We all love Henry & Son for their natural and small producer wines, right? Let’s keep doing that, and add in a love for their cocktail kits, which are genius. Co-owner Gretchen Skedsvold takes fancy golden boxes, and fills them with the ingredients you need to make particular versions of top-shelf drinks. A Manhattan made with Border bourbon, sweet vermouth from Oregon’s Ransom Spirits, and Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, for instance. A French 75 kit made with J. Carver barrel-aged gin, very dry and mineral Blanquette de Limoux sparkling wine from Antech, and Bolivar bitters. Each box comes with a recipe card telling you exactly how to combine the ingredients. Just pick up the fancy package by its convenient carrying handle, and give it to your friend, who should then make you a drink. Or you take it to your cabin, bring it for the host so she might have a nip at the end of the night. You get the idea.
In any event, you end up with a fancy-schmancy $15 cocktail like the cool kids drink in the cool places—and you didn’t have to stand in the aisle pulling your hair out over which sweet vermouth best complements the particular gin you picked out for your Negroni.
What inspired these cool things? “I love reading through cocktail recipes,” Gretchen Skedsvold told me. “I love all cookbooks, but cocktail books too. I read Death & Co.’s book for fun, all the time. I have this old dog-eared paperback, first published in 1934—it’s a later edition with this perfect picture on the front of a lady in a purple cocktail dress with a pearl cocktail necklace. It’s all pre-Prohibition cocktails, and I leaf through it all the time. I thought this would be a neat way to showcase some of these recipes. Not everyone has the time to comb through a cocktail book and then cross-reference and pull things off the shelf—but I have time to do it so I thought I would!” And we thank you for it, Gretchen. It’s going to be a very happy holiday for local cocktail lovers.
Henry & Son, 811 Glenwood Ave., Mpls., 612-200-9517, shophenryandson.com