Any bar will serve you a cocktail, provided you are of legal age. However, why go for the same old martini when you can get something a bit more tasty and seasonal? With the winter upon us and the holidays heating up, bars are coming up with fantastic ways to take in the Christmas spirit without choking down a basic cocktail. Using fresh and unusual ingredients, cocktails have evolved into an art form and can excite all of the senses with just one sip. Check out these cocktail bars for some of the best and most creative holiday refreshments.
Mill Valley Kitchen
3906 Excelsior Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
One of the hidden gems of the Twin Cities metro, Mill Valley Kitchen has a rotating cocktail menu that features unique refreshments and flavors of the seasons. The winter and holiday cocktail menu is full of warming liquors and flavors of spice to contrast the freshest garnishes, homemade mixers and top shelf spirits. Bartender Brian Roby has created a seasonal eggnog that will be sure to bring cheer to your holiday season.
50 N. 2nd Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hidden deep in downtown Minneapolis, through an unmarked door, Marvel Bar has become a well-known secret to the hippest locals. With the fantastically eclectic and unique decor to welcome guests, perfectly crafted cocktails are served up and delivered to delighted customers. The details are not ignored as the best spirits and care are used to stir, shake or just mix the right combination. Try a signature cocktail like the Oliveto or get one from the holiday menu and savor the seasonal flavor.
Red Herring Lounge
208 E. 1st St.
Duluth, MN 55802
A cool spot for a warm cocktail in Northern Minnesota is at the Red Herring Lounge. Enjoy premium ingredients made from local companies and high standards. Each cocktail is created as a work of art and perfectly blended with the right amount of each spirit and mixer. While you’re there, enjoy an open stage, poetry reading or local musical act. Relax on the couches and play a board game or just chat with other art lovers and locals. The holiday cocktail menu will have you feeling warm all over.
3001 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
One of the newer joints to grab a drink, Libertine has quickly become among the most popular. Although its fabulous rooftop is sure to be closed for the season, there is still enough room inside to warm up and order a holiday cocktail. Voted a favorite place to go drinking after work in Minneapolis, Libertine uses fresh ingredients and top shelf booze to concoct a masterpiece. Go out with your friends from work even if you don’t like them because the cocktails here are designed to put you in a good mood.
410 St. Peter St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
One of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities is also one of the best places to go for a designer cocktail. Meritage is a French bistro that specializes in fantastic wines and an award-winning tasting menu, but its cocktails are top notch as well. Over the holidays, a special cocktail menu pairs with its seasonal oyster selection or just pairs well with the person drinking it. The small bar is arranged with beautiful bottles and signature cocktails such as the “Singing Violet” can be quite addictive.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature. Examiner.com.