Great Summer Cocktail Recipes!

sangriaI am super excited about Carl, one of our new hires at the Eden Prairie Liquor location next to Rainbow Foods, as he has been a bartender for years and keeps coming up with amazing drink recipes for me!  

Here are a couple he gave me this summer… 

The Ridicule
 1.25 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
  .75 oz. Midori melon liquor
fill glass with pineapple juice
garnish with a pineapple slice and cherry
Fill a tall glass (14-16 ounce glass) with ice and pour ingredients in the order above.  Enjoy!
Blush Sangria
 3-4 oz. Barefoot Refresh Perfectly Pink wine
1.25 oz. peach schnapps
fill glass with pineapple juice
top with Sprite

Fill a tall glass ( at least 16 ounces or larger) with ice and pour ingredients in the order above.  If you want to make drinks for more than one person at once, the recipe can be expanded for a pitcher.  Fill a large pitcher with ice and pour in the entire bottle of Barefoot along with 5 ounces of peach schnapps. If you don’t have a pitcher big enough you could cut this recipe down to allow for all the ingredients.  Now fill the pitcher with pineapple juice leaving enough room for a topper of Sprite and stir.  Garnishes for this Sangria are strawberries, maraschino cherries, limes, and oranges.  Squeeze the citrus and drop in along with the other fruit.

On a sidebar, if you make a pitcher of sangria, maybe start without ice in the pitcher…instead ingredients only.  Fill 4 or 5 glasses with ice and pour sangria into them instead.  It will give you more room to mix the ingredients.

Thanks Carl, for the incredible cocktails! 

My family really enjoyed them at our last reunion and I can’t wait to make them again.




Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer


May is Oregon Wine Month!

March was a funny month for me as I believe I may have met every winemaker in Oregon.  And what was funny about that was March is Washington Wine Month!  Now it is May and our friends from the Willamette Valley are far too busy to come and visit.  But I asked Jesse Lange, creator of some of my favorite new wines at Eden Prairie Liquors, to write a little something about his success with Oregon winemaking.  Lange Vineyards was voted “Winery of the Year” for 2012 from Wineland Spirits. 

Here is what Jesse had to say:

Our small family winery and vineyard has operated in the heart of Oregon wine-country- The Dundee Hills, since our first vintage in 1987. We started with a dream to make world class pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot gris. Twenty six vintages later, we are still chasing the perfect pinot! That being said, we still hand-craft all wines from small, focused viticulture on the farm and usher each wine to bottle many months later. In a world of mass produced wines, our philosophy dictates that we make wines that not only have inherently high quality, but also maintain a sense of regional and varietal integrity. While its been superb to garner accolades from respected third parties, our commitment to our customers and our wines remains the same. Like we say at the winery, “Its your palate, its your party!”. -Jesse Lange, Lange Estate Winery

Recent Accolades from Wine & Spirits Magazine

93 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Freedom Hill Vineyard”

92 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Lange Estate Vineyard”

92 Points & Best Buy: 2010 Pinot Noir “Willamette Valley”

92 Points: 2010 Chardonnay “Three Hills Cuvee”

91 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Three Hills Cuvee”

90 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Reserve”

90 Points: 2011 Pinot Gris “Reserve”

BLOG Photo-2-100x150 Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer

Beer Festivals That Make Me Smile!

APN_LogoOn this gloomy April day I was trying to think happy, warm, summer thoughts and I came across these awesome craft beer festivals.

All Pints North Summer Brew Fest

I was so excited to see that tickets went on sale April 15th for the Summer Brew Fest in Duluth!! I jumped online and bought two tickets. What can be better than a beautiful sunny day in July sipping delicous craft beer!! Here are the details…

Saturday, July 13, 2013
3-7 p.m.
Bayfront Festival Park | Duluth, MN
Approx. 2,500 attendees
$30 in Advance (Limit 6) | $40 at the door (if available) | $10 Sober Driver Ticket
Tickets on sale Monday, April 15, 2013 @ Noon CST
For tickets visit

There is also another really fun beer event in the fall for those of you that prefer the cool, crisp fall air. The Autum Brew Review is in Northeast Minneapolis at the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex. The event will be held September 28, 2013 and tickets go on July 15 so mark your calendars!

ABRAutumn Brew Review 2013

An Outdoor Beer Sampling Festival Dedicated to the Fine Art of Craft Brewing. The 13th annual Autumn Brew Review craft beer festival will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex in Northeast Minneapolis!

Beer and brewers from all across the nation will be on-site for the largest annual celebration of craft beer in Minnesota. This non-profit outdoor festival, produced by and benefiting the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, will feature unlimited beer as well as non-alcoholic samples, a commemorative tasting glass, live music, tasty food vendors on-site, vote for your favorite beer and table display competitions, beer educational sessions & tours, random shenanigans, and a good time to be had by all at this beautiful historic venue on the banks of the mighty Mississippi.

Tickets On-Sale July 15, 2013 at noon. Advance ABR tickets will be available for purchase for attendees of the All Pints North Summer Brew fest in Duluth on July 13!

    Tana Wold, Liquor Store Manager

Educational Winemaker Visit

Last month we had the privilege of having Stephen Ross (Dooley) back to our store for a bottle signing!  It was so great to meet him in personEvent Pictures 006 and hear about his wines, especially since he is from Minnesota!  As someone new to the liquor and wine industry, I have to admit I was a little intimidated hearing that Stephen was coming to my store.  I had a preconceived notion that a winemaker would have a bit of snobbery to him with such a wealth of knowledge beyond my comprehension.  But was I proved wrong when meeting Stephen!  He made jokes, posed for many pictures, and was out from behind our tasting bar the entire time engaging with the people coming in to try his wines!  He made a joke that he thought it was so cool that the city of Eden Prairie named an airport after his amazing wine, FlyingCloud.

Stephen said that he loved driving by the FlyingCloud Airport with his dad when he was younger, and thought the name FlyingCloud was so magical and it just had to be the name of one of his wines.  Stephen has a true passion for what he does and believes that wine makes itself; the winemaker is just the caretaker.  It was a wonderful experience to meet Stephen and I hope he comes to visit us at the liquor store again soon!

You can find Stephen’s wines at all three of our liquor stores, and I would highly recommend his Flying Cloud Cabernet.

Jessica Blog Pic
Jessica Tapper, Liquor Store Manager (Kowalski’s location)

*Other photo features Gretchen Holmgren, Operations Manager (left), Stephen Ross, Winemaker (middle) and Jessica Tapper, Manager (right)

Attention all Hopheads!

Hophead VodkaTraditionally, a Hophead is a person that enjoys the hoppy aromatics of pale ales.  Vodka drinkers can now get in on the action.  The latest vodka to hit Eden Prairie Liquor is Hophead Hop Vodka ($29.99).  It is brought to us courtesy of Anchor Distilling – the makers of Anchor Steam and Liberty Ales.

Hops are one of the main ingredients used for beer production.  To make this vodka, the hops are pot distilled with grain neutral spirits to give you a unique and distinctive liquor.  Beer  drinkers definitely need to check out this product.  It’s great by itself on the rocks or with some tonic and a slice of lime.  Though not a Bloody Mary drinker myself, I have to believe it would make a fabulous addition to your favorite  recipe!!

March is a month to celebrate – We have March Madness, Daylight Saving time (I know I will be happy for more sunlight), St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Make sure to pick up Hophead Vodka for a great new vodka to add to the menu for all of  your gatherings – large or small.


Denise Barthel
Assistant Liquor Store Manager