Pazzaluna's Gina Ginger Press is this week's drink of the week


photo by Steve Neuharth

Gina Ginger Press $8.75/$6.00 at happy hour

Pazzaluna 360 St. Peter St., St. Paul 651.223.7000 website

Pazzaluna is one of those places where stopping in for a quick drink makes one feel all fancy and urban. Looking out the window at the historic beauty of downtown St. Paul certainly helps to create this effect--as does Pazzaluna's euro-vibe.

Then add a cool drink menu to this setting, one full of infused spirits, fresh-squeezed fruit juices, and spiced liquors, and selecting a cocktail also becomes a pleasure. The Ginger Gina Press caught my attention as you do not often see the dessert wine, port, used in mixed cocktails. The success of this cocktail is in the balance of ingredients. The port--Fonseca Bin 27 Ruby, brings berry flavors to the party when mixed with ginger syrup, which brings sweetness and spice. This combo is then topped with a splash of 7Up and a splash of tonic, and garnished with a wedge-o-lime. And guess what--now you have yourself a nice lil' drink.

The result is smooth like sangria, soft and silky, with a fragrant undertone. Nice. Drinkability factor: 10 out of 10.