Pisco the Night Away The Rookery $11
You hear it before you see it: raucous music blaring and cheerful light spilling from tall flung open windows -- you've made it to the party on an otherwise sedate and sleepy main drag in Robbinsdale. Being at Travail and the Rookery feels like being a fly on the wall after the restaurant closes for business and the staff cuts loose for the night, with laid-back communal service, eclectically personal playlists, and generous amounts of beer-filled boot passing. That is, until your meticulously constructed cocktail arrives, and you suddenly recognize that the entire place is humming with shared, purposeful energy. In the spirit of getting lost (and you might on your way out to the 'burbs), just let go, and Pisco the Night Away.
Centered staunchly between the two dining counterparts --Travail on one side, the Rookery on the other -- is where the action happens. There you'll find a bar and behind it, the open kitchen, crackling with high energy, moving parts, and boasting a craft cocktail menu to tease the palate while you (patiently) wait for a spot to perch. Like everything on the menu here, what you see is just a teaser of what you'll get. In the way that an item simply marked "liver" on the menu delivers a rich mousse styled like a cake pop topped with dried cherry and Serrano peppers, the drink menu hints at its cocktails with bare-bones information, preserving that element of surprise. Pisco the Night Away is deceptively simple: Pisco, apricot, egg.
For the uninitiated, Pisco comes from the South American winemaking regions of Chile and Peru, a grape brandy that's made a name for itself in the form of the Pisco Sour and other creative variations on the theme. Pro tip: Pisco is stronger than the smooth taste may imply, so proceed with caution (or don't). Give your night away to this luscious combination, with a good inch of head frothed to the top of your glass thanks to some vigorous and thorough shaking. Even the garnish impresses: apricot and black pepper fruit leather, paper thin and crunchy-chewy. Light and airy on the tongue, this cocktail packs a punch and delivers a perfectly balanced sweet-tart-creamy sip. Solo or with food, aperitif or digestif, there's no wrong way to Pisco the Night Away.