The Cosmopolitan Beet $8 The Craftsman
4300 Lake St., Mpls.
In the site originally occupied in the 1940s by The Sippi Bar (the best bar name, ever) something really cool is going on; Like a fancy grandma's house, jars full of homemade-goodness surround. On the restaurant's shelves onions are pickling, syrups are flavoring, bitters are bittering, and liquors are infusing-- each with the freshest ingredients, locally-grown whenever possible. I heard the tale of a giant cauldron of sauerkraut getting vinegary and delicious in the basement and it was all I could do to restrain from running down the steps for a peek.
It is with this DIY attitude that bar-master Steve Filla--who not surprisingly is also a painter--has crafted an incredible drink menu, one that changes with the seasons. After trying several winter selections, I found that there was not a clunker in the bunch, but my heart went to the Cosmopolitan Beet. A dazzling variation of the tired old Cosmopolitan, Filla infuses vodka with fresh beets (in my favorite vessel -the mason jar) creating a liqueur both delicately flavored and beautifully colored. From there it is simple--add triple sec, shake, serve up and ice-cold.
The scent is soft; the vodka has just the right amount of infusion. The taste is candied --the beet only a whisper at the finish creating a perfect balance. Like this selection, unique and beautifully prepared cocktails are the way of the Craftsman, a great addition to the cities fave cocktail destinations.