Nick Kosevich: A bitters-sweet cocktail tale, part 3

Nick Kosevich -- the drink mix master and co-founder of Bittercube Bitters

Nick Kosevich -- the drink mix master and co-founder of Bittercube Bitters

Nick Kosevich was at ground zero for the Minneapolis drink revolution that happened at Town Talk Diner. He's since gone on to start his own line of bitters and consult on bar programs around the Midwest. Today, our final installment with this Best Bartender, we discuss where he likes to drink and what's on tap.

The Hot Dish: Other than Eat Street Social, where do you think is the best place for cocktails in the Twin Cities?
Nick Kosevich: Everybody behind the bar here is at the top. That's why we have the cocktail submissions. In our Cocktail Cannon we have our seasonal drink list and the Bartender's list -- cocktails created by our staff. There's the Captain's list, carafes that are great for the big booths. People can just order one and have enough drinks for everyone.

Still, there's only a handful of places that are doing our kind of drinks. Like, I think we've served maybe four or five Cosmopolitans here.

HD: Someone would seriously come in here and order a Cosmopolitan?
Kosevich: Yes, and we absolutely made it for them, but that blue Curaçao, super sweet, Long Island stuff -- that is still happening at most bars out there.

Did you see the patio out there? Every year we're going to do it in a different style. Like this year it's going to be a tiki bar, and maybe next year we'll do 1920s Paris.

HD: So, other than here...
Kosevich: Without a doubt Pip Hanson and his team at Marvel Bar. The first time I tried that Olivetto it blew my mind. He's the guy. He's always seeing and talking about cocktails in a different way.

HD: It seems like there's almost a bartender "look" now. Can I ask about the vests? Is that a required uniform?
Kosevich: If you see me wearing a vest, it's because it's a part of a three-piece suit and I've probably just taken the jacket off. I don't know about vests, but I think we should all dress like we take our jobs seriously. I mean, there are some guys here, I can't get them to tuck in their shirts, but they will always have a tie with a tie clip, or a vest.

I started out wearing vests because I'm a big guy. It keeps everything tight. I used to want to look the part, and now I am a businessman. Here, anyway.

HD: How involved were you with the design of the bar at Eat Street Social?
Kosevich: Sam and Joe designed the outside. Ira designed the guts of the bar.

HD: Where did the sushi coolers come from?
Kosevich: Aren't those great? I don't know why everyone doesn't have those. It was a friend of ours in New Orleans. His restaurant used to be a Quizno's. He found a sushi cooler in the back and decided to use it.

We have one at each station. It's the best for the alluring herbs and citrus. It's unbelievably fresh.

HD: How has Eat Street Social changed since you first opened?
Kosevich: Only for the better. The spirit list is at capacity. We're really showcasing seasonality. We have five different kinds of sangria. We're really showcasing the flavors of the cocktails. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel -- that's what Pip is doing. He's re-inventing the wheel.

HD: You're just making a better wheel.
Kosevich: Exactly. We just keep doing what we know, and that is making great cocktails.

HD: Do you have any more limited-edition bitters coming out?
Kosevich: Hops bitters are next from Door County. They came fresh off the vine to us. Highly aromatic with apricot notes.

We also have barrel-aged cherry bark bitters coming out.

If you'd like to sample some of Kosevich's creations, Eat Street Social and Bittercube are presenting a special cocktail-pairing dinner on Tuesday. Details below: