Located in the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar serves dishes designed to please every palate. The space is modern and sleek but still decidedly Midwestern (the waiters smile). The menu contains many tried and true staples like loin filet enhanced with a regional twist – the loin used to belong to an elk.
Executive Chef Paul Lynch has designed the best cocktail to sip by the fire as Minnesota's autumn chill creeps over the plains outside. The Naughty Toddy is a slightly glitzier take on the classic hot toddy.
"We were looking for flavors that blend together to create a unique and very distinct warm drink," says Lynch. "There aren't that many carriers for hot drinks other than tea, coffee, and cider, so we had to take something a little pedestrian like cider and turn it into something spectacular." Fortunately, fresh local cider is not hard to find in Minnesota. Lynch layered it with Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps to make it more indulgent. "Then we made it fun and whimsical with the addition of the Kinky Liqueur."
Lynch suggests pairing his toddy with rich dishes like smoked meats or honey-cured pork chops. "I look for beverages that pair well with food. At FireLake, we're known for our wonderful meat dishes and the Naughty Toddy is a great way to start or end a meal full of rich and indulgent meats like lamb fritters, pork chops, and duck paté."
Pour the Goldschlager and Kinky Liqueur into a glass. Add the hot apple cider and stir in a teaspoon of honey. Serve with three slices of caramel-drizzled apple and candied walnuts.