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Bars and restaurants have been closed for weeks, and we have all been staying home as much as possible while it continues to get nicer outside. After being indoors all winter in Minnesota, we all just need to get out for a bit. This month we’re highlighting spirits that you can enjoy in your favorite cocktails at home, whether you’re out on your patio grilling, or just relaxing on the couch and trying to have as much fun as possible in quarantine.

Enjoy! -Fred

Banhez Mezcal Ensemble

If you haven’t tried mezcal and enjoy tequila, this is the perfect one to start yourself off. It’s one of the most affordable high quality mezcals on the market. This mezcal is produced sustainably and consistent with fair trade practices in Ejutla, Mexico. It is made by a family- and farmer-owned cooperative that works in the tradition of many generations of mezcal makers. This is one of my favorite mezcals, especially for cocktails. It is very floral with fruity flavors like pineapple and banana. It does have some smokiness like more experienced drinkers would expect from a classic mezcal, but is not overpowering, which lends it to mixability. You can use it in cocktails where you would normally use tequila or whiskey. Available at all locations.

This is a great twist on a margarita inspired by the producers’ website. It goes great with the smokiness of grilled foods.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Sipsmith opened in 2009 and became the first copper pot distillery producing gin in London in nearly 200 years. Sipsmith is produced by hand in very small batches and is a classic London dry style of gin. It starts off with juniper and then shows some citrus flavors before finishing dry and complex. It is one of the best gins to go into a classic Negroni cocktail.

Marti Plata Rum

Marti Rum is from Panama and is made using single estate-grown sugar cane. For fermentation they use yeast from the pineapples that are also grown on the grounds. Marti Plata describes their rum as “an excellent base for building classic rum cocktails. Marti rums contain less than 5grams of total sugar per Liter. Vanilla bean, cane sugar and citrusy mango upfront. Hints of key lime pie with an earthy ripeness mid palate with a pit of oak on the finish.” They say it better than I though I could. Try it in a classic Daiquiri.

Tattersall Old Fashioned

Sometimes you just don’t feel like making your own cocktail. When that’s your mood, Tattersall has you covered. Tattersall is a local distillery in Minneapolis, and they make a variety of wonderful spirits. Their Old Fashioned is made with their own rye whiskey and sour cherry liqueur, along with bitters, sugar and orange. It is an excellent pre-made cocktail that you can simply pour over ice and enjoy.

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