Tower Ave’s Most Tropical Cocktail

by Felicity Bosk

 Tony Erhardt holding a glass of Barney’s Balls. Photo credit: Felicity Bosk
Tony Erhardt holding a glass of Barney’s Balls. Photo credit: Felicity Bosk

Tower Avenue is home to a heck of a lot of bars. Some call visiting them all in one night the “Tower Tumble.” One of these Tower Tumble bars is the Palace. It is located across the street from Shorty’s, and was recently purchased by Short’s owners. They’re definitely a classic beer-bar but the new owners have been working to shift their menu to a broader variety of flavors. 

 Featured bartender 

Behind the bar during my visit was Tony Erhardt. “I have a lot of nicknames—some people call me señor. Some call me dad.” He’s been bartending since he was 18. I asked what he liked about bartending and he said: “The people. They make it a fun place to work.” He tries to remember the name and face of each patron, and many of the patrons remember his name too or at least one of his nicknames. Erhardt’s grandparents actually met at the Palace back in the 1940’s when it was called Les Birds.

 Featured Drink 

Barney’s Balls is one of their most popular cocktails. It’s made with Maui tropical, island punch pucker, lemonade and sprite. It’s purple, grape tasting, easy to drink and refreshing. “You can’t beat the price,” Erhardt said regarding its popularity. He also said that it was his favorite drink to make. “We’re kind of known for it.” 

How is it? 
It really doesn’t taste like alcohol, probably because it uses liqueurs. It’s refreshing, and light. It is a sweet drink but its not overwhelming. It is a tropical cocktail that sends us to a place that is warm for most, or dare I say, all of the year. It’s a summer drink, that’s for sure; meant to be enjoyed when its hot and humid, a season that will soon be arriving here in Superior.