Drinks for sharing, group cocktails, or “extra special drinks”—whatever you call them, giant cocktails are popping up on menus at a bunch of local restaurants.
Sure, they're fun to order, and yes, they look impressive on Instagram. But more importantly, if you calculate the price per serving (preferably before you start knocking back that bowl of booze), large-format cocktails can actually end up being a pretty good deal.
Not that you needed an excuse, but with patio season upon us, it's the perfect time to gather some friends and start sipping.
Can Can Wonderland
The folks at Can Can Wonderland understand that the best sort of mini golf is tipsy mini golf, and three of their most popular drinks are offered as $50 group cocktails that serve six. The Modest Mule pairs vodka with ginger syrup, lime, and Jamaican #1 bitters, while Neon Love is a riff on a gin and tonic with some butterfly pea flower and orange bitters. But we’re partial to the Smash Brothers: a fresh and fruity Pimm’s Cup variation. 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-925-2261; cancanwonderland.com
Eastside Food + Drink
If you’re the kind of person who prefers that your plus-sized drinks look classy, The Swan at Eastside is for you. Served in a golden bird-shaped vessel, the sparkling wine-based cocktail serves two to six and will set you back $50. The other shareable cocktail on the menu is the Eleanor’s Paw, made with brandy, sherry, and honey liqueur, which serves two to four for $72. 305 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-208-1638; eastsidempls.com
Hola Arepa's two large-format cocktails are perfect for patio sipping—they’re sized to serve one to two and priced at $22. The Cazuela, served in a terra cotta casserole, combines tequila, grapefruit, lime, and hibiscus; the Porron, made with rum, cidra, vermouth, and Spanish bitters, arrives in a traditional Spanish wine pitcher. 3501 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612-345-5583; holaarepa.com
There's one shareable drink on the meu at the Lex’s rooftop tiki bar. For $30, the Scorpion Bowl will take you straight to the tropics, with a potent mix of two types of rum and brandy. Plan on ordering some food on the side—we recommend the Korean chile fries with sriracha mayo. 1096 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-289-4990; thelexmn.com
Living Room and Prohibition
Located on the ground floor of the W Minneapolis, the Living Room’s cocktail lineup includes three punch bowls for $50 each. The Grape Gorilla mixes vodka with grape soda and bubbly; the Fish Bowl includes rum and blue curacao; and the Bubbly Sex Pot is a blend of vodka and prosecco. Our advice? Head up to the Prohibition cocktail lounge on the 27th floor, where you can enjoy that Bubby Sex Pot with a view. 821 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis; 612-597-2413; thelivingroom-prohibition.com
As befits the tiki bar ambiance, Psycho Suzi’s shareable drinks pair copious amounts of booze with spectacle. The Eruption in Paradise is a blend of rums and fresh fruit nectars that’s literally smoking, while Leilani’s Fire Bowl is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, complete with flames. Both are $28 and serve two to four people. And don’t even think about trying to make off with those giant tiki mugs: Since they’re custom-made for Psycho Suzi’s, they require a $75 deposit. 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-9069; psychosuzis.com