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by Söntés bartender Joshua Augustin

Joshua Augustin

As a member of the North Star Bartenders Guild, I get the opportunity to taste and be introduced to some outstanding spirits. I also get the opportunity to participate in some exciting events involving cocktails and those spirits. Recently, I had the pleasure of tasting a selection of spirits from High West Distillery out of Park City, Utah. When it opened in 2007, it held the unique distinction of becoming the first legal distillery in Utah since 1870.

High West offers a selection of blended whiskeys along with some unique vodka offerings. The distillery shares a unique Minnesota connection as well. Mat Garretson, the Sales and Marketing Manager for High West, lives in Minnesota with his family.

Mat joined us at our bi-weekly NSB guild meeting to showcase his product, bringing with him a sampling of the delicious whiskies his company produces. From the Rendezvous Rye, a blend of a 16-year-old rye and a 6-year-old rye, to the Vodka 7000′ Peach, made with peaches from Roy, Utah, each spirit was unique and surprisingly complex. I have not tasted such a wide variety of spirits that all pleased my palate in such an enjoyable way. The quality and craftsmanship really comes through in the spirit offerings from High West. Being fortunate enough to sample these excellent spirits, I was also pleased to hear that they would be featured in the next NSBG Sunday Sippers Series.

The NSBG Sunday Sippers Series is a series of events, each featuring a unique spirit, that takes place on one Sunday per month. These events are ticketed, but the ticket includes six cocktails created by NSBG bartenders, light appetizers, a symposium on the spirits being showcased, and a build-your-own cocktail bar to try your hand at creating your own unique High West cocktail.

I had the pleasure of being invited to create three cocktails and bartend for this upcoming event featuring the High West Spirits. Jesse Held, president of the NSBG, will also be creating cocktails for event-goers to enjoy.

The event is being held at Eat Street Social this coming Sunday, October 7th. Eat Street Social is located at 26th and Nicollet in Minneapolis. Tickets are $20 presale, $25 at the door and can be purchased through the NSBG website, Eat Street Social, or from myself at Söntés.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend this great event, there will be others like it in the future, and I will also be featuring the cocktails that I created at Söntés both now and following the event. Please join us and support the craft cocktail scene in Rochester and Minneapolis—and enjoy a night of outstanding whiskies!

Photo courtesy of Dawn Sanborn.