Talking Twisted Mules with Grant Nuckolls of Twisted Root

Featured Photo: I talked with Grant Nuckolls, proprietor and chief burger officer of Twisted Root Burger Company in Shreveport, about some of the unique offerings found at Twisted Root’s bar. Photos by Jim Noetzel.

A photo of a Twisted Mule
The Twisted Mule at Twisted Root Burger Company is Shreveport’s first draft cocktail. The tap handle, seen here, was created by Shreveport artist Jim Hayes.

Esquire called 2013 “The Year of the Kegged Cocktail,” citing the sudden prevalence of draft cocktails in bars from Boston to Dallas, but, as far as I can tell, there’s only one draft cocktail in Shreveport-Bossier: The Twisted Mule at Twisted Root Burger Company in Shreveport. On a recent dinner date, my wife and I sort of fell in love with this concoction. Made with ginger beer, vodka, tea syrup and lemons, the Twisted Mule is delicious, consistent and affordable (a 16 oz. Twisted Mule will set you back $5). I wanted to learn more about the Twisted Mule, so I visited Twisted Root  and spoke with Grant Nuckolls, proprietor of Twisted Root’s Shreveport location.

“It’s an Arnold Palmer meets a Moscow mule,” Nuckolls said. “Jason Kosmas, who is a really well-known bartender in Dallas-Ft. Worth, created the recipe.”

While draft cocktails have their detractors (who argue that a cocktail prepared in bulk and kegged lessens the amount of personal care and attention that goes into your drink), there’s an upside as well: consistency.

“It’s a consistent pour. If you come in on Tuesday and have a Twisted Mule, it’s going to taste exactly the same as it’ll taste on Friday,” Nuckolls said. “Also, having it on tap, we’re able to keep it at 40 degrees.” The tap handle that pours Twisted Mule in Shreveport was created by local artist Jim Hayes. 

While Twisted Root Burger Company is a chain (the Shreveport location is the only location of the restaurant outside of Texas), it doesn’t feel like one. And a huge part of the reason it doesn’t feel like a chain is the bar. Nuckolls opened the space in 2013 with 16 taps dedicated to craft beer. Shortly thereafter, Red River Brewing Company and  Great Raft Brewing opened in Shreveport, and Nuckolls makes it sound as though that changed everything.

“We opened with 16 beer taps, and we have 28 now,” he said. “Out of all of our selection, one-third of our sales are beers made in Shreveport. I’m proud of that.”

Just an aside: As a blogger who writes content on behalf of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, I never spend tourist bureau money on alcohol for the purposes of a blog review. When the check comes, it’s my personal card that’s paying the bill. I just felt this warranted mentioning. -Chris

Twisted Root Burger Co. on Urbanspoon

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