Bradstreet Craftshouse's Black Walnut Old-Fashioned: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 43

What makes a bar a good bar?

It may be the atmosphere--the lighting, the music, the decor. It may be the conversations that flow between you and the knowledgeable bartenders.

And it must be the cocktails.

Step into Bradstreet Craftshouse in Graves 601 Hotel and order their Black Walnut Old-Fashioned, and you'll know what a great bar is.

A visit to Bradstreet is like a boozy field trip. Come with a genuine interest in cocktails and pay attention: You'll be rewarded with new knowledge, enlightened taste buds, and a dreamy buzz.

Sit at the sleek bar and order the Black Walnut Old-Fashioned. As you watch the skilled bartender make your drink, you'll notice it doesn't involve muddling sugar with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry like you may have seen elsewhere. You'll learn from your bartender that, in fact, the original old-fashioned never had mushed fruits.

Take a glance back at the menu, which says, "Bulleit Bourbon, Demerara Syrup, Nux Alpina Black Walnut Liqueur, House Orange Bitter."

What's Demerara syrup? It's simple syrup made from Turbinado sugar, like Sugar In The Raw. What's this black walnut liqueur? It's this liqueur I'm coating the glass with. Here, you should smell it.

Simple questions lead to smelling, tasting, and talking about the various components of the cocktail. And when you receive the finished oeuvre with a wide band of orange rind, you not only have a carefully crafted drink, you are equipped with new knowledge.

Marvel at the ice globe dropped in your lowball and enjoy the "clunk" it makes as you tilt the glass in your hand. Breath in the sweet aroma of the orange zest rubbed around the rim. Savor the richness of Bulleit perfumed with black walnut, and you'll happily realize you've come to a great bar.

Bradstreet Craftshouse 601 First Avenue North, Minneapolis 612-312-1821; website

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 44:

Wakame Bistro's Crazy Lobster Roll
No. 45: Brit's Pub Scotch Eggs
No. 46: Peninsula's chili tofu
No. 47: Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars
No. 48: Cocina del Barrio's jalapeno poppers
No. 49: Papa's Philly Cheesesteak
No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll
No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle
No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake
No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli 
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's Seafood and Tofu Hot Pot
No. 55: Polish Delight Cocktail at the Inn
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island Dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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