The local distillery boom has launched a new trend: cocktail rooms. Beat the winter doldrums by checking one out and sip on something warm while you're at it.
Du Nord Distillery
Nokomis has the first local cocktail room in the metro. They have a wide variety of drinks including the Voyageur: L'Etoile Vodka, almond liqueur, house hot cocoa, Served in a hot mug with whipped cream. Many nights, live music and food trucks. W-Sa, HH from 4-6pm.
If you're taking a trip to Duluth, this little cocktail room is a must stop in Canal Park. Dip into a warm mug of their Borealis Cedar Gin topped with local cider. Th-Sa 3-8pm.
The next big one, the Millwright Cocktail Room, will open in St. Paul sometime late spring or early summer at the old Hamm's Brewery. Meanwhile you can get their Minnesota 13 white whiskey and make yourself a classic hot toddy: whiskey, honey, lemon, and water.
Out in Waconia, this little distillery is quietly cranking out small-batch bottles, and their tours and tasting room will open this spring. Their Barrel Gin is gin for whiskey lovers, with vanilla and caramel flavors it's perfect for a hot buttered gin: melted butter, brown sugar, spices, rum, and hot water.