I was heading out to Boston for my sisters college graduation this last weekend. I’ve been in Duluth’s airport a number of times before but it’s either been quite early or very late so I never paid much attention to the restaurant inside until now. The Arrowhead Taphouse has a number of local taps, craft cocktails, and even a pale ale by Lake Superior Brewing made especially for them. Although I arrived at about 10 a.m. I was excited to give an airport cocktail a try. Usually I asked the bartender to make me their favorite drink, but it was too early for me to leave such a thing to fate, so I went with what looked tastiest: the aviation cocktail.

Featured Bartender 

To my luck I was helped by the Arrowhead Taphouse’s general manager, Chuck Wall. Wall moved to Duluth from The Cities five years ago and has been in this job for a little over four. He’s been in the restaurant game a long time; since he was 16. The first thing that came to his mind when I asked what he liked about the job were the hours. “You can’t beat it,” he said. “You can’t find another restaurant where you close at 6:30 or whenever the last flight is. That is peak time at most restaurants.” 

Met anyone interesting while working here?

Wall said he met members of the men’s gold medal curling team, and one of them let him wear the medal. “I meet celebs sometimes coming into town to play at Black Bear or Amsoil,” said Wall. “It’s an interesting perk of the job for sure.” 

Featured Drink 

Wall said they pretty rarely sell any of the featured cocktails. He said it’s usually the beer or bloody mary’s people want. The aviation cocktail is Vikre juniper gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and garnished with a cherry. It’s shaken with ice and poured into a martini glass. Wall said the cocktails were created between the owner of the Arrowhead Taphouse and the marketing director of the airport. 

How is it? 

I love gin, so I loved this drink. I also love cherry. This was a win-win drink for me. It really just tasted like sugar but not in an overly sweet way. It had that classic gin feeling of warmth as it went down without any sense of burn in my mouth. Alcoholically, it was very smooth. I almost wish it tasted more like cherry but I enjoyed eating the garnish at the end. Its tasty, it’s not too sweet, it’s simple, it’s gin; what more can I say? It’s a good drink.