Ambitious Cactus at Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse

Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table
Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table

Bradstreet Craftshouse, the cocktail haven late of downtown Minneapolis, has completed its migration to Lowry Hill. The new location, now with “Neighborhood” in its name, opened quietly two weeks ago.

A recent, sudden flurry of construction ended a year-plus of dormancy for the space and fully exorcised the ghosts of Rye Deli from Hennepin Avenue. The new interior is moody, sleek and versatile: The bar is flanked by a row of cozy, high-backed booths. A long row of tables morphs into a plush lounge. There are berries in cocktail glasses at the bar, and the fries are crisp and dusted with togarashi. The patio faces out toward the cityscape.

Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table
Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table

And the cocktails are still top notch. Bar manager Jennifer Boutell has taken the original Bradstreet feel and loosened its tie. She’s built an engrossing drink list of classics spun with the right dose of whimsy, helpfully arranged by principal spirit. Like the food menu, the drink menu contains elements of both Japanese and Moorish cuisine (a nod to the design legacy of John Scott Bradstreet). A shishito pepper here, some Moroccan spice there. The Shoji Squares, for example, pairs green-tea-steeped Prairie Vodka with a pistachio syrup for an invigorating vodka sour.

We also dig the signature Bradstreet cocktail, a whiskey sour with jasmine and ginger syrups adding the spice to keep the sweetness in check. But the drink you’ll find in our hands on the patio all summer long is the The Ambitious Cactus, a remix of the strawberry margarita.

Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table
Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table

“A lot of people who order tequila are looking for something a little spicy, too,” says Boutell. “Honey and tequila go really well together, and then, I thought of cinnamon and strawberry — the Fee’s bitters are very cinnamon-y. And the vinegar in Tabasco rounds everything out and gives it a little background heat.”

And good news for the night owls of Uptown: $6 Hemingway daiquiris and sangrias (and more), plus a menu of cheap bites from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Ambitious Cactus
1 muddled strawberry
2 ounces blanco tequila (Bradstreet uses Lunazul)
¾ ounce honey syrup (see note)
¾ ounce fresh lemon-lime juice
2-3 dashes Tabasco
2-3 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a lowball glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a strawberry.

Note: For honey syrup, mix equal parts honey and boiling water until smooth. Let cool.

Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse, 1930 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55403; 612.871.1200

Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table
Daniel Murphy / Heavy Table

By John Garland

John Garland is a freelance writer living in the East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis. His area of expertise is wine - thanks to schooling from the International Sommelier Guild and more than a few winery visits during his time at the American University of Rome. He also contributes to Beer Dabbler's Growler Magazine and is always available for writing opportunities and happy hours.