Yellow Rattler at Modern Cafe: Embrace your inner cowboy with this drink of the week

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Go west with the Yellow Rattler
If a neighborhood joint can make itself a destination based on meatloaf alone, you can bet that when it turns its attention to
cocktails they will be thoughtful, well-crafted, and artfully simple.

Northeast's Modern Cafe is known for scratch-made, sustainable diner fare, equal parts hipster and nostalgic -- and the drinks fall perfectly in line. Each classic cocktail or twist on an old standby is as handmade as can be -- like the fresh-squeezed juice, housemade pickles, and even sweet and dry vermouths created onsite. And they're all found in the Yellow Rattler.

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The Gin & Botanicals at Marin is a top-shelf build-your-own gin and tonic

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It's a choose your own drinking adventure with Marin's chart of Gin & Botanicals.

Gin & Botanicals
Marin Restaurant and Bar
$13

It may never happen, but if you ever you tire of having watery vodka-Gatorades pushed into your sweaty palm this weekend, might we suggest taking a breather on the patio at Marin Restaurant & Bar? It's not at all off the beaten path of the Pride festivities, but it sure feels like it when reclining behind those garden walls with a hand-picked Gin & Botanicals nearby.

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Marin brings the West Coast to the Midwest


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The Hendrick's at Five Watt: Our new favorite drink blends cold press and cocktail bitters

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Hendrick's
$5

Recently cocktail bitters have been popping up in donuts (Glam Doll) and ice cream (Sweet Science), and adding all kinds of new, intoxicating flavors to beverages (hello, toasted coconut bitters at Hola Arepa), but Five Watt Coffee in Kingfield might just be the first in town to pair cocktail bitters with cold press, and the results are delicious. 

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Robert & Maria at Nightingale: Manzanilla and gin pair up in this dry, crisp refresher

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Robert & Maria, the official power duo of summer.

Robert & Maria
Nightingale
$8

It's a perfect 77 degrees, bright sun streaming through tall windows, and in front of you sits a gem-toned stunner of a cocktail with something dark lurking beneath the surface. In the presence of Nightingale's Robert & Maria, you don't need to think, just drink. Dry and crisp, with a thirst-quenching spot of sweet summer fruit, it's the only thing we want to be drinking all season long.

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Nightingale lures Twin Cities night owls


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El Gnomo Hipster at Happy Gnome: Challenge your palate with a chili-mint margarita

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A savory chili-salt rim and chili-mint syrup take this inventive margarita from ho-hum to buzz-worthy.

El Gnomo Hipster
Happy Gnome
$11

Cocktail lovers, especially those who find themselves attached in one way or another to a high-level beer snob, rejoice. Now, when you're tagging along for a beer dinner or the tapping of a rare firkin at the Selby-Dale scotch and suds spot The Happy Gnome, there's something for you: their newly launched specialty cocktail list.

If you're of the fruitier persuasion you must try the Black & Blue mojito, made with blackberry syrup and fresh muddled blueberries, a patio sipping dream. But when you're craving something different, something with a kick, something with a certain je ne sais quoi, El Gnomo Hipster to the rescue.

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Gibraltar at Parka: Get buzzed with this drink of the week

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Gibraltar
Parka
$3
We tend to get a little tongue-tied when ordering the Gibraltar at Parka. First, there are a number of Rs to potentially swallow and then there's the whole hard versus soft G or J sound, like the ages old (in Internet timeline terms) argument over gif or forgetting whether Gillian Jacobs pronounces her name the same way that Gillian Anderson does. But once this perfectly portioned drink of the week is frothed and fussed with and presented to you in a stout little glass, those pedantic matters melt away and your only concern is -- and should be -- which Rustica pastry you should get to go with your lovely espresso drink.

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Meta-hattan at Bluestem Bar: Take matters into your own hands with this drink of the week

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Customization is key: DIY for a more perfect Manhattan.

Meta-hattan
Bluestem Bar
$12

The modern drinker is doing it for herself: home brew, basement stills, DIY bitters. A drink you build barside from neatly poured individual elements you can sample, mix, and match? Right up your freshly made over and upcycled alley. Industrious imbiber, satisfy your need to see a project from start to finish with the Meta-hattan, a deconstructed, build-your-own Manhattan from the newly launched cocktail program at Bluestem Bar.

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Temper Tantra at Hola Arepa: Get your way with this drink of the week

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No hissy fits here: keep the whole gang happy with a gingered-up bottle of rum.

Temper Tantra
Hola Arepa
$8.50

Food trucks are fleeting, spontaneous, fun; we can't deny the thrill of the chase, like running after the ice cream man in your swim trunks with a couple of quarters in your grubby paws. But once you're licking the last of your Choco Taco off your fingers, life feels just a little emptier. Now you can make the feeling last and last at Hola Arepa's new home in Kingfield, where veteran barkeep Dan Oskey preserves that childlike excitement with delightful jarred and bottled cocktails like the playfully seductive Temper Tantra.

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LKBGT at Loring Kitchen and Bar: This drink of the week stands up to its acronym

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Loring Kitchen spells it out for you with drink-making ABCs.

LKGBT
Loring Kitchen and Bar
$10

While we hope this craft cocktail bubble never bursts, with its ever-evolving line-up of new bitters and shrubs and obscure liqueurs, there's something to be said for reining in the impulse to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the shaker and hope for the best. Much like the food, the drink menu at Loring Kitchen and Bar skews toward the comfortable, but always with a subtle something special that makes you glad you came. Consider the LKBGT, at face value a humble gin and tonic with some happy hidden twists.

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How to be a better home bartender: Gin and Tonic [RECIPE]


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The Beetnik at Heyday: If you can't beet 'em, join 'em with this drink of the week

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The Beetnik at Heyday is an earthy delight.

The Beetnik
Heyday
$9

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring their fair share of dreary days and rain-soaked nights, complete with the sweatpants and Bitesquad we thought we'd left behind after the last snow flurry melted. Yes, it's hard to get out of the house with the world so soggy and sad, but with the promise of spring and new beginnings in hand, make a pact to trade those PJ pants for fancy pants, and sample something spanking new and full of life at Heyday.

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First Look: Heyday swings in Lyn-Lake with an impressive pedigree and food to match

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