After an extended tour through dark and harsh Prohibition-era cocktails, booze drinkers are looking for something fresh. New bar menus respond to the appeal by transitioning into the warm weather season with a noticeably lighter touch.
Low-resistance drinks are experiencing a welcome renaissance, threading the needle between the days of high-resistance when everyone was rocking old-fashioned and the zero-zero revolution in making drinks for adults without alcohol. The soft drink is not without alcohol, but it still delves into interesting flavor profiles that make use of bitter elements, fresh citrus and juices to deliver a crisp refreshing.
The gallbladder is part of the allure of the classic, low-resistance Aperol Spritz. Very popular during an appetizer, the Italian drink is the Italians’ answer to happy hour. An aperitivo is a time of the day when drinks with low resistance are sipped to start appetite – and a variety of alcoholic beverages are often named for their bitterness.
But not all low-resistance cocktails rely on bitterness. Some use blends of smooth juices or fruit leaves that bring out the lush flavors of their stronger counterpart, which can include wine, kombucha, vermouth, and more. They’re made to be yard weather clouds that don’t dry out the way a sea-powered gin might.
Undoing the highly resistant bottles also gives bartenders the opportunity to experience worlds of new flavors and creatively serve drinks to guests who don’t want the headaches of heavy drinking. It’s a new frontier of flavor ideally suited for summer.
Three to try
Aperol Spritz Jell-O
Georges, 128 Cleveland Street, St Paul, gusgusmn.com
It’s the most famous “drink” at this new restaurant in St Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood. A blend of bitter Tattersall orange, blood orange juice and sparkling wine is served in a gold wrap. It is all the sparkling and bitter sweetness of the drink in a form capable of evaporation.
Foolstead House, 1278 Lone Oak Road, Eagan, volsteadhouse.com
A blend of kochi Americano rosso and blanco, topped with grapefruit syrup and covered with rose. “You get these really fun notes of stone fruit and strawberry from Cocchi and served with this giant grapefruit wheel,” says Beverage Director Ralena Young.
Who is Sencha?
Terzo, 2221 W. 50th St., Mpls., terzompls.com
Sour kombucha, a slightly second-to-none Sencha green tea is perfectly balanced by the sweet intricacies of Bordiga vermouth. A touch of bitterness comes from vermouth and a pinch of orange blossom bitterness adds an aromatic element. It’s the perfect drink to go from day to night.