Imagine, if you will, a world without a Negroni, an aviation, or a Corpse Reviver #2. We’re talking no Palomas, no sidecars, and—gasp!—not a margarita in sight.
Thankfully, I don’t have to imagine such a world because the secondary spirits that make all of those possible—liqueurs—exist in this great world of ours. Liqueurs are to bartenders what colors are to painters: the elements that help to create masterpieces.
Locally, Tattersall Distilling founders Dan Oksey and Jon Kreidler continued their focus on producing stellar liqueurs, debuting four new varieties in 2016. While drinks served at a distillery’s cocktail room in Minnesota can only be made with spirits made on site, Tattersall boasts a mind-bendingly robust menu. How? The distillery makes 21 spirits, far more than any other Minnesota craft distillery.
And, those products are more than just plentiful—they’re great. Oskey and Kreidler pulled in an impressive 10 awards at this year’s American Distilling Institute Spirits Competition, and another six at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It’s a credit to Oskey’s experience in the spirits industry and to distillery manager Bentley Gillman’s penchant for experimentation in flavor and fermentation to the R&D still at Tattersall. What this team creates is in a class of its own.
What’s more, Kreidler and Oskey have set the bar for what a cocktail room can be. The dramatic pre-war industrial space is just-the-right-amount of hidden to grab the Nordeast crowd, but also appeals to hip baby boomers. Soaring ceilings combine with well-worn furniture to give an open but comfortable feel. A glass wall provides a dramatic view of the stills and aging barrels, and a huge chandelier sparkles above an 18-seat U-shaped bar.
After being named “Outstanding Distillery” at the 2016 Charlie Awards, Oskey and Kreidler show no signs of relaxing in one of their comfy cocktail room lounge chairs. They’ve just ramped up production and finished a 6,000-square-foot expansion for manufacturing, and to help meet the needs of distributing product to Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Nevada. Expect a new lime crema in stores after the new year, aged straight rye whiskey in winter of 2018, and a malt whiskey collaboration with Bauhaus Brew Labs down the line.
Our mission at The Growler is to tell stories that inspire progress in local food, drink, and culture. And in that spirit as part of our 2016 Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal Issue, we felt the need to point out 25 people, ideas, businesses, and organizations who have done necessary, important, and groundbreaking work in 2016. See the rest of our 2016 Trailblazers here.