Savor Intriguing Cocktails Across the West Metro

by | Jul 2024

Paloma from Pajarito

Paloma from Pajarito. Photo: Chris Emeott

Have a summer sip-capade with our cocktail roundup.

Cocktails are having a moment like never before. From innovative twists on classic recipes to daring new concoctions, mixologists across the West Metro are pushing the boundaries of creativity and flavor. As we embark on a journey to uncover the finest libations, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a spirited adventure through the suburbs of Minneapolis. Join us as we traverse the Metro, one cocktail at a time, discovering hidden gems and timeless favorites that are sure to delight and inspire. Get ready to sip, savor and uncover the vibrant cocktail scene that awaits you.


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;

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;

The Hurricane

The Hurricane. Photo: Mr. Paul’s Supper Club

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;

Lake Minnetonka

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;

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;

Minnetonka Boulevardier from Spasso

Minnetonka Boulevardier. Photo: Spasso

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;

Saffron Margarita from Macanda

Saffron Margarita. Photo: Chris Emeott


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;

Fifty Shades of Pink from The Fox and Pantry

Fifty Shades of Pink. Photo: Chris Emeott

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;

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;

Maple Grove

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;

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;

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;

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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