Drink of the Week: Spoon and Stable's Airmail

First, the bad news: Minneapolis got skunked at the James Beard Awards this year. We continue to be a well-kept dining secret in the nation. It’s always daunting to predict how these food-award things will shake out, but it’s hard not to be a little put out. Those judges have no idea what they’re missing.

We are, at least, in possession of one of the most buzzed-about restaurants in the nation (even if they didn’t bring home Best New Restaurant). If you have been waiting for an excuse to visit Spoon and Stable, the hopping North Loop eatery, I have the perfect reason to go right now: brunch.

The expanded service features a myriad of ways to fall in love with the pastry wizardry from Diane Yang and her team. Baked beauties are paired with the light, bright savory dishes like ribbons of dill-cured salmon or smoky maple bourbon-kissed bacon steaks. As with every course, the beverage program is spot-on.

When we stopped for a visit, snagging a coveted seat at the end of the bar with the garage windows rolled back, Elliot Manthey mixed up an Airmail. Like all of their drinks, this is a fresh take on a classic cocktail. The perfume from this drink alone is worth rolling out of bed on a weekend morning. Floral-honey syrup mingles with toasty rum, and tropical lime juice brings a bright acidity to balance the sweetness.

Bonus: Manthey also shared how to make that honey syrup, should you want to replicate this day drink–worthy libation at home in your pajamas. Just mix equal parts super-hot water and honey—it’s that easy. He pours the rum, juice, and syrup into a cocktail shaker and shakes vigorously, then removes the strainer and tops the drink off with a healthy splash of sparkling wine. The strainer is replaced and the cocktail is poured into a glass. The wine mingles with the drink, but none of the bubbles are sacrificed by shaking, resulting in a drink that’s as sunny as a new morning, seductive as a late Saturday night: perfect brunch drinking.