Author Archives: cocktailsandcologne

Skaalvenn Distillery: “No One Should Pay a Premium for Vodka or Un-Aged Rum”

Tyson Schnitker is one of the most thoughtful distillers I’ve met. He’s also one of the warmest. Schnitker, who owns the Skaalvenn Distillery with his wife Mary, makes vodka and rum in a small warehouse space in an office park … Continue reading

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Not Your Father’s Root Beer is Not My Root Beer Either

It took me one sip to realize that I’m not the target market for this syrupy-sweet soda with a hidden boozy kick. While it sounds folksier than Smirnoff Ice and craftier than Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Not Your Father’s Root Beer … Continue reading

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45th Parallel Distilling: “We’re Going to be Known for Whiskey”

Paul Werni, whose 45th Parallel Distillery opened in 2007, is a pioneer of the nascent Minnesota and Wisconsin spirits scene. His was one of the first new distilleries to open in the two states at the beginning of the craft … Continue reading

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My Top Three Failed Cocktail Ideas…and the Better Classics That Inspired Them

Some of the greatest cocktails are simply variations on classics, substituting one spirit for another. There are dozens of great riffs on the Negroni (like the whiskey-based Boulevardier), and you can make an Old Fashioned out of just about any … Continue reading

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An Impromptu International Aquavit Summit at Marvel Bar

I recently had the pleasure of joining Joe Spiegel, the Wyoming-based importer of Iceland’s Brennivin, and Mike McCarron, the owner of the Minnesota/Wisconsin brand Gamle Ode for drinks at Marvel Bar in Minneapolis. Bartender Tyler Kleinow started us off with … Continue reading

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A Visit to Tattersall Distilling

Just a few years ago, Minnesota was behind on the craft distilling boom. The license fee for new distilleries in Wisconsin was around $1,000. In Iowa it was $350. But in Minnesota, the House of Representatives voted to double it … Continue reading

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Brennivin’s Christmas Spirit Aquavit

When I interviewed Joe Spiegel, the U.S. importer of Iceland’s Brennivin aquavit last May, he mentioned that the distillery made a limited edition Christmas aquavit each year, and that he was hoping to bring it into our market. I was … Continue reading

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