Heidi's the Alice, a wrongly overlooked drink of the week

The Alice

2903 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

Heidi's is crazy crowded even on a Tuesday night, and so the Hot Dish has been huddled at the bar fairly regularly, vying for one of the six barstools. Not a bad idea, as it affords a front row to the fab cocktails created by Lauren Cantine, the bartender extraordinaire. But our first night in, we scanned the list and saw something new to our palate: the Alice. It's our favorite so far of the many tantalizing drinks on Heidi's menu (and we've tried quite a few).

Here's why we fell in love with this shy, sherry-laced concoction:  

Ask for extra cherries.
Ask for extra cherries.

A quiet drink in a rocks glass, the Alice is a combination of fino sherry, sweet vermouth, and pickled cherry juice, with a few of the sour fruits speared and thrown in for good measure. Its salty, sour, and sweet tastes are meted out in stages, as the fino (the driest and palest classification of sherry) makes up the final notes of each sip. Bartender Cantine told us that the Alice was often overlooked by her cocktailing customers, but that it was her favorite of all the drinks she's created for Heidi's. The Alice may not be flashy like a statuesque martini or expensive vintage, but she'll reward you with complexity and flavor when you're ready to settle in with something a little less ostentatious.

Or, as our potable companion put it, "Sherry--it's not just for grannies anymore."

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