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​Cocktail Showdown : Week 6

Cocktail Showdown | December 22nd, 2016

Fargo Billiards and Gastropub

At 28,500 square feet and on the corner of 32nd Avenue and 43rd street south, Billiards is home to the largest billiard parlor in the country, features seven- and nine-foot tables, a great outdoor patio with full bar and sand volleyball courts, and so much more. Several private party rooms are available for rental, original artwork by Kim Bromley is displayed throughout the building, there are two all-ages spaces for dining and pool and their Monday through Friday 4-6pm happy hours feature half-price appetizers as well as daily complimentary food from their scratch kitchen. Having a scratch kitchen on hand was something they even made use of for one of the cocktails we were presented with that evening.

The shot: The Cue Ball

The creator: Mike Ringuette

Mike adds Jack Daniels Honey whiskey and Van Gogh Apple vodka to a shaker of ice. After shaking and straining into a shot glass he pulled out a pint glass and filled it over half full with Angry Orchard on tap and then dropped the shot glass into the cider. The normally somewhat crisp cider is sweetened with both the apple vodka and the honey whiskey for a finish that is both sweet and slightly tart at the same time.

The drink: The Pickled Martini

The creator: Mike Ringuette

The scratch kitchen at Billiards makes delicious pickles and Mike took his inspiration for this drink straight from the refrigerator on this one. Using Effen Cucumber vodka, he builds this take on the martini in a shaker, with the additions of dry vermouth, secret herbs & spices, and some pickle juice from their own pickles. Shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass, it is then garnished with a pickle slice. After noting the herbs and spices swirling around and floating in the drink, the nose on this martini hit me with a perfect pickle aroma - just the right amount of dill and not too much vinegar. It hits the palate in much the same fashion, with the secret spices and herbs blending in a way that leads me to believe they are also used in seasoning the pickles.

The Boiler Room

In the basement of the recently renovated Loretta Building at 210 Roberts Alley is The Boiler Room. The walls and ceiling feature artwork and accents heavily inspired by heating and plumbing and the indoor space is full of exposed brick and lots of beautiful wood in varying stains. The appetizers like tater tot hotdish and mac and fried mac and cheese balls are quite popular late-night items and their weekend brunches feature Rum Chata French toast that is worth getting out of bed for.

The shot: S’more Shot

The creator: Josh Goedtke

Josh first rims a mini martini glass with graham cracker crust before filling a shaker with ice, Tuaca, Luxardo Espresso, Baileys, McGillicuddy’s Raw Vanilla liqueur, and a space of Dekuyper Creme de Cocoa. After shaking and straining into the glass, Josh lays a marshmallow on a stick across the top of the glass and drizzles it with chocolate syrup. It is then lit on fire to toast as little or as long as you like. I chose to let mine get good and charred and after blowing it out, I drank the shot and used the marshmallow as a sort of chaser, as per Josh’s recommendation. The toasted marshmallow added a smooth, gooey finish and the graham cracker rim added flavor and texture to the sharpness of the alcohol-loaded vanilla and chocolate shot.

The drink: Fire in the Rye

The creator: Josh Goedtke

This drink is a fall flavor play on a classic Manhattan. A mix of Low Gap Rye, Kinky Gold, Gran Classico bitter liqueur, Antica vermouth, and Abbott’s bitters is shaken with ice and then strained into and around a frozen shot glass of house-mulled cider. It is presented with a chaser of Ace Pear Cider before a float of Everclear is put inside the frozen shot glass to fuel the “Fire in the Rye” and then it is lit until it burns off. There is mango at the front, backed by apple and then a wash of flavors from the two different bittering additions, vermouth, and spicy rye. The spices that were mulled into the cider really come out more and more as the frozen shot glass melts and I did find the pear cider chaser a suitable way to give the palate a slight cleanse before taking another sip.

Lucky’s 13 Pub

The drink: Midwinter Mule

The creator: Kayla Erickson

Last week we made a slight error. The “Midsummer” Mule is actually the Midwinter Mule. Kayla at Lucky’s 13 pub muddles orange slices in the bottom of a copper mule mug, adds ice and then Crown Royal vanilla-flavored whiskey, Crown Royal apple-flavored whiskey and Gosling’s ginger beer with a splash of cranberry, and is then garnished with an orange slice and three cranberries on a spike. 

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