar into 1 part ginger juice. Cool and use, or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

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** Look for fresh sugar cane juice in Hispanic and specialty grocers; or try this product available in Target.

Instructions

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker tin, and shake over ice until chilled.  Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a large bunch of fresh Thai Basil.

(credit: CBS)

Old Town Saigon

  • ½ oz Saigon Cinnamon Cordial *
  • 2 oz Maison Rouge Cognac
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters
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* To make Cinnamon Cordial: in a saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup Demerara sugar, and 8 sticks of Saigon (Vietnamese) Cinnamon.  Stir over heat until sugar dissolves completely, remove from heat, and steep until cool.  When at room temperature, remove cinnamon sticks, and add ½ cup of white rum.  Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice; stir to chill and dilute.  Strain into a lowball glass over a large rock of ice.  Garnish with a spritz from an orange peel, and of the Cinnamon Cordial.

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HAI HAI serves up southeast Asian street food and cocktails in a tropical setting. HAI HAI means two two in Vietnamese — a nod to the building’s past life as the infamous 22nd Avenue Station (aka Deuce Deuce), a dive bar & strip club.

Mike Augustyniak