A Ride on the Wild SideSeptember 9, 2009 By: Emily Hanna Mayock
Minneapolis and safari – not two words you often think of together. But that is just what the minds behind the bars at W Minneapolis–The Foshay and other venues around the city have in store with the Twin Cities Cocktail Safari, which started in July.
On the tour, safari-goers hop in a limousine from Renee’s Royal Valet Limousine Service to sample signature drinks at four of the participating bars: W’s Prohibition and The Living Room, La Belle Vie, Chambers Hotel, Barrio and Solera. All bars involved are connected in some way to real estate magnates Ralph and Ryan Burnet, “our little family, so to speak,” explains Brian Johnson, general manager of The Living Room and Prohibition.
Guests choose what venues they’d like to experience on the safari and then get to sample each bar’s exotic elixirs and appetizers. For example, The Living Room and Prohibition feature drinks like Truth or Consequence (chile-infused Patron Silver, Grand Marnier, pineapple, cilantro, agave nectar and lime; served with a Coronita), Behind the Green Door (Grey Goose La Poire, Midori, pineapple and lemon) and The Epiphany Martini (Grey Goose La Poire, St-Germain and Veuve Clicquot Champagne).
The price of the safari varies depending on the number of people because the limo rental is less expensive for more people; a group of four would run about $195/person while 14 people could have a night out on the town for $125/person, Johnson says.
So far, Johnson estimates about one Cocktail Safari takes place per week, and although he's unsure whether it has garnered repeat business for the venues, he is confident that it's great publicity for the venues. Plus, it offers patrons a chance to try out bars — and drinks — they've never experienced. “The groups that we have had in have been having a fabulous time,” he says.