Friday, July 31, 2015

Minnesota Monthly Magazine's 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic

Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
I was invited to attend the 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic held by Minnesota Monthly Magazine on Thursday evening because I submitted a photo of my favorite Summer Cocktail to their Twitter account using the hashtag #MNMOSummerDrink. I jumped for joy gladly said yes, I can come drink free booze, slicked my lips with gloss, grabbed my man by the collar and bellied up to the bar immediately after being able to say "I'm on the guest list." Pah-shaw! Take a quick peek inside all the glam here!

Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
The event was located at the Minneapolis Event Center in the historic Saint Anthony Main district, which is full of vintage character and is easily navigated by foot, bike, taxi or car. As a local, you'll be familiar with nearby Nye's Polonaise Room or Tugg's Bar. Parking was a breeze and driving through the U of M campus had us reminiscing about what it's like to be a starving college student with 16 loads of laundry waiting for the next trip home. 
 Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spritis Classic
Our first and most favorite cocktail of the night was a Bombay Sapphire cocktail flavored with star anise, orange slice, and bitters by Bittercube. It was aromatic and special. I wanted more. I mean really, have you ever thought to put lemongrass, star anise, cardamom or any other herbaceous botanical into a cocktail? I was failing at playing it cool while watching the masters make their magic.
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
My hands were full all night long because the event wasn't short on swag! Probably four people approached me wondering where I got the cool goblet. As I left that evening, my gift bag loudly clinked as if I'd swiped half the bar into my bag, but it was all free giveaways. Crown Royal branded sunglasses, luggage tags, Twins gear, wine glasses, swizzle sticks, coupons to come back and enjoy more grub from local eateries. 
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
The best grub of the night — Bonefish Grill. Tuna Sashimi and Ceviche, or as I like to put it...Ahi Tuna with Kick In The Pants Sauce and a cute 'lil cup of ceviche. Both hit the spot.  
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
More nosh by La Grolla. Queen olives battered and fried, stuffed with gorgonzola - NOM. Beef Carpaccio - More Nom. And Focaccia Bread. I wanted more bread after I tasted 377 types of booze to help soak up the liquor, but Drew's Concessions had freshly popped popcorn, so my carb count was covered! 
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
MEAT by Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chão. They served succulent top sirloin and pork sausage. I might've made the rounds to their smoke-filled, aroma-enticing meat stand at least three times. What do you think about those ceramic Green Egg grills? Should I put it on my "Lusting After List?" No, I don't really have a Lusting After List, but I might start making one now. Two other food stops included Bloomington Chop House and Eat Street Social. Lobster Mac n' Cheese with Tenderloin Sandwiches and Waffles topped with Smoked Fish & Sweet Corn Purée were on the menu, respectively. By this point, we were both really (pleasantly) full.  
 Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
Officially found my new favorite specialty booze — Får North Spirits from Skane Township, MN. These people are the real deal. Their 8,850 square foot distillery is located in the northwest corner of Minnesota, 25 miles from Canada and eight miles from North Dakota. Every part of production is handled by these American artisans from milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, aging and bottling. And, as if they don't work hard enough, they farm the grains for their gins, vodka and whiskey, too! If the packaging hasn't sold you already, a sip of the booze will seal the deal. The vodka had an aroma of butterscotch, but only tasted like smooth as silk vodka. 
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
If people can claim to be Francophiles, I'm officially claiming myself an Irishphile. It's a thing.
Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
Minneapolis Event Center has this zen-like patio where most of the beautiful Minneapolites wanted to hang out and be seen. It was a gorgeous Minnesota July evening and everyone enjoyed themselves. Cannot wait until next year! Cheers! Xo, Becki

Printable Recipe Here

Old Fashioned by Diageo

2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
.25 ounces Turbinado Syrup
3 dashes Bittercube Trinity Bitters
Glass: Rocks
Ice: Large Pieces
Garnish: Large Citrus Peel

Add ingredients into stirring vessel and top with ice. Stir until softened. Pour over ice. Express peel atop cocktail and insert.

Manhatten by Diageo

2 ounces George Dickel #12
1 ounce Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
2 dashes Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
Glass: Rocks, Coupe or Martini
Garnish: Citrus Disc of your choice

Add ingredients into stirring vessel and top with ice. Stir until softened. Pour over ice. Express peel atop cocktail and insert.

Sazerac by Diageo

2 ounces Crown Royal Rye
.25 ounces Simple Syrup
1 dash Peychaurd's Bitters
1 dash Bittercube Orange Bitters
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Rinse Absinthe
Garnish: Lemon Peel Expressed and Discarded

Fill Rocks glass with ice and add 1/8 ounce of absinthe to glass. Swirl around glass and ice and set aside. Build cocktail in stirring vessel and stir until softened. Dump ice and absinthe out of glass and strain cocktail into laced glass. Pour over fresh ice in rocks glass. Express oils from lemon peel atop cocktail then discard. 

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