Creative Cocktails Around the West Metro

by | Jul 2024

Cedar Wood Old Fashioned

Cedar Wood Old Fashioned from Layline. Photo: Layline

Mixologists put creative twists on sips.

Cocktails aren’t having a moment; they’re having an evolution. With riffs off of the classics and new inspired concoctions pouring into lowballs, highballs and coup glasses in between, drink menus can become a bit muddled. To assist in navigating the spirited terrain, we’ve gathered some sips across the West Metro for you to consider for your next bar-side request.

Cedar Wood Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, aged aquavit, piloncillo and cedar wood. Granted, aquavit can be an acquired taste, but is there a better way to give the spicy spirit an inaugural ride over your taste buds than with this spin on an Old Fashioned? Layline, 301 Water St., Excelsior; 952.856.8003;

Double Entendre Martini, featuring Zyr vodka, Sonoma-Cutrer rosé, brut Champagne and fresh lime juice. The kicker? This shaker tin cocktail is poured over cotton candy. Brick & Bourbon, 7887 Elm Creek Blvd. N.; 763.208.9477;

Fifty Shades of Pink delivers on what the name promises. The tequila-based cocktail features fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, which creates the variation of hues in its namesake. Rounded out with a mellowing swirl of coconut cream and a hint of lime, this cocktail is the perfect summer sipper. The Fox and Pantry, 15725 37th Ave. N. #7; 763.553.7938;

Hurricane is delicious both in taste and in the eye candy department. This incarnation is a concoction of passion fruit, pineapple and mango juice, balanced with bright tartness and Chinola, a passion fruit liqueur from the Dominican Republic. The drink is garnished with a storm-torn mini umbrella and a bling cherry—a maraschino cherry bathed in glitter. Mr. Paul’s Supper Club, 3917 Market St.; 612.259.8614;

Lemon Basil Martini is a perfect summer sip. Made with Tanqueray, a smooth London dry gin, lemon juice, honey, simple syrup and basil leaves—what’s not to love? Paulie’s, 15641 Grove Circle N.; 763.205.9784;

Lychee Martini is sweeter than the average Martini, thanks to the titular fruit. Dry vermouth makes a classic appearance, but citrusy triple sec and sweet lychee juice lend a fruity finish to the drink. Topped off with a fresh piece of lychee, this delicate cocktail is a standout. Kobe Japanese Restaurant, 15555 34th Ave. N.; 763.559.9999;

Makhani Martini is a mind-bendingly creative cocktail that is inspired by the Indian dish, Butter Chicken. The winner is a unique yet delightful mélange of smoky with sweet and sour notes. It’s created with a blend of Smirnoff vodka, lime, simple syrup, clarified Tikka Masala sauce and special secret ingredients. Raag Progressive Indian Cuisine, 3812 W. 50th St., Mpls.; 952.405.8367;

Minnetonka Boulevardier arrives with rye, Aperol and sweet vermouth. Aperol, an Italian apéritif, has been having a moment in the spritz world, so give it a spin with this Skipper sipper. Spasso, 17523 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.224.9555;

Minnetonka Boulevardier from Spasso

Minnetonka Boulevardier from Spasso. Photo: Spasso

Paloma switches up with the seasons, and this summer’s rendition has a tropical twist with hibiscus and grapefruit-infused blanco tequila with floral accents—perfect for balmy summer evenings. Pajarito, 3910 W. 50th St.; 612.268.4770;

Paloma from Pajarito

Paloma from Pajarito. Photo: Chris Emeott

Saffron Margarita features saffron-infused tequila, black cardamom, clementine juice and lava salt. The Margarita ranks right up there with the Martini for most recipe variations. Try this version—can you ever go wrong with saffron on the ingredient list? Macanda, 294 Grove Lane E., Wayzata; 952.679.1222;

Saffron Margarita from Macanda

Saffron Margarita from Macanda. Photo: Chris Emeott

Summer arrives by the bucketful at Lookout Bar & Grill. Among this year’s lineup is the Tiki bar-inspired Falkor’s Day Off, featuring a tropical mix of Dragonberry Bacardí, Malibu Black and cranberry and pineapple juices. Lookout Bar & Grill, 8672 Pineview Lane N; 763.424.4365;

Violet French arrives when Champagne meets herbaceous gin. Butterfly pea flower tea-infused gin is a mouthful, but it’s what introduces the purple hue. Black lemon bitters come in to complete the trinity of flavors with a hint of earthy citrus. This twist on the classic French 75 is a bit sweet, a bit bitter, a bit sour and a bit Parisian. Northern Taphouse, 220 Carlson Parkway N.; 763.476.1011;

Note: Beverage menus are updated from time to time. If you don’t see one of the suggested cocktails listed, try another sip. Be sure to let us know if you discover something worth cheersing about in the West Metro.


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