Hot drinks for a cold Twins opener

MICHAEL RIETMULDER , Vita.mn | Updated 4/4/2013

Chilly Twins opener calls for warm-you-up drinks near Target Field.

Irish Coffee at Kieran’s.
Photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii

The boys of summer are set to take Target Field at 3:10 p.m. Monday, kicking off a season of sunshine and bleacher-seat boozin’. The only catch: Winter is slow to unclench its frosty fist. But we’re blizzard-braving Minnesotans. We won’t let a little cold air spoil the Twins home opener (right?). These bars near the ballpark have some drinks capable of warming you up before or after a chilly day of cheering for the hometown team.

Irish Cream Coffee at Kieran’s Irish Pub

This classic coffee drink is a perfect day-starter for Monday’s matinee. While still a simple mixed drink, Kieran’s version bests your run-of-the-mill spiked cup of Joe, as the pregame hotspot makes its own better-than-Baileys Irish cream in-house (hey, Folliard, start bottling this!). The luscious liqueur could work straight or over ice, but joins with the java and a faintly cinnamony whipped cream topping (also house-made) in a warm, cushiony glass of liquid comfort. (85 N. 6th St., Mpls., 612-339-4499, www.kierans.com.)

Linie Aquavit mulled cider at Bradstreet Craftshouse

Artisan cocktail joints may not be the most natural environs for jersey-sporting jocks, but a steamy, Grade-A elixir on a glacial game day is universally enticing. Bradstreet offers several hot drinks, including a trio of mulled ciders mixed with an orange cordial, Antica vermouth and different base liquors. Minnesotans looking to embrace their Scandinavian heritage might try the Linie Aquavit option, a Norwegian-made spirit with a soft licorice-y flavor that isn’t offensive like Jägermeister. (601 1st Av. N., Mpls., 612-312-1821, www.bradstreetcraftshouse.com.)

Sinful Cider at the Local

This Nicollet Mall tavern also boasts a signature cider. More soothing than “sinful,” this belly-warmer calls for a cinnamon-infused 2 Gingers, hot apple cider and a touch of brown sugar. The sweetened whiskey blends with the cider so silkily you could serve it to a child (but don’t). It’s the kind of drink you want drawn from a kettle by your Irish grandpa while snowed in at a remote cabin. Or, you know, before an April baseball game. (931 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-904-1000, www.thelocal.com.)

Bourbon flights at Butcher & the Boar

Smuggling a flask into a cold-weather sporting event is a time-honored (if somewhat tacky) tradition. A nip of the sauce might help in coping with the cold, but rather than being that guy, don your whiskey Teflon at Butcher & the Boar. The benevolent bourbon hounds have assembled a variety of flights for the three-pronged whistle-wetting. Optimize the liquor-layering sensation by aiming high (proof, that is). (1121 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-238-8888, www.butcherandtheboar.com.)

Worthy Adversary at Fulton taproom

It’s lucky that Minneapolis’ first taproom popped up a bloop single away from Target Field. Fulton invites imbibers into its taproom up to two hours before non-Sunday home games, and at 9.2 percent ABV its Russian imperial stout is like a mitten for your liver. The dark and decadent winter seasonal dominates the palate in ways a “beer here” domestic can’t fathom (a Worthy Adversary, indeed). Sadly, this bold brew won’t last much longer, but it should be on tap during the opener. (414 6th Av. N., Mpls., 612-333-3208, www.fultonbeer.com.)