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
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