Crisp Blend of Sweetness

Paul Whyte

“Cocktailing” features experienced area bartenders and takes a look at one of their favorite cocktail recipes. We will be looking at unique cocktails that might not be found at every bar, at least something a little more interesting than a Jack and Coke.

Featured Bartender: Kelli Barker. Kelli has been bartending for 12 years and recently was voted “Best Bartender” in the Reader’s Best Of Survey. We figured that she probably had a good cocktail for us to try. So we decided to kick this off with her.

Where to Find Her: Kelli usually works four nights a week in Superior at either Norm’s Beer and Brats or at The Spirit Room. We stopped in to visit her at The Spirit Room early on a Friday evening.

Interests & Hobbies: She plays violin and likes to golf, “I like to golf. Not so much for my golf game but the atmosphere of being outside and drinking cold beer, that’s always a good time,” said Barker.

Favorite Music: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Muse.

Featured Cocktail: ‘Sconsin Mule. The ‘Sconsin Mule at Spirit Room resembles the Moscow Mule (also known as a Vodka Buck). The key is that it is served in a copper cup which conducts the chill of the ice through the whole drink making it cool and refreshing from the first sip to the last. The first thing to go in is the 45th Parallel Vodka, a vodka from New Richmond, Wisc. Next is the Gosling’s Ginger Beer, which is non-alcoholic. Finally it is finished off with a splash of limoncello and a twist of lemon. The drink comes with a stir stick rather than a straw because the copper cup actually enhances the flavor.

How is it?: There is a crisp blend of sweetness, but not too sweet, and a smooth presence of ginger that goes down easily. The copper cup makes the drink have a comforting coolness to it and drives forth the flavors. It would be ideal as a summer time drink with the hint of citrus in it. The presence of alcohol is slight and it would be very easy to drink a few of these on a warm day.   

Have a good cocktail you’d like to share with us? Contact and maybe we’ll drop in to check it out.