That first hint of fall in the air is one of the greatest joys I know. Often it’s followed by another enticing aroma – the smell of smoke, because where there’s fall, there’s fire. The smell of fire pits and fireplaces, campfires and bonfires is more noticeable during this often too-short season. That alluring aroma of smoke isn’t only found outdoors, it’s also on our shelves. Surdyk’s Liquor Store and Cheese Shop has an array of products that offer that smoky quality–and it’s found in more places than you might imagine. Mezcal has seen a recent uptick in popularity—and not the worm-at-the-bottom variety. Differing from tequila, Mezcal is created by smoking the heart of agave plants in underground pits before fermentation. It’s made for sipping straight, and I like the complexity it offers when used in cocktails in place of tequila.
When it comes to smoke, Scotch is an obvious choice. But which do you choose? Smokehead Single Malt, like its name suggests, will come at you with intense smokiness. Highland Park 12-year Single Malt brings the smoke in a less dramatic but still noticeable way. Notes of campfire are mixed with dried fruit and in perfect balance. For a hint of smoke, try White Horse blended Scotch, which includes the legendary Lagavulin, making it not only a great Scotch, but also a tremendous deal. Back on this side of the pond, Knob Creek Distillery offers fall flavor with Smoked Maple Bourbon. While delicious sipped on its own, it makes an outstanding cocktail simply mixed with ginger beer.
Beer is getting in on the action, too, with smoked porters and pilsners. Evil Twin’s The Cowboy Smoked Pilsner is a must-try; its citrus and hop notes play against the smokiness. One wine, 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel, takes smoky oak flavors to a new level with bourbon barrel aging. Sounds perfect for fall. Don’t forget actual smokes. Our humidor holds a carefully curated
selection of cigars. Perfect for enjoying on a cool evening—perhaps while sitting by a fire? — Melissa Surdyk
Spanish Smoked Pimenton (aka: Smoked Paprika) We sell both a sweet and smoked hot pimenton. No pantry should be without this Spanish staple. Add smoked pimenton to rubs, marinades, and soups – and it’s a must on deviled eggs!
Marieke Smoked Gouda: A subtle smoke that won’t over power this sweet, creamy, Gouda. A customer favorite for snacking, topping burgers, and for grilled cheese sandwiches.
That first hint of fall in the air is one of the greatest joys I know. Often it’s followed by another enticing aroma – the smell of smoke, because where there’s fall, there’s fire. The smell of fire pits and fireplaces, campfires and bonfires... Read More
Three times this past summer I had the opportunity to enjoy a delicious bottle of white wine that made me say, “Ah, yes! This, this is the wine I’ve been craving!” Each wine was different but they shared one big thing in common: They were all white Bordeaux. If you want... Read More
The typical Minnesota weather gives us ample opportunity to drink big, heavy red wines. However, when summer arrives, and especially with July, it’s with soaring temps and lots of humidity! While you probably have your favorite whites that you return to over and over... Read More
What’s up, and what’s not! | I am often asked by customers, friends, and even co-workers what is new, hot, or trendy in the wine department. There are always several answers to these questions. Sometimes I feel like the proverbial broken record with the same... Read More
Stop in store during our Super Heart Healthy Sale (April 23-May 2) to register to win Drinks for a Year! This prize will keep on giving to one lucky winner. That winner will be able to pick up a pre-determined drink – makings for a cocktail, a... Read More
Easter, steeped in tradition and celebration, is one holiday where wine is often an afterthought, if it is even a thought at all. With everyone occupied with baskets, chocolate bunnies, and egg hunts – it’s easy to see why. We think the Easter wine... Read More
The number one best thing about being in the drinks business is the great and wonderful variety of flavors and experiences we get to enjoy. I focus primarily on the wines here at Surdyk’s, but I am equally impressed with the offerings that we... Read More
We’ve got a great deal going on now for one of our staff & customer favorite weeknight red wines, Carraia Aglianico. Aglianico is an ancient varietal with Greek origins that thrives in Sicily’s sunny, warm Mediterranean climate. This is the perfect bottle to open... Read More
How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? A quiet evening for two? A dinner with a handful of your closest friends? Or do you throw the New Year’s party to end all parties? However you choose to ring in 2015, one thing is certain... Read More
You may know him from his work as winemaker with Witness Tree Vineyards in Willamette Valley, Oregon, but Steven Westby also makes great wine under his own label: Elemental Cellars. On a recent visit, he spoke excitedly of a single vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir... Read More