By Ettie Berneking | February 24, 2016 | 12:08pm
"Most people can probably pinpoint Missouri on a map, and some of us have even made sojourns to Kansas city or St. Louis to see the arch, sample some barbecue or maybe enjoy a baseball game. But it's less likely many people have ventured into the Midwest for a cocktail. But you should.
Having lived in Missouri my entire life and hopscotched my way across the state from Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis, and finally Springfield, I can say confidently that there's more to my beloved state than the few aforementioned tourist destinations. Surprisingly, one bragging right we have here is our booming craft cocktail scene. In fact, St. Louis was named by Esquire as "Bar City of the Year" in 2015. Not too shabby.
But for those of us Midwesterners who live here, the accolade wasn't shocking. The last few years have brought a bar and cocktail renaissance to Missouri. The fact that it's taken so long for the outside world to take notice is just normal for us. Missouri is often overlooked as little more than a fly-over state. A quilted green and brown patchwork of fields to be looked down upon as one new cocktail bars, rum clubs, lounges and dives are opening all the time. Need proof? Here are 10 bars that prove Missouri is much more than a fly-over state.
INFUXN BOAKA BAR
Besides a smattering of dive bars and pubs, Joplin hasn't had much of a cocktail scene, but that changed recently when one Russian beauty decided to bring a little of her hometown to the streets of downtown Joplin.
Unlike its neighboring bars, Infuxn is a sight to see. Towering ceilings and colorful modular couches and lounge seating fill the stylized bar, which besides the couches, is nearly entirely gleaming white. Even the bathrooms here are glamorous. (In fact, those were the first things people directed me to scope out when I mentioned I was making an afternoon run to Infuxn.)
A frosted-over ice bar keeps drinks cold, and most nights will have a line of vodka shots headed someone's way. Not surprisingly, vodka is king here, and while the drink selection changes throughout the year, most tipples draw on bright notes of citrus and fresh herbs to craft a cocktail that will truly wake up your taste buds.
The Moscow Mule is perfectly enjoyable, but it's the other house-infused creations that really make this vodka bar worth a visit. The Caipirozhe was a favorite from my last visit with its mix of vodka, house made brown sugar simple syrup, muddled lime and rosemary garnish. It was simple, slightly sweet but plenty rich."
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