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Mixologist Of The Month: Level Two Eats + Drinks

Level Two Eats + Drinks in the Radisson is now offering an entirely new food and drink menu. We talked with bartender Vince Kramer.

Photos by Hillary Ehlen

After a recent rebranding, Level Two Eats + Drinks in the Radisson is now offering an entirely new food and drink menu. We talked with Vince Kramer about his latest concoction.

Journey To Bartending

“I used to work at a Credit Union before here. I have really bad sleep insomnia so I’m up until about 4 or 5 in the morning every night. Most of the people I talked to were in bad shape already, so they saw me as the bad guy for the most part.

“I figured if I’m not sleeping, I love to talk and I still look like I’m 19, I can get away with bartending. It’s fun. I used to do it back in my hometown but that was more, ‘What kind of beer would you like or what shot of whiskey?’ The whole cocktail bar was completely new to me when I came in here. I’m a huge fan of different art styles so I kind of assumed that this was like another medium to work with. I came into it as you learn through trial and error and I love creating different drinks that people will try out and some like and some don’t like.”

Go-To Cocktail Style

“I really like to make seasonal drinks. I like to make summery, refreshing drinks. It reminds me of what I see that I don’t get to enjoy. I get stuck here looking out seeing the nice sun.”

About This Drink

“A woman came in and she starts off by saying, ‘Hey, I don’t want to be picky, but…’ I’m like, ‘OK, here we go.’ She’s like, ‘Can you make me anything with strawberry and basil in it?’ I’m like, ‘I’ve never made anything like that before but I’ll give it a shot.’ I started throwing things together and I gave it to her and she tested it out and she said she really liked it. I made it for a few other people in house and a couple people from our corporate office and they liked it so I kept going with it.

“You get so many people that come through here that go, ‘Hey, surprise me with something.’ I’m like, ‘Sure, I’m running out of surprises here.’ It’s fun and keeps you on your toes.”

Food Pairing

Kramer recommends pairing it with their chimchurri steak salad, which has aged hand cut steak, on top of a bed of fresh chopped romaine, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, avocado and is complemented by South American chimichurri dressing.

Strawberry Delight

2 strawberries
2 pieces of basil
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. Stoli strawberry vodka
1/2 lime
Sprite

Muddle the two strawberries and pieces of basil and add the 1/2 ounce of simple syrup, 2 ounces of Stoli strawberry vodka, 1/2 lime and ice into a shaker and shake well. Strain into a glass and add Sprite to the top of it. Garnish with strawberry and basil.

Pro Tip: Kramer has been wanting to test it out with champagne instead of Sprite.

Level Two Eats & Drinks in the Radisson

201 5th St N, Fargo

downtownlevel2.com

Written by Andrew Jason

Andrew Jason is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media. He oversees the production and the wonderful team behind Fargo Monthly, Fargo INC!, Bison Illustrated and Design and Living magazines. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons and pretending he's a much better piano player than he actually is.

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