Let’s start with the pronunciation of this odd little word, specifically the latter half.
It does not rhyme with suction; it rhymes with fusion.
Now, put it all together and say in-fusion.
Not only is that what the name sounds like, it also describes what goes on at Joplin’s ultra hip vodka bar called Infuxn.
This upscale lounge with its sleek decor, VIP seating, frozen drink rail at the bar, and vodka bank in the rear makes me feel like I’ve have been transported from southwest Missouri directly to a club in Vegas.
The vodka bank. Care to make a withdrawal?
In addition to its unique atmosphere, Infuxn sets itself apart from other local bars by focusing on the art of the cocktail. Many of the drinks here are actual infusions, which are defined in the dictionary as “drinks, remedies, or extracts prepared by soaking the leaves of a plant or herb in liquid.”
Yes, Infuxn has a remedy for whatever ails you.
The medicine man here is Daniel Valentine, the creative force behind Infuxn’s cocktail elixirs. He has crafted a menu of drinks that is anything but ordinary. Daniel even takes his art beyond the menu by concocting a daily drink special, plus he makes customized drinks based on his patrons’ requests.
The novel atmosphere and chill vibe of Infuxn make it a great place for a date or to meet up with friend. Recently, my friend Carrie and I stopped here and relaxed while we sampled a few of Daniel’s masterpieces.
I’ll admit, I’d assumed that all of the drinks would be vodka-based, since Infuxn is a vodka bar. While many of them are, I later realized that the two drinks I’d ordered had not a drop of vodka in them.
This is the French Connection.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
But it’s not what I ordered, and that was my own fault. When our server placed this pretty brandy snifter on the table, I realized that it looked nothing like the icy Last Summer that I’d intended to order. Glancing back at the menu, I saw that the French Connection was listed below the Last Summer, and I must have been so intrigued with it that the words “French Connection” came out of my mouth when my brain meant to say “Last Summer.”
But instead of sending the drink back, I opted to try it. After all, Infuxn is the place to sample innovative concoctions that you can’t find anywhere else.
The French Connection is made with a variety of ingredients, many of which I looked up before writing this article because I wasn’t exactly sure what they were, like Bulleit Rye (Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey) and Green Chartreuse (a naturally green liquor made from alcohol, sugar, and 130 plants and flowers). Add in some orange bitters, house maple syrup, serve it over a muddled sugar cube, and garnish it with an orange peel and fresh rosemary, and you’ve got your French Connection.
Fragrant and subtly sweet – yet potent – this is definitely a sipping drink. I would even order it again – on purpose.
Carrie started out with the tropical Lusca, which is Infuxn’s version of a Mai Tai.
The Lusca is made with Pyrat rum, The Kraken black spiced rum, Cointreau, and fresh lime, pineapple, and orange juices. Lime syrup and orgeat (I had to look this up, too: a syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water) are added, then the mixture is shaken, strained, and served over ice.
It won’t come as a surprise that the next drink I ordered was the Last Summer.
Made with Hendrick’s gin, lavender-ginger syrup, and fresh lemon juice, this elixir is served over ice and topped with a Luxardo cherry. This refreshing drink goes down easily, so pace yourself – especially on a hot day. And do yourself a favor and eat that decadent (and expensive) Luxardo cherry on top; fruity with a hint of amaretto, Luxardo cherries are the luxe cousins of the familiar Maraschino cherries.
Carrie ordered the popular Moscow Mule next.
This shiny, chilled copper mug contained Russian Standard vodka, ginger beer, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a special ingredient (ooh, mystery!) and was topped with a slice of lime and a slice of cucumber. This invigorating drink is a guaranteed thirst-quencher on a sultry day.
Halfway through my second drink, my stomach piped up and asked me to fill it with something more substantial than liquid. I’ve learned by now not to argue with my stomach, so I asked for a food menu, which contained a variety of small-plate options.
I ordered the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, which provided a creamy, salty contrast to my mildly sweet drink.
Carrie, a vegan, ordered the hummus.
The hummus flavor that day was garlic, and it was served with fresh celery, carrots, and fried naan (which is lightly seasoned and highly addictive).
I’m excited that Infuxn is part of Joplin; it offers a one-of-a-kind experience in our city, making it a must-visit place for both tourists and locals.
Just make sure you practice saying the name before you go.
Infuxn is located at 503 S. Main St. Click here to visit Infuxn’s website.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.