Craft Cocktails

People who appreciate the art and science of a good drink

click to enlarge A Dark and Stormy at El Que - YOUNG KWAK
Young Kwak
A Dark and Stormy at El Que

Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery Sailors use the word "bardenay" loosely as another word for cocktail. Since this restaurant adopted it for their name, you can guess a lot of energy goes into their drinks, especially since it was one of the first restaurant distilleries in the nation. The cocktails are handcrafted with Bardenay's own distilled vodka, gin, rum and freshly squeezed juices. Blue cheese olive garnishes are stuffed by hand, and the whipped cream is homemade, too. 1710 W. Riverstone Dr., Coeur d'Alene • 208-765-1540 •

Bon Bon Before a movie at the Garland Theater (which shares the same building), pull up a barstool and let one of Bon Bon's bartenders treat you to something with ingredients you've never heard of before. The classy yet down-to-earth bar features some of the most creative cocktails you'll find in town, though they also have classics like the Old Fashioned and Modern Whiskey Sour down pat. 926 W. Garland Ave. • 413-1745 •

Casper Fry Public House Every detail of Casper Fry's rugged, metal-and-wood interior was hand-selected or crafted by area artisans. Reclaimed wood from a Ritzville barn was used for the ceiling planks and table tops, and accordion-style lamps illuminate the image of the restaurant's namesake on the exposed brick wall. Just as much care went into Casper Fry's classic cocktail menu. Take in the South Western Buck (rye, lemon, strawberry-jalapeño shrub and ginger beer), or order a craft-distilled bourbon. 928 S. Perry St. • 535-0536 •

Clover Clover splits its extensive drink menu into descriptive categories — seasonal, effervescent, crisp, exuberant, spirited and current — to give patrons an idea of what's in store. Kicking off the "Crisp" section, the Jasmine cocktail is a true original. The blush-pink creation of bartender Paul Harrington boasts an ingredient list of gin, fresh lemon juice, Campari, an Italian bitter, and Cointreau, an orange-flavored liqueur, garnished with a lemon twist. 913 E. Sharp Ave. • 487-2937 •

Durkin's Liquor Bar There are so many cocktails at Durkin's, they couldn't fit them all in one bar. Both the upstairs and downstairs bars offer drinks of the shaken and stirred variety; the downstairs menu also features a sparkling category for good measure. Check out Durkin's take on the classic French 75, or try something more out there, like the South of No North, a blend of reposado or mezcal, Cynar (a liqueur made from artichokes), simple syrup, cold coffee and egg white. 415 W. Main Ave. • 863-9501 •

El Que This tiny nook attached to the back of the Elk in Browne's Addition has a small army of wonderfully creepy religious décor to accompany the comida and drinks, like the Chupacabre, a blend of Cazadores Blanco, Cointreau, muddled cilantro, jalapeño, simple syrup, soda and lime. El Que's specialty, tequila, features many inventive infused varieties, and there's also a menu of taco-truck type food. 141 S. Cannon St. • 624-5412 •

Press Fill up on fresh-squeezed juices in the morning and get your fill of cocktails or 22 beers on tap at night. If you need a hangover buster, their Bloody Mary can satisfy your thirst and hunger, with bacon, olives, asparagus, celery, citrus and more sticking out of it. There's also a build-your-own mojito bar every Saturday if you feel like flexing your bartending muscles. 909 S. Grand Blvd. • 747-7737

Volstead Act Taking its name from the act that established prohibition in America, the Volstead Act prides itself in making cocktails that are as appealing visually as they are to drink while offering a modern spin on the speakeasies of the past. One particularly striking offering is the warm-yellow Wicked Kiss, a deviously delicious drink made with blanco tequila, Strega (a minty Italian liqueur), lemon, cinnamon and pumpkin butter (yes, really). Don't knock it til you try it. 12 N. Post St. • 808-2516 •

Wild Sage All of the cocktails at this upscale downtown restaurant are crafted with premium liquors, fresh-squeezed juice and syrups made in-house with pure cane sugar. The Spokane 74 is a twist on the classic French 75, with rosemary gin, fresh grapefruit and lemon, sparkling wine and a drop of crème de violette. For those who've sworn off alcohol, there's a small but creative menu with drinks like Spicy Sage Lemonade, a mix of fresh-squeezed lemon, jalapeño and organic sage leaves. 916 W. Second Ave. • 456-7575 •

  • or