Congratulations! You’re engaged. There are a million details that need nailing down, but first and foremost, it’s time to plan the bachelor/ette party. How often does one get to attend a pre-party for a party? Grab your bestie and subtly hand over this article — or read it together. Hi, bestie! Your dear betrothed friend with the most sophisticated of tastes has a suggestion for the pre-party for the party. This is, after all, the occasion to thank your closest pals for being the best stone-cold weirdos a soul could surround itself with. What better way to celebrate than by buying those friends a drink? Or several? Go straight to the source by planning your fantastic fête at one of the newest places to drink a hyper-local cocktail. Several new, local distilleries have added cocktail rooms to their facilities and those rooms are available for private parties.
The cocktail room I’m most enamored with at the moment is inside Tattersall Distilling. Tattersall is the work of Dan Oskey and Jon Kreidler. Oskey is a long-time friend. I met him when he was working the bar at the spanking new Strip Club Meat and Fish. We bonded as he poured me the first gin and tonic I ever truly enjoyed and chattered on and on about how easy it is to make bitters (perhaps for him), tonics (yeah, right) sodas (got me there), and fantastic cocktails. Oskey became widely regarded as one of the best bartenders in town. He worked with Joia Soda, launched Easy & Oskey bitters kits with his buddy Erik Eastman, and tended bar at Hola Arepa before diving into crafting these incredible spirits.
He partnered with Kreidler, who brings with him years of business expertise (and an MBA) along with a discerning palate. This power duo pulled together a crew of ridiculously talented souls and they’re churning out a spirit line to make your head spin. The selection kicked off with an artfully balanced gin, a gorgeously herbaceous aquavit, and a super-smooth vodka. Now there’s bourbon, aged gin, cherry and orange liqueurs, orange and grapefruit cremas, and they’re even working on an absinthe!
All the liquors are mixed into astounding cocktails, sincerely some of the best in the Twin Cities, inside the cocktail room. The expansive warehouse space is a bit tricky to locate. One has to drive down Central Avenue in Northeast and drive around the back of the big, white building, through a half-finished parking lot, and toward the brightly colored awning.
In the warmer months, the patio is a gorgeous place to enjoy a drink, a cigar, and a meal from one of the food trucks that pull up to the back. Inside the room is a stunning mix of masculine and old world charm. A grand chandelier lights the gothic bar.
Manning that bar are highly experienced cocktail shakers. Not only are they crazy talented with the ways of the stir spoon, but they are also exceptionally hospitable. The cocktail list is reasonably priced and filled with delicious options. (Trust me, I’ve drunk my way through the entire list. You know… for research. Because I am a professional. You’re welcome.)
Private parties are able to book the entire cocktail room on days the space is closed, or reserve sections of the expansive space with advanced notice. Tours of the distillery are also available — and wouldn’t a few bottles make an excellent gift for the wedding party? Much more useful than a pair of earrings or cufflinks.
Tattersall isn’t the only cocktail room in the area. Here are a few more options to consider.
Du Nord, the first cocktail room in Minneapolis at a local distillery, serves Du Nord’s pristine Fitzerald gin and the L’etoile vodka in handcrafted cocktails six days a week. Reservations are required for small groups and they do book the room for special events. Like all the distilleries, there is no food on site, but Gandhi Mahal delivers. Bollywood-inspired dance numbers are optional (until you hit that third martini).
Vikre Distillery in Duluth has some of the best drinking water in the state. That water is put to good use in the range of spirits being made at Vikre. Anyone who thinks they don’t enjoy gin needs to take a little taste tour of the varieties these crafty folks are creating. From spruce to cedar to juniper, the nuanced flavors ring beautifully throughout these spirits. They also have aquavit and vodka to sample. Whiskey varieties are on the way. The cocktail room is right by the glorious Lake Superior and open Monday through Saturday.
While most new distilleries first released vodka and gins, Loon Liquors went right out there with a white whiskey with an intriguing flavor. I’ve been subject to several shots of liquor that were more white lightning than, well, something I actually wanted to drink, but these guys created a truly unique and enjoyable bit of booze. The cocktail room just opened in this Northfield distillery and operates Thursday through Saturday.