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First Bite: Le Town Talk Diner
By: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl | Posted: 05/07/2014
Gin and tonic lovers, martini snobs, patrons of the coming Rickey and fizz explosion—drop everything. Did you know that Minnesota is in the middle of a local gin boom? True! Yes, boom. Boom boom boom!
Duluth’s Vikre has three gins made with genuine North Shore foraged ingredients, such as local cedar, spruce, and rhubarb. Minneapolis’ tiny Norseman distillery has a new gin that’s about to be released, which tastes like lemony arrows shot into a pliant pine. And Far North from Hallock (which is foot-race distance to North Dakota and the Canadian border) makes Solveig, a pretty and delicate gin that tastes truly buttery (though no butter is involved).
What? When did the land of moose and maple become the land of juniper? All since Christmas, really. If you want to know why, how, and what it all tastes like, June 10, at our next Tastemakers event at the Ritz is your chance.
If you’ve been to a Tastemakers before you know how we do it. First, we will sample gin! Bartenders and treatments of said gins to be determined, but if past performance is a predictor of future success should be gratifying, amazing and tasty. In addition to the brash upstarts, we'll be serving the local grandpappy, as it were, of new Minnesota gins, the gin from Prairie Organic Vodka.
Once we've tasted, we'll talk! I’ll lead a panel discussion with the movers and shakers who are moving and shaking this gin boom. Namely: Emily Vikre, flavor developer and co-founder of Vikre Distillery, Scott Ervin, the one man behind tiny Minneapolis newcomer Norseman Distillery, and Michael Swanson, the owner and distiller of Far North and the farmer for both Far North and Vikre. Finally, Steph March will lead the Q&A so any outstanding questions of yours get answered—like, what is orris root anyway?
We'll also enjoy appetizers from Crave, jokes from strangers, a historical overview of gin from the Dutch Golden Age till now, and a much deeper understanding of juniper than we heretofore knew. I hope. So come! Tickets are only $10, and nothing says summer like gin and tonics—this year in North Country style.
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
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