Woman-owned distillery Twin Spirits opens this weekend in Minneapolis

A new cocktail room in Northeast.

A new cocktail room in Northeast. Facebook

Don't let the name fool you. It may be called Twin Spirits, but this here is a one-woman show.

The name behind the new Northeast distillery is a nod to Michelle Winchester's vodka and gin. She'll be serving both from her new cocktail room in Minneapolis, starting this Saturday, February 25. 

Winchester says she got into the booze biz after she turned 50, her youngest child became a teenager, and she needed something new to do. "I did a lot of fundraising and as you know, cocktails go with fundraising." 

Learning about cocktails led to learning about distilling, and soon, she had a budding business on her hands. She started the process about three years ago, before distilleries were such a big thing around here, and she sets herself apart in a couple of ways. First, her vodka is made with sugar cane, rather than more traditional grains or potato. She says that lots of people substitute her vodka for rum in more typical rum drinks. 

"I get a lot of converts," she says. "When people say they hate vodka I say, 'Well, now I really want you to try it.'" 

She also calls her gin "less piney," and says she gets a lot of converts to it, too. 

The distillery and cocktail room are located in an old train building in Northeast that's set away from the street. There's green space, a patio, and a ramble roof, which she says gives the building a barn-like feel. Originally, she planned to make updates to the property, but the "dilapidated" feel goes well with distilling and drinking, she says, so she plans to leave it. 
More products will be added as they are produced, including rum and whiskey. Moonshine will be distilled once a month on the full moon.

Michelle Winchester is a one-woman distiller.

Michelle Winchester is a one-woman distiller. Photo courtesy of Twin Spirits Facebook Page

The 26-seat cocktail room is a cozy space that looks into the distillery. 

Cocktail room hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

2931 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis