Back in the 80's, the favorite place to hang for me and my peeps was The Loon Cafe on First Avenue. When it first opened, my offices were at the 1221 Building on Nicollet Mall...which made it a bit of a hike to grab a cocktail. But then in 1985 I switched jobs, and low and behold, I found myself in Butler Square...just steps from the Loon.
Back then the Loon was known as a "Fern Bar". It was funky, old and fit perfectly in The Historic Minneapolis Warehouse District. It was a really popular hangout for the advertising community. It also attracted a lot of lawyers and more than it's fair share of visiting athletes. If you stayed at the bar long enough, a limo would pull up to the front door and Prince would emerge, where he was quickly escorted to the "Up North Room" where he could enjoy his bowl of Pecos River Red Chili in private.
We had our own reserved area at the end of the bar, right by the entrance. The three owners, Tom, Mike and Bob would hold court on the other side of the bar at the opposite end. Kay was our favorite waitress, and she went on to become one of the owners. Karen was our mixologist of choice.
Our summertime choice of libation was the Vodka Tonic. Great stuff. However, I found the tonic way too sweet, so I had Karen make my Vodka Tonic with half tonic and half soda water. Thus was born The Vodka Sonic. I'm not quite certain how it came about, but then Karen started adding cranberry juice to the Vodka Sonic...thus was born he Vodka Cronic.
What a marvelous amalgamation of flavors. The crispness of the vodka, the muted sweetness of the tonic contrasting to the bitterness of the quinine and cranberry juice. Should summer ever arrive, make two of these, grab your loved one and head out to the deck. This cocktail is incredibly refreshing and an absolute taste treat on a hot summer afternoon.
2 ounces vodka
Slice of lime
- Fill glass with ice.
- Add vodka to glass.
- Fill the rest of the glass with 1/3 tonic, 1/3 soda and 1/3 cranberry juice.
- Stir and garnish with lime.