5 Things: Wintertime Drinks with a Minnesota Twist

Chuck Kanski of Solo Vino lists the best locally-inspired drinks for a cold day
Minnesota winter drinks
Photo by gpalmer

There’s no getting around it: We have a few more months of winter to go. Here are wintertime drinks with a Minnesota twist that are guaranteed to add warmth to the day.

  1. Minnesota Manhattan: A cocktail crafted the Minnesota way, with Roknar Minnesota Rye Whiskey from Far North Spirits. Owners Michael Swanson and Cheri Reese have just released the first Minnesota “field-to-glass” rye whiskey. Try your Manhattan with a drop or two of Dashfire Vintage Orange No. 1 bitters.
  2. Ratafia Mulled Wine: Alexis Bailly Vineyards has been producing wine with Minnesota-grown grapes since 1973, and its Ratafia—a kind of liqueur or sweet fortified red wine—has been a staple in many cocktail programs around town since 1997. It’s traditionally served at room temperature or in a Champagne cocktail. This year, try using it as a base for mulled wine. (Try equal parts red wine and Ratafia.)
  3. Russian Coffe: Trade in your White Russian for a Russian Coffee. When the next Polar Vortex hits, grab your mug, a double shot of espresso, and an ounce of Vikre Lake Superior Vodka. Finish with a dash of vanilla extract and a dollop of sweetened heavy whipping cream.
  4. Green Tea Hot Toddy: I like the clean flavor of a cognac with a green tea base. Add a teaspoon of Ames Farm honey with a wedge of lemon or clementine for sweetness. Finish with a cinnamon stick or a shaving of fresh ginger. (It’s also a great way to fend off a cold.)
  5. Grower Cava: Local importer Annette Peters, of Domaines and Appellations, is importing Pere Mata Cava Cupada no. 15, a light, clean sparkling wine from Spain (called a grower Cava). Why not live each day as though it’s New Year’s Eve?