In Your Cocktail: The Mockingbird Lounge

The Winter Mojito.

Perched on the Kansas side of the state line, The Mockingbird Lounge’s song has transfixed locals since it opened a few years ago. The Strawberry Hill destination, hidden away among family homes so that it almost sneaks up on you, offers a side of Kansas City you literally often don’t see. We’re talking about the topnotch view of downtown from across the border, of course, a perspective far enough to let you drink in the whole effect from the spacious patio.

Although the outdoor space is absolutely a selling point, there’s plenty to appreciate indoors during the chilly months. The cozy interior is light, bright, and relaxed, with a variety of games available for patrons’ enjoyment, plus frequent live music, comedy, karaoke, and other events (check out the bar’s website or Facebook page for the latest details).

If the warm atmosphere is half the reason for Mockingbird’s following, its cocktails are the other half. We’ll start with the price: Rarely will you find anything over $10, with options to cover all your boozy bases. Offerings change seasonally, but the menu includes tried-and-true favorites like the Third Shift, made with Duffy’s Run Vodka, Rieger’s Caffé Amaro, and cold-brew coffee, as well as the Mockingbird Margarita, the house take on the classic cocktails featuring a blueberry and basil-infused simple syrup.

During summer and spring, the Mockingbird crew whips up a variety of boozy fruit pops and popsicles, while in the winter, it leans into cozier flavors à la creations like the apple cider Bellini and red wine hot cocoa. The bar also serves a solid selection of craft and local beers as well as Mexican brews and a handful of red and white wines.

Another feather in Mockingbird’s cap? Its much-loved all-day brunch, which features biscuits and gravy, waffles with chorizo and pico de gallo, and a breakfast take on tamales filled with peppers and cheese and topped with an egg. The Mexican flavors carry through the menu, from the bar-friendly nachos and guacamole to the baja tequila chicken soup and pulled pork or chicken tacos and burritos, offered in addition to a few salads and sandwiches. Then for dessert, there are fan-favorite dulce de leche waffles, made with a cinnamon batter and drizzled with the sweet sauce.

Those flavors are something of a touch point for owner Dan Castillo on the cocktail menu as well, helping bridge the gap between the seasons.

“I am Latino and like to incorporate refreshing cocktails that remind me of places a bit closer to the equator,” Castillo shares. “One of our most popular cocktails, the Watermelon Mojito, is a huge hit during the summer months, and I wanted to keep the spirit of that cocktail going through the cold season, so I put together the Winter Mojito.”

The cocktail tastes like Christmas Eve on a tropical beach thanks to the addition of cinnamon simple syrup, and the two types of spiced rum are sure to warm you up on a cold winter night. ‘Tis the season to drink up! 

The Winter Mojito

  • ¾ ounce of coconut rum
  • ¾ ounce spiced rum
  • ½ ounce cinnamon simple syrup
  • ½ ounce coconut cream
  • ½ ounce lime juice

Combine all ingredients. Shake and strain over ice into a Collins glass. Top it off with a press (soda and Sprite), slap on a sprig of mint for garnish, and you’re ready to roll.

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