West Metro Cocktail Party

by | Jul 2024

Summer Bucket Cocktails, Lookout Bar & Grill

Summer Bucket Cocktails, Lookout Bar & Grill. Photos: Chris Emeott

We’ve gathered a group of striking cocktails from across the West Metro.

These cocktails aren’t wallflowers; they’re conversation starters. You know, the kind of drinks that garner a second glance at the menu or spark the question, “Which one is that?” as they travel across the restaurant. Here’s to the summer specials and marvelous mainstays that leave us in high spirits.

Summer arrives by the bucketful at Lookout Bar & Grill, which welcomes back its seasonal Summer Bucket Cocktails. Among this year’s lineup is the Tiki bar-inspired Falkor’s Day Off, featuring a tropical mix of Dragonberry Bacardí, Malibu Black, cranberry and pineapple juice. Lookout Bar & Grill, 8672 Pineview Lane N; 763.424.4365; lookoutbarandgrill.com

Fifty Shades of Pink delivers on the name. The freshly squeezed blood orange juice in this tequila-based cocktail results in an endless variation of hues. Rounded out with a mellowing swirl of coconut cream and a hint of lime, this cocktail is the perfect sipper for a summer out and about. The Fox and Pantry, 15725 37th Ave. N. #7; 763.553.7938; thefoxandpantry.com

Sip on the Smoking Gun Maple Old Fashioned, featuring Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon freshly smoked with oak. The kicker? This bourbon cocktail is topped with a house-made golden malt waffle and bacon. Brick & Bourbon, 7887 Elm Creek Blvd. N.; 763.208.9477; brickandbourbon.com

Tantalize your taste buds with a Lychee Martini. Dry vermouth makes its classic appearance in this vodka martini, but citrusy triple sec and sweet lychee juice lend a fruity finish to the drink. Topped off with a fresh piece of lychee, this delicate cocktail is a standout. Kobe Japanese Restaurant, 15555 34th Ave. N.; 763.559.9999; kobeplymouth.com

Martinis are all the rage, and this Lemon Basil Martini is a perfect summer sip. Made with Tanqueray, a smooth London dry gin, lemon juice, honey, simple syrup and basil leaves—what’s not to love? Paulie’s, 15641 Grove Circle N.; 763.205.9784; mypaulies.com

Lemon Basil Martini, Paulie’s

Lemon Basil Martini, Paulie’s

Bubbly Champagne meets herbaceous gin to create the Violet French 75. Butterfly pea flower tea-infused gin is a mouthful, but it’s also what creates the striking purple hue. A dash of black lemon bitters adds another twist to the classic French 75, introducing an earthier note than the traditional tart zip of lemon juice. Northern Taphouse, 220 Carlson Parkway N.; 763.476.1011; northerntaphouse.com

Cedar Wood Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, aged aquavit, piloncillo and cedar wood. Granted, aquavit can be an acquired taste, but is there a better way to give the spicy spirit an inaugural ride over your taste buds than with this spin on an Old Fashioned? Layline, 301 Water St., Excelsior; 952.856.8003; laylinerestaurant.com

A cousin to the Negroni, the Minnetonka Boulevardier arrives with rye, Aperol and sweet vermouth. Aperol, an Italian apéritif, has been having a moment in the spritz world, so give it a spin with this Skipper sipper. Spasso, 17523 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.224.9555; spassomn.com

The Saffron Margarita features saffron-infused tequila, black cardamom, clementine juice and lava salt. The margarita ranks right up there with the Martini for most recipe variations. Try this version—can you ever go wrong with saffron on the ingredient list? Macanda, 294 Grove Lane E., Wayzata; 952.679.1222; macandawayzata.com

The mind-bendingly creative Makhani Martini is inspired by the Indian dish butter chicken. Clarified tikka masala sauce is added to a blend of Smirnoff vodka, lime and simple syrup, which yields a delightful mélange of smoky, sweet and sour. Raag Progressive Indian Cuisine, 3812 W. 50th St., Mpls.; 952.405.8367; raagindiancuisine.com

The Hurricane is delicious both in taste and in the eye candy department. Playing off the classic 1940s concoction originating in New Orleans, this version combines a mix of passion fruit, pineapple and mango juice balanced out by Chinola, a passion fruit liqueur from the Dominican Republic. The drink is garnished with a storm-torn umbrella and a “bling cherry,” aka a maraschino cherry bathed in glitter. Mr. Paul’s Supper Club, 3917 Market St.; 612.259.8614; mrpaulssupperclub.com

Sip on the Double Entendre Martini, featuring Zyr vodka, Sonoma-Cutrer rosé, brut Champagne and fresh lime juice. The kicker? This shaker tin cocktail is poured over cotton candy. Brick & Bourbon, 7887 Elm Creek Blvd. N., Maple Grove; 763.208.9477; brickandbourbon.com

Double Entendre Martini, Brick & Bourbon

Double Entendre Martini, Brick & Bourbon

The bright citrus notes of a Paloma is perfect for enhancing a vibrant patio atmosphere. This summer’s rendition has a tropical twist thanks to a hibiscus and grapefruit-infused blanco tequila, making it the perfect accompaniment for balmy summer evenings. Pajarito, 3910 W. 50th St.; 612.268.4770; pajaritorestaurant.com

Note: Beverage menus are updated from time to time. If you don’t see one of the suggested cocktails listed, try another sip. Be sure to let us know if you discover something worth cheersing about in the West Metro.


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