Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 7: Colita

Creative cocktails and ambitious cuisine served in a former gas station

The cocktail menu at Colita in Armatage is so world-class, it landed beverage director Marco Zappia a coveted spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list. Notably, each of his experimental drinks incorporates something fermented. In the Trevino, it’s pulque, the sour aged sap of the agave plant steeped in nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, plus a proprietary blend of tequila, a creamy milk wash called golpe de leche, and pretty edible flowers. Laundry Cake & Serial Killers is another star, made with vodka, cucumber, and horchata koji (rice ferment).

These ambitious tipples are the perfect chasers for Chef Daniel del Prado’s hearty smoked meats (lamb barbacoa, beef tongue carnitas), regionally inspired Mexican fare (king mackerel aguachile; seared scallops with corn salsa and tamarind), and fantastical kitchen-sink combos (cacio e pepe tostadas, anyone?). Of course, we’d expect nothing less from the guy behind Martina, the Argentinian-Italian mashup that’s been kicking ass and taking names in Linden Hills since its November 2017 debut.

5400 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN; 612-886-1606.