After you’ve taken care of your responsibilities, you deserve something a little extra. Go out with a couple friends and treat yourself to a few drinks and laughs. You’ve worked hard all year, so have a little fun. These bars might not be your first choice for a quick after work drink, but that’s what makes them so great for special occasions. You don’t have to worry about getting that special drink you’ve always had an eye on, but couldn’t feel justified ordering. Put a few dollars in your pocket and have yourself a good time.
Eat Street Social
18 W. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
The attention to detail and the almost scientist-like precision that go into making these cocktails will have you feeling like modish royalty. You can try something like the Indulgent Moral Rot (because you are indulging, after all), which mixes Plantation 3 Stars rum with Letherbee Fernet, lime, strawberry oleo saccharum, and bitters for a cocktail unlike anything you’ve had before. But that’s the case with the whole cocktail list, and even the Sangria goes above and beyond with Chardonnay & Bordeaux, cascara, eucalyptus, lingonberry, grapefruit, and Saigon Cinnamon. If this doesn’t strike your fancy, check out the attached tiki bar for a more colorful night of drinks.
410 Saint Peter St.
St Paul, MN 55102
This bar at this elegant, romantic restaurant in downtown St. Paul is calling for you to spend a few hard-earned dollars on luxuries. A glass of absinthe from their fountain perhaps? Why not? The cocktail list is made up of classics, like a sazeracs and aviations as well as modern twists like the allspice rum old-fashioned, and completely original concoctions like the perro humado made with mezcal, grapefruit juice and agave sour. You’ll be transported right to the streets of Paris without leaving St. Paul, and isn’t a vacation just what you need?
730 N. Washington Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
This sexy lounge below acclaimed restaurant Borough in Minneapolis is perfect for that night of relaxing without care. That tax return is burning a hole in your pocket, and this is the place you want to be for some much-needed cocktail therapy. You don’t have to be a boozer to appreciate the effort that goes into these drinks, and everything is clearly listed on the menu, so you won’t feel like a newbie when ordering something you may never have tried before. It’s a fun place, pure and simple, that blends sophistication with the joy of having a drink or two with friends.
Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Minnesota
Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque
423 Main St. S.
Stillwater, MN 55082
This is the bar you want for a true celebration. You got your tax money, as if you’ve plundered towns and villages all along the Caribbean. Now it’s time to drink, drink, drink. The cocktails can be lethal, but who cares? You’re celebrating. Pirates don’t care about these things. If you’re really going hard, try the KIll Devil, a secret drink that the bartender won’t tell you the ingredients of, even if you have your sword to his throat. Rum is king here, and the sheer volume of these drinks will make sure you won’t need to celebrate like this until next tax season.
La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
The restaurant is known nationally as one of the finest places to dine in the Midwest, and the separate lounge area is held to the same standards. The cocktails recall the luxury of old, and will make you want to put on your finest attire and sit back and laugh at sophisticated things. Or you can just have a good time laughing and drinking some of the finest cocktails around. The drinks are creative without straying into pretentious territory, and you’ll feel like a million bucks kicking back in the stylish surroundings.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.