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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States


Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

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Filtering by Category: In The Wild

Cardinal in the Wild: Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina

Erica Sagon

In the summer, we like to spend as much time as possible by the water with a cold drink in hand.

Oh, you too?

Well, then, this should make us all happy: Cardinal Spirits will have a pop-up bar on a handful of summer nights at Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina on Lake Monroe in Bloomington. Fourwinds is tucked away on a woodsy peninsula known as the Fairfax State Recreation Area, and it's a longtime summer getaway for Indiana folks.

Our first pop-up bar is this Saturday, June 11. Here's the deal...

Fourwinds hosts free live music on weekend nights throughout the summer on its big patio overlooking Lake Monroe. Our pop-up bar will be on the patio on a bunch of those band nights, and we'll be pouring samples of our spirits and mixing special cocktails while you boogie (or, you know, toe-tap) al fresco.

You can find us starting at 8pm on July 2, July 15, July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 20.

It's free. It's casual (think shorts and flip-flops). This Saturday's band is Soul Stricken, which covers '80s and 90's rock. So, fun sing-along stuff. 

Here are the three summery cocktails we'll be making: 


For a broader cocktail menu, check out Fourwinds' Wind Jammer Grill, an island-themed bar that serves those fruity, tropical concoctions you crave when you're on the water — frozen strawberry-mango daiquiris, Long Island iced teas, rum runners and more. Wind Jammer is just steps away from the band area. And, it serves Cardinal Spirits, too!

While you're there, go for a little stroll and check out Fourwinds' beach (!), 960 boat slips and gazebo where you can look back on all of the action happening on the music patio.

Cardinal in the Wild: Scenic View in Bloomington

Erica Sagon

Sitting on the patio at Scenic View with fish tacos and a cocktail in front of you is a summer must here in Bloomington. The family-owned restaurant is just nine miles southeast of downtown, yet it feels farther — not in a bad way, though. It feels like ... a destination. A little escape. Perched on a wooded bluff overlooking Lake Monroe, Scenic View offers views, indeed — the sweeping, tree-top, big-sky, birds-eye sort — and even a bit of the lake itself, hence the name.

It's one of the wonderful establishments in Bloomington that serves Cardinal Spirits in its cocktails. 

We chatted with Sadie Clarke, the general manager at Scenic View, about what to expect on its latest cocktail menu, which highlights local and regional producers. In: Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum. Out: Bacardi. 

The view. Pretty even on a gloomy day.

The view. Pretty even on a gloomy day.

Cardinal Punch, with our Bramble, Flora and Tiki Rum, plus lemon, lime and orange juices.

Cardinal Punch, with our Bramble, Flora and Tiki Rum, plus lemon, lime and orange juices.

The small but mighty bar at Scenic View.

The small but mighty bar at Scenic View.

Cardinal: Let’s talk about the literal view. Can you share any fun facts about the view of Lake Monroe from the restaurant? What kind of boats do you see out there?

Sadie: It does take 45 minutes to an hour to get to that spot (from shore). People think it’s a lot closer, but it’s not. We have a lot of people joke because they never see boats down there. 

Cardinal: What’s special about the drinks at Scenic View?

Sadie: We do not normally have mainstream alcohol. We don’t have Grey Goose. Instead of Bacardi, we have Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum. We always try to get customers to try new things. We make all our syrups here and all our mixes for cocktails.

When I first started working here, we had domestic beers on draft, now we don’t have any domestics on draft — it’s all local. Most people, especially in Bloomington, are more locally conscious. 

Scenic View has five new cocktails with Cardinal Spirits products.

Scenic View has five new cocktails with Cardinal Spirits products.

Cardinal: What drinks are most popular?

Sadie: People love our Bloody Marys. We probably go through hundreds on Sundays. We make the mix here. The base is V8 and then we add our own spices and pickle juice, and then we do seasoned-salt rim and garnish with hand-stuffed blue cheese olives and sweet pickles. Our Bloody Marys are just really hearty. I love Bloody Marys — wherever I go, I try one, and since I’ve worked here, I’ve been disappointed almost every time.

Cardinal: What’s new on your cocktail menu?

Sadie: This is the first season that we’ve really stripped our cocktail list and added more signature, seaside-type drinks. They’re more than your Rum Rummer, Sex on the Beach-type drinks. They’re definitely craftier than that.

And we have five cocktails with Cardinal Spirits.

We carry Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum, Bramble and Flora. For one of the drinks, we have them all together with fruit juices, and now that’s our Cardinal Punch. People love that.

I love Moscow Mules. So we made our version of one called the Blackberry Hibiscus Limeade with the Bramble — it’s awesome. 

Sadie makes a brunch drink with Cardinal Spirits Flora and champagne. 

Sadie makes a brunch drink with Cardinal Spirits Flora and champagne. 

Cardinal: Do you have a favorite Cardinal Spirits product?

Sadie: You know, I don’t normally drink flavored vodka, but I do love Bramble (a vodka made with black raspberries). It’s not overly sweet or floral, and it’s great in a Moscow Mule with fresh lime juice and ginger beer.

Cardinal: On a nice weekend day, Scenic View is packed and there’s usually a decent wait. Any insider tips for avoiding a wait?

Sadie: We take reservations for parties of 8 or more, inside or in our beer garden. The front patio is always first come, first serve. I always say come in between 3-5pm, however, on Saturdays and Sundays when it’s nice, people know that now … so even then, it’s been busy.


Erica Sagon

Get to know the places that serve and sell Cardinal Spirits.

Cocktails at Malibu made with Cardinal Spirits (L to R): Pimm's Cup No. 106, Cardinal Club, Cardinal Smash.

Cocktails at Malibu made with Cardinal Spirits (L to R): Pimm's Cup No. 106, Cardinal Club, Cardinal Smash.

VITALS >>  Malibu Grill, on the Square in downtown Bloomington. Restaurant, full bar, patio. 

THE SCENE >>  Calling this place an institution makes it sound too stuffy, but it is an indispensable Bloomington classic. The bar turns out solid cocktails from a knowledgeable crew — on the menu, you'll find well-made, unfussy classics plus bartenders' creations. To some, it's a sports bar. To others, it's where deals are done. Simply put: It's the kind of place that always feels right.

CARDINAL SIGHTINGS >>  Three cocktails made with Cardinal Spirits are on the menu. There's the tall and frosty Pimm's Cup No. 106, with American Gin, Pimm's, lemon, cucumber, mint and ginger beer. Then there's the elegant Cardinal Club, with American Gin, orange curaçao, lime and bitters. And, the refreshing Cardinal Smash, with vodka, muddled fruit, mint and lemon.

POPULARITY CONTEST >>  Aside from the classic cocktails on the menu, the most popular drink at Malibu is the Pimm's Cup with Cardinal Spirits Vodka, says Emmie O'Connor, the lead bartender at Malibu. "It's a really light, refreshing, patio kind of drink. It won't weight you down the way a Manhattan would," she says. 

TRY SOMETHING NEW >>  Tired of the same old, same old? Give the snappy Niko Suave a shot. This tequila-lime juice-vanilla liqueur cocktail was inspired by a tequila daiquiri that Emmie had once in Cleveland. 

THE EMMIE WAY >>  "The way my brain works when it comes to cocktails, is I start with something classic — a margarita build or Manhattan build — and keep twisting it until it's something different," Emmie says.

SECRET WEAPON >>  Fresh ingredients from the bottom up, including fruit juices and simple syrups. "Juice, juice juice. I can't tell you how many limes and lemons I've juiced. It's a labor of love," Emmie says.

PRECIOUS CARGO >>  Malibu is the kind of bar where a coupe glass is filled to the tippy-top and gets delivered without losing a drop. We could all benefit from this bartenders' trick: Do not look at the drink while you're moving it. "I don't know why it works, but it does," Emmie says.

INSTAGRAM THIS >>  The Pimm's Cup with Cardinal Spirits Vodka (above) is ready for its close up. A tall, vibrant cocktail with a lush mint sprig and a stripey straw. Adorbs.

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE >>  Seat D4. It's the last seat on the short side of the bar, right next to the wall. You can see everything from here, Emmie says, including a full view of the bartenders doing their thing. Also, booth 33: It's the last booth before the kitchen, and a favorite of Malibu regulars.

THE OFF-MENU ORDER >>  The Deantini — it's Grey Goose vodka on the rocks with two blue cheese-stuffed olives and a lemon twist. The martini was named after Dean Kleinschmidt, a Malibu regular for years and years, and a former head athletic trainer for Indiana University's football team.  

SO SPECIAL >>   Monday: $5 Moscow Mules. Tuesday: $12 select bottles of wine. Wednesday: Half-price martinis. Thursday: $5 bartender's choice. Sunday: $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas.

OFF DUTY >>  What does Malibu's head bartender drink when she leaves work? A glass of red wine or a dark spirit on the rocks, Emmie says. 

#foundmyspirit at Cardinal Spirits

Adam Quirk

Earlier this year, when snow was still covering the ground, we had a party.

We invited all of our friends - the chemist, the fire eater, the pioneer, the ringmaster, the artist - and more. It was a discreet event, but when a wanderer walked in from the cold, our bartender couldn't turn him away. 

This is what happened when he took a drink...

The Wanderer found his spirit with Cardinal Spirits. 

Have you found yours? 

We're picking 10 of you to win a free t-shirt and $38 gift certificate to the distillery tasting room.

It just takes a couple minutes:

1. Share this post using the tag #foundmyspirit:

2. Snap a photo of yourself with either a bottle or a drink of Cardinal Spirits and tag it #foundmyspirit.

At the end of June we'll pick 10 winners (of this contest - you're already a winner in our eyes).