If you want to run a successful bar in Minnesota during the winter, you better have one hell of a hot drink on the menu.
The Marvel Bar, which is under the acclaimed Bachelor Farmer restaurant in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis, naturally doesn’t just have one warming drink but several of them as well as other seasonal appropriate concoctions. The establishment, which opened in 2011 and quickly established itself as one of the country’s top bars, has helped the city to develop a thriving food and drink scene that is now drawing national attention.
While the Twin Cities in the summer is magnificent with bright sunshine and hot weather, the winter, is, well, another thing. So, if you happen to be in Minneapolis during the next few months, head over to Marvel Bar to try one of these new drinks.
The Oldest Quarter
If you love Irish Coffee, you need to try the Oldest Quarter. But the tipple’s inspiration comes not from the Emerald Isle but from the Middle East. According to the menu: “The drink’s name refers to the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and the smells one would experience there: coffee, smoke, and spices.” So it’s made by mixing together coffee, rum, and smoky Scotch.
The original Hot Toddy, according to Half Full’s senior drinks columnist David Wondrich, was the so-called Whiskey Skin—basically hot water, Scotch, and a piece of lemon peel. Drawing on the Twin City’s Scandinavian roots, Marvel Bar has given this classic a makeover. Instead of whiskey, the bar uses a locally produced aquavit from Gamle Ode. The spirit is aged for up to 30 months in a used rye whiskey barrel.
You don’t need to be a Scrooge to order this complex drink. It’s a mix of Beefeater Gin, St. George Absinthe, Fernet-Branca, and pinecone syrup. Thanks to the gin’s juniper notes and the other herbaceous ingredients the bar’s menu likens it to “a cross-country ski jaunt in the woods.”
You can’t have a winter menu without holiday all-star Eggnog. And the Marvel Bar takes the creamy concoction very seriously. Each year it comes up with a new version and has even been known to age it. (Yes, you can age Eggnog.) This year’s batch includes nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla bean, eggs, coconut milk, and a house rum blend.
If you want to impress a bartender order Chartreuse V.E.P., Cynar, or Branca Menta. Even better order the After Eight, which calls for all three of these bartender favorites. Marvel Bar calls it a “Thin Mint for grown-ups.”