Thematic cocktail menus worth traveling for

Please send airfare. I’m firing up Kayak.com right now to balance the cost of a San Fransisco/D.C./Twin Cities jaunt against my burning need to experience these menus.

San Francisco: Drink your art with Trick Dog’s mural project

Trick Dog‘s blisteringly creative menus are among the very best the industry has to offer (a curious juxtaposition with its aesthetically cold echo chamber of a space, surely one of the least comfortable the industry has to offer).

Their current menu debuted January 8. Drinks are based on Bay Area local artists, each of whom created a mural in San Francisco for the project. The hard-copy menu at Trick Dog seems to be a printed book of photos, the sale of which benefits non-profits, so you can have your art and drink it, too.

sirronnorrismural
Sirron Norris mural photo by Sonya Yu via SFGate

The above mural by Sirron Norris (a friend of a friend of Coupe Tales, though we’ve never met) accompanies his namesake cocktail: Calle 23 blanco tequila, Cardamaro, fig, chamomile, cinnamon, and lime.

St. Paul: Kick up your heels with Can Can Wonderland’s circus drinks

Carnival cocktails, a soda fountain, mini-golf: Minnesota in January has rarely sounded so enticing. (Current St. Paul wind chill: -10.)

The circus-inspired concept menu at just-about-to-open Can Can Wonderland looks like it ranges from sacred to profane. There’s the birthday cake vodka drink, for instance. And then there’s this:

beach-life-drink-can-can-wonderland
Photo courtesy of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Edible sand!

That’s the Beach Life cocktail: a tequila- and coconut-based cocktail served in a relaxing, edible seaside tableau. “‘The idea is you take the coconut water and mix it with the sand!'” cocktail consultant (and Bittercube bitters co-proprietor) Nick Kosevich told Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Also — that bucket? Fernet.

Washington, D.C.: Defend your freedom with Stanton & Greene’s Bill of Rights

There is no better city and arguably no finer time for a reminder of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Similarly, there is no better way to imbibe your rights than a thematic cocktail menu. Sip the sweet taste of American freedom at Stanton & Greene in Washington, D.C.

“Starting with a concept makes it easier to not get lost,” head bartender Remy Canario tells Tales of the Cocktail. Yet I would love to get lost in this menu. Here’s an example pulled from the article:

While “the inspiration for each drink comes from its relevant amendment,” Canario says that he also looked to pull in concepts from the history of American drinking and drinking preferences, while also focusing on American ingredients.

Canario somewhat ironically pulled from the gifts of the biblical three magi for the First Amendment’s Freedom of Religion, an aromatic martini riff incorporating gin, myrrh bitters, frankincense oil and gold leaf.

Interestingly, frankincense and myrrh also show up in a Can Can Wonderland drink. Lingering inspiration from the Christmas season? Eddies in the cross-country cocktail zeitgeist? Is 2017 the year we sip fragrant tree resins? I’m game.

Revel in Canario’s Flickr photo set of the Constitutional Cocktails right this way and enjoy the written menu here.

Stanton & Greene Cocktails
Remy Canario’s Constitutional Cocktails on Flickr

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