Thursday January 27th, 2022
Just because you're quarentining doesn't mean your tastebuds have to!
This Week: Let's explore some delicious ways to mix-up your "At Home Bar" that take your tastebuds on a much deserved tropical vacation. You're doing your part to stop the spread by staying locked down in frozen Minnesota, and that altruistic decision deserves a treat - not a sad ordinary libation!
Below we have created a Shopping List to help you make an assortment of drinks. You will notice that there are 4 different rums. Many tiki drinks have multiple rums blended together to get the right flavor for the cocktail. Of the chosen rums we have a white rum which has a clean sweetness, a Jamaican Rum that brings a little more complexity with a little funkiness, an overproof rum that adds a nice kick that stands up to all the fruity and sweet ingredients in tiki drinks and lastly a blackstrap rum that has a molassesy and warm spiced quality. There are many more different types of rum but this will get you started.
North Loop Wine & Spirits - Shopping List
Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum
Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
El Dorado 3 yr Rum
Giffards Orgeat Syrup
Giffards Bleu Curacao
Velvet Falernum
Angostura Bitters
Pineapple Juice
Fresh Citrus
Here are some escapist Tiki Cocktails to remind you of summer. 
Mai Tai
1.5 oz Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum
.5 oz Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
.5 oz Giffards Orgeat Syrup
.5 oz Giffards Bleu Curacao
1 oz fresh lime juice
Add all ingredients into your shaker with ice. Give it a quick shake, then pour over ice into a tiki mug (if you have one). Crushed ice can also be used. If using crushed ice, shake without ice and pour over crushed ice so it doesn't get over diluted. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime wedge.
Rum Punch
1 oz El Dorado 3 yr Rum
1 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
.5 oz Lime Juice
.75 oz Grenadine
Add all ingredients into your shaker, add ice, give it a quick shake, pour over ice into a Hurricane glass (if you have one).  Garnish with a cherry and a pineapple wedge - or smattering of fruits and umbrellas!
Corn 'N Oil
1 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
.75 oz Plantation OFTD
.5 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 of lime muddled
5 dashes of angostura
Muddle lime in a rocks glass, add ice, pour in Plantation OFTD, Velvet Falernum, and bitters. Stir once. Pour Blackstrap rum over the back of your bar spoon to float the Blackstrap. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should drink.

Earl Giles Bottling Co. On The Fly Cocktail Elixirs - $12.99 
It's the home stretch of Dry January and I wanted to feature a great mixer that we brought into the shop that works with booze or without. Earl Giles is a local company started by two bartenders here in Minneapolis that focus on non-alcoholic cocktail syrups, mixers and elixirs. On The Fly Cocktail Elixirs come in four delicious flavors (Raspberry Rose, Grapefruit Lime, Tropical Fruit and Cranberry Hibiscus) that can be used along with your favorite spirit to make craft cocktails right at home, or mixed with bubbly water for a zero-proof beverage. Each 16oz jar makes 10-12 drinks and all four are a perfect addition to a home bar!

Joseph Drouhin Montagny 2019 - $32.99
Montagny is the southern most appellation in the Cote Chalonnaise in Burgundy. The savvy wine buyer can find excellent value here in Chardonnay if sourcing the right producer. Drouhin is a stellar negociant that works with some great growers in this region and 2019 is a great vintage albeit one of little volume. This wine is very showy this vintage, almost drinking like a Chardonnay from the Cote de Beaune with its richness. Aromas of honeyed peach and apricot jump out of the glass. The fleshy palate shows apple fruit with notes of hazelnut balanced with lively acidity. Try this ready to enjoy white Burgundy with roasted chicken in a mushroom cream sauce.

2017 St Innocent 'Freedom Hill' Chardonnay, Willamette Valley - $38.99
Mark Vlassak, the owner and winemaker of St Innocent winery, is the indefatigable evangelist of Oregon wine and pioneer of single vineyard wines in Willamette valley. His wines are often as affable and energetic as he is. While this distinction certainly applies to the 2017 'Freedom Hill' Chardonnay, the reason we're talking about it now is all this damn cold.
As a person who witnesses the changing alcohol trends on an hourly basis, I've noticed many customers turning toward the tropical in the midst of this polar vortex. Much like your rum punch or mai tai, The 'Freedom Hill' Chardonnay often exhibits flavors of tropical fruits, particularly ripe mango. While this wine flirts with the flavor and style of some overwrought California Chards, it benefits from neutral oak elevage and a core of firm minerality. 2017 is a classic vintage for Willamette with a warm budding and a long cool harvest so enjoy your tense, nervy Chard with a little rambunctious fruit to remind you that Winter is only a state of mind.

Inspiration 1818 Brut NV, Champagne - $48.99
If you're as jovial as myself, you may find yourself financially overextended with bubble-popping merriment. Luckily, there's a new Champagne on the shelf at a tremendous value, Inspiration 1818 Brut, which is a second label of Billecart-Salmon. Inspiration 1818 is a tightly structured sparkling wine with elegant notes of brioche, citrus, and white peach - made from nearly equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier. For a Champ under $50, this Brut is packing an unexpected degree of delicate fineness!

Two James Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum - $28.99
Named after the national bird of Jamaica, Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum is a flavorful high ester rum traditionally made in pot stills. Once made it is imported to Detroit where it is masterfully blended and finished in Moscatel Barrels, creating a complex rum for sipping or mixing. Bright aromas of baking banana bread blend with tropical fruits and savory notes, mix well with fresh green notes and a hint of pepper. The first sip opens with rich wood, a hint of smoke and butterscotch, finishing with mango and ripe tropical fruit. At 100 proof, Doctor Bird might just cure what ails you, or make you wish you were sipping Daiquiris on the beach. 

2019 Treana, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles - $28.99
The Hope family has been committed to making fine Cabernet Sauvignon from the Paso Robles area of California's Central Coast for 4 decades now. Where warm nurturing sun meets the cool breezes of the sea, their 2019 Treana Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested in small lots after a long cool growing season and fermentated individually in stainless steel tanks for 10 to 14 days. Extended maceration and pump overs enhance the extraction of color and tannin. The lots were aged separately for 14 months in a combination of 25% once-used French oak and 75% neutral French and American oak. The final result is an opulent Cabernet that opens with aromas of dark chocolate, ground coffee, and sweet leather. The palate is rich in black cherry and sweet vanilla, touched with black pepper. Bright acidity and fine dusty tannins help balance the wine for a long and velvety finish. Enjoy this Cabernet with a medium rare Filet Mignon, served with a Port wine demi-glace and mashed potatoes made with way too much butter!
VERY IMPORTANT: Furry Friends We Are Thankful For
Cheers everyone!
-The Team at North Loop Wine & Spirits