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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.  

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Erica Sagon

Here's a short list of things we’ve bought at Meijer: A cooler. Gummy bears. Pillows. Ball jars. Snow boots for our kids. A bottle of champagne. Snacks for a road trip.

Meijer sells just about everything, right?

Now, they really DO have everything, because Meijer stores are selling Cardinal Spirits products.


Attention Meijer shoppers, Cardinal Spirits is new to the liquor department.

Our spirits will be sold throughout Meijer stores in Indiana starting April 13, and rolling out gradually to most of Meijer's 35 stores statewide.

Meijer will sell Cardinal Spirits Vodka, Standard Dry Gin and Bramble Vodka, made with black raspberries.

Cardinal Spirits is one of the first Indiana craft distilleries to sell its products at Meijer stores. It's a win for us, of course, but for you, too. We love seeing that Indiana-made craft spirits are easier than ever to come by. 

Next time you run in to buy batteries, you can buy our Bramble. too. On a milk run, snag a bottle of our Vodka. Grocery shopping for the week? Put Standard Dry Gin on your list. And if you need ideas on how to use any of it, we have a bunch of recipes right here

Did you know that our spirits are available in 200+ establishments in Indiana? We're in liquor stores, grocery stores, bars, restaurants and hotels. Major retailers include Kroger, Big Red Liquors, Schnucks, and Crown Liquors. And now, Meijer. Our growing list of retailers is right here.







Erica Sagon

Bartenders hear our stories all the time. So let's hear theirs for a change. This is Behind the Bar: interviews with bartenders over a drink (or two). 
— Story and photos by Kajal Singh

This week we're chatting with Kendall Lockwood, the bar manager of Ball & Biscuit in on Mass Ave. in downtown Indianapolis. This terrific craft cocktail bar has a speakeasy vibe, and it is one of the wonderful establishments in Indy that serves Cardinal Spirits.

CARDINAL: At Ball & Biscuit, you make a tiki-coffee cocktail called the The Eugoogoolizer, with Cardinal Spirits Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur, Plantation 5 Year Rum, Zaya Rum and brown sugar-maple simple syrup. What's behind the name?

KENDALL: The Eugoogoolizer is a pun off of the movie Zoolander. Everyone quotes either Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller movies from back in the day; the Eugoogoolizer is a funny one we usually quote. So we decided to just call it the Eugoogoolizer and see how many people actually get it. 

Important editor's note:

Derek Zoolander: Or are you here to tell me what a bad eugoogoolizer I am?
Matilda: A what?
Derek Zoolander: A eugoogoolizer... one who speaks at funerals.
[Matilda looks at Derek confused]
Derek Zoolander: Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?


What’s your best advice for people who want the drinks they make at home to taste as good as the ones they order at a bar?

Technique. Technique. Technique. Make sure you get a recipe and measure everything. I think a good measurement is always key.


If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be? And what would you drink?

I am a huge fan of Meryl Streep; she’s a do­-gooder. Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton – I know they are both actresses and that’s kind of cliché. I should probably pick somebody from history, but I think those two are pretty awesome.

Also, Ellen DeGeneres. I love the good Ellen does for people and I feel like she’d be really fun to have cocktails with. I’d definitely be having mezcal or tequila.


How long have you been in Indy?

I have lived in Indianapolis since I was 7 years old. I’m from Arizona originally. I actually moved back to Arizona for a year and moved back to Indianapolis a couple of years ago. I went to high school and junior high in Indianapolis, so I basically grew up here but my heart is in the mountains and out west. I’ve been bartending since I’ve been able to bartend but I’ve always loved the hospitality business; I’ve been in the service industry for my entire life. My dad was a baker so I would always hang out in the bakery even if I wasn’t getting paid.


Tell me about the time you had your first cocktail.

The first time I had a real cocktail, I was at Purdue University. There is a little bar called The Sparrow. The guys that own it are really cool. I don’t remember what the cocktail was but I remember the vibe of the place. It was really cool and I just enjoyed the feel of it. I probably had a vodka or tequila cocktail because I still hadn’t tried that many spirits at the time. I wasn’t really that into it. I was newly and barely 21.


What’s the best way to cure a hangover?

I always drink a lot of coconut water. If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, anything spicy is always good for you to have because it’s going to help sweat out the alcohol in your pores. If you don’t like coconut water, the best concoction is: half an ounce of lemon juice, coconut water, soda water poured over ice in a pint glass. The lemon juice and soda water totally mask the taste of the coconut water. Just drink two of those you’ll be fine. If you drink cocktails with coconut water – especially if you do this at the beach – you won’t be hungover the next day.


What’s the most interesting story you’ve heard while bartending?

I wouldn’t say there’s a specific story, but Ball & Biscuit is kind of the online dating hub. We get first dates in here all the time. You can always tell if someone needs to be saved or if someone needs to go talk to him or her to decompress the situation. You’ll also have people who come in early and get a drink to calm their nerves. They’ll be like, “If this person shows up, I just got here. Don’t let them know that I’ve ordered a drink already.”


Do you have a favorite toast?

"Stigibeu" (pronounced stee-gee-BAY-oo). It means roughly “to the life­force that is around us” and is typically said before sharing a copita of mezcal.


Can you share some good advice that you’ve been given? 

Always be humble. Even if you are an amazing bartender, you are still not better than somebody else who wants to drink a Jack and Coke. There is nothing wrong with someone who wants to drink a Jack & Coke. There is nothing wrong with someone drinking what they like. For life in general, be the example you wish to see in the world. Just be good to each other.


If you walked into Cardinal Spirits right now, what would you order?

Knowing your spirits, I would order a tiki drink with the Tiki Rum. Tiki is my jam; it’s totally what I am into right now. I just think rum is so interesting; it’s just beautiful.


What makes Cardinal Spirits different than other craft distilleries?

The people that work for the brand, at least that I’ve met, are really passionate about what they do. I hate to say it, but a lot of people who work at spirit companies aren’t really passionate about what they are doing because it’s just a job to them.





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.