By Summer Miller
I sat down at The Berry and Rye, a craft cocktail bar located at 11th and Howard in Omaha’s Old Market, on a lazy, cool Sunday
It was obvious to me that this place is different. The bartenders are dressed in vests and ties typical of mixologists in fine dining
establishments—not of drink slingers who typically work in bars where food is not sold.
The bar’s transition began in January when owners Ethan Bondelid and Brent Crampton purchased what was formerly Myth, a martini
bar. They slowly transformed it into a craft cocktail room that specializes in contemporary interpretations of pre-prohibition
Not knowing what to expect, I started with Snowfall in Denmark, a pleasantly light and refreshing drink made with Akvavit, absinthe
and muddled peas garnished with a sugar snap pea pod. The grassy, fresh aroma of the pea pod served a dual purpose of enhancing the
flavor and beauty of the drink. Much to my delight, these flavor combinations created a subtle, tender cocktail served beautifully in a
“We really want to give people a range of experiences and flavors. We want to open your mind to the things we can do,” says Ethan.
“You might have some predispositions about gin or whiskey because you have had a bad experience once, but these drinks are different. I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Food is often used to infuse spirits, to make bitters or to build the foundation of a drink. This summer, expect to see Market-Fresh
Cocktails, for which bartenders will head to a farmers market each week, select an ingredient—herb, fruit or vegetable—and create a
drink served for that week only.
It’s drinking at a whole new level. Bartenders Luke Edson and Chase Thornburg use house-made ingredients—sometimes by the
eyedropper-full—to build some of the most beautiful, forward thinking cocktails seen in Middle America.
The bar is seating room-only, and reservations via text message are recommended.
Find out more at TheBerryAndRye.com or follow the Berry & Rye on Facebook