Five favorite Twin Cities contemporary cocktails

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The new Marvel Bar helps make up for the loss of the Inn.
​We're no longer able to sip this year's Best Contemporary Cocktail winner, the Inn's Slim Shim, as the restaurant has unfortunately closed.

But we lucky liquor lovers still have plenty of great cocktail choices in town, including several stellar options from a few newcomers--hello, Marvel Bar!

Here are five of our current favorite contemporary cocktails--we kept 'em light in honor of Indian Summer:



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Michelle Leon
5. The Strip Club's Cobra Kai
We're a fan of bartender Dan Oskey's mixes, especially this menu mainstay, the Cobra Kai, made with Kilo Kai Rum, habanero bitters, egg whites, and sour. The sweet-tart-spicy blend kicks as much ass as the movie it's named after, the 1980s epic Karate Kid.

4. La Belle Vie's Prince Albert
The Prince Albert is a favorite that's had its name on LBV's bar list for years. The drink is bartender Johnny Michaels's sophisticated riff on a Tom Collins or G&T, in which the gin is infused with Earl Grey tea, so that hints of bergamot orange blend with juniper.

3. Masu's Rano Pano
Another Michaels drink, the Rano Pano at Masu, blends gin with pickled watermelon sour--one of Granny's pantry staples has found its way behind the bar. This drink is best sipped on the restaurant's sidewalk seats.

2. Bradstreet Craftshouse's the Professor
While we're also big fans of any Bradstreet beverage containing those funky Japanese ice spheres, our best-loved beverage may be the Professor, available for just $6.01 during Bradstreet's "601 Hour" (5-7 p.m. and 11 p.m. to close Tuesday-Thursday). A variant on the Moscow Mule, the drink refreshingly blends gin with ginger syrup, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and Angostura bitters.

1. Cafe Maude's Black Bunny
We'll save our commentary about bartender Pip Hansen's Marvel Bar mixology for a forthcoming Dish review, and instead focus on the list from his former place of employment, Cafe Maude. While we've very much enjoyed Hansen's whiskey-based Blood on the Rocks and Bitter Branch, those drinks feel like they should be sipped with a scarf around the neck or a seat by the fireplace. This week we'd stick with a drink that's been on the list since day one: the light, crisp, blackberry Mojito called the Black Bunny.

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I sense a "City Pages Cocktail List Pub Crawl" happening in the near future.

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