Eli's Food and Cocktails
1225 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, drinkers tend to instinctively move from the clear liquors to the browns. The Hot Dish is not quite ready yet, so we settled into a bar seat at Eli's to have an LB Sidecar to allow time for an Indian summer to hit before the solstice.
The LB is a riff on the traditional sidecar, which is built like a margarita with an orange liqueur (in this case Cointreau) and citrus, but with brandy as its base instead of tequila. The flavor is bumped up just a smidge, with lemon basil sour and an LB sugar rim to match.
It's a fine way to transition from the G&Ts and Sea Breezes that made your summer sing without going all the way to whiskey just yet. A regular sidecar might be enough, but the basil is a great addition that cuts some of the sweetness and provides another flavor note. And it gives you a great excuse to stop into this mellow neighborhood joint that's always had great food and has quietly built up a fine cocktail repertoire.