When the mercury rises here in Southwest Minneapolis, this gal runs for the nearest frosty beverage to soothe my sweaty soul. Cool drinks can make my whole attitude adjust in a flash. I go from a crazed lake biker to a calm, fit, gourmand in the blink of an iced mocha.
Lucky for us, chill drink choices are plentiful and flavorful in our area, with options for the young, the old and even the caffeinated. Here are my suggestions for a variety of summer refreshments at our local eateries that will help you beat the heat and keep your tastebuds tantalized. Hope to see you out enjoying a cool one in the neighborhood!
Honeybear Toddy $3.75/$4.25 -
This iced treat is both a wake-up call and a dreamy dessert. A rich concoction of honey, chocolate, cinnamon, half and half and cold press coffee over ice, the honeybear has a creamy cloud of dairy floating over layers of flavor and caffeine. It will open your eyes, but do so gently at first, as brewing the beans cold makes for less acidity in your glass.
Lemonade $2/$3.50 -
Though stuck in with the list of sodas, this quencher is definitely not from Minute Maid. The popular new stand at Lake Harriet makes their own lemonade in house, complete with lemon pulp and a bit of pucker in each sip. Sure, the sweetness level varies from day to day, but this sourpuss loves it. That's how I know for sure that it is truly homemade.
Blackberry White Pepper Soda $3 -
This friends, is an icy, yet grown-up beverage that allows you to go alcohol-free without sacrificing on taste or style. At first gulp, you're hit with the juicy berry flavor — but wait, the best is yet to come. Just as you've eschewed the housemade soda as being simply another fruity quaff, the white pepper gently nips at your throat as you swallow. The savory chases the sweet and it's uniquely satisfying.
Wittekerke Witbier $6.50 -
You've mowed the lawn, taken the kids to three pool parties and the family car's air conditioning isn't working. Basically, you've been the best adult you can be under some hot circumstances and deserve an appropriate quencher. The answer to this situation is a draft Wittekerke Witbier, which is a light Belgian wheat beer that has both citrusy and spicy notes and has been called "great after yardwork," (by my own spouse). Tilia's got it on tap, which suits a warm afternoon or evening to a T.
Rose Flight $8 -
Don't be afraid to think pink. Cafe Ena has put together a fun list of seven rose wines that you can drink singly ($7 a glass) or sample three at a time in a flight ($8). There's a pour for every drinker with varietals sporting minerality, sweetness, bubbles and more. Line up the chilled glasses and have a mini wine tasting at your table. Likely your server or host will compare notes with you as to your favorite of the pink refreshers (I liked the California Mourvedre), which all cut nicely through the humidity, whether you sit inside or on their small patio.