Summer’s a great time to get creative with alcoholic beverages. Start by repurposing your favorite local brew and adding a 12-ounce bottle to local baker Mitchell Schwartz’s Just Add Beer Bread Mix (justaddbeerbread.com). For extra zing, play with flavors by adding dried fruit or chocolate chips, too.
Sara Hayden pours Lift Bridge and Finnegans beer, wines from Saint Croix Vineyards, and 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey into the fillings for her Tipsy Pies (sarastipsypies.com). The liquor-laced pastries come four ways: as full-size or hand pies, on a stick, or baked in little glass jars. Along with the local libations, the pie lady’s perfectly formed flaky crusts are filled with apples (from Aamodt’s Apple Farm), pumpkin, and berries.
Jellies inspired by the vine add an extra kick to recipes and morning toast. Vine Appétit, a line of wine jellies made by Emily Coleman in Prior Lake, includes chardonnay, cherry almond verjus, and Cabernet Sauvignon jellies, among others (vineappetit.com). Coleman also offers custom orders and can create a personalized spread from any wine you can procure.
New on tap at the Mall of America is gourmet store Vom Fass, which translates to “from the cask” in German (vomfassusa.com). Find wines, spirits, and liqueurs at this foodie haven, as well as a huge variety of oils and vinegars tapped straight from the barrels for cooking or drizzling.
Sue Zelickson is the founder and director of Women Who Really Cook and Perspectives Family Center’s Kids Cafe. She is the former host of WCCO Radio’s Food for Thought.