The Southwest Metro's Best Summer Drinks
We’re on the heels of summer. We know it, because we can already taste the barbecued meats and frozen treats. And lately, when we’ve been feeling thirsty, we haven’t been ordering Manhattans or sipping hot tea. Nope, we’ve got fruity, light, summer-inspired beverages on the brain. If you’re right there with us, then read on for a list of drinks that will quench your thirst, from smoothies to local brews and mojitos.
Orange Crush Smoothie
You might describe the orange crush smoothie at Berry Blendz as an orange dreamsicle in a cup. Serving more than 50 varieties of fresh smoothies, the shop makes this one with orange juice, sherbet, low fat vanilla yogurt and ice.
The “energy-fortified” smoothie creations are something to wake you up, like the popular Intense Energy, made with raspberry, orange, strawberry, banana and a splash of Red Bull Energy Drink.
Smoothies range in price from $4–6. From the juice bar, the veggie energizer packs healthy vegetables into your diet, with a blend of carrot, beet, cucumber and celery juices ($4). 582 Prairie Center Dr., #230A, Eden Prairie; 952.943.0005
If you like your margaritas with top shelf everything, the “Primarita” at Don Pablo’s is your drink. The classic margarita contains fresh-squeezed lime juice, Grand Marnier and 1800 tequila ($8.49). The “Squeezarita” offers something a little more tart, made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, Sauza Gold, Cointreau and powdered sugar ($7.99). Top-shelf margaritas like these are shaken and served on the rocks, but the restaurant offers some blended margaritas and fruit-flavored ones, as well. 11347 Viking Dr., Eden Prairie; 952.943.2877
Sangria is the ultimate taste of summer. It’s light, fresh and not too sweet at JJ’s Coffee + Wine Bistro, made with cabernet sauvignon, fresh seasonal fruit and a citrus-flavored soda ($8).
The favorite refresher in the non-alcoholic category is the bubble tea, a sweet drink made with iced green or black tea and a fruit base like mango, honeydew, watermelon or papaya, with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom of the cup. Bubble teas can be ordered as an ice-blended version or on the rocks ($4.50). 7942 Mitchell Rd., Eden Prairie; 952.974.1000
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
“Summer in a glass” is what they like to call the Leinenkugel Summer Shandy that goes on tap in the summer at Victoria Bar and Grill ($4.25 for a pint). The American-style wheat beer offers just a hint of lemon flavor, making it a perfect fit for summer days on the patio.
The bar is also launching a “blue dog” special this summer, one featured drink that will change weekly during the 12 weeks of summer. The classics like margaritas (your call of tequila combined with lemon and sour, not a mix) and bay breezes (vodka, pineapple and a splash of cranberry) are also pretty tasty here, served over crushed ice ($4.25). 7900 Quamoclit, Victoria; 952.443.2542
Peach Pear Apricot Smoothie
People love the smoothies at School of the Wise because they are made with freshly-cut, real fruit, never with sugar or corn syrup. In the spring and summer, they sell like crazy, and the peach pear apricot is owner Brandon Wallis’ favorite.
If you’re after some more serious libation, you might want to know that Wallis recently began rotating a list of seasonal tap beers that change every couple of weeks. This spring’s selection was still being set at the time of writing, but was expected to include offerings from Bell’s, Boulevard Brewery and Rush River, as Wallis likes to focus on small breweries and locally-produced brews.
The bar is also fully-licensed to sell liquor, which Wallis says many customers didn’t know before he added the three-inch thick sugar maple bar last year. Ask about the new list of seasonal martinis that were to be unveiled this spring, along with some seasonal wines by the glass. 1750 Tower Blvd., Victoria; 952.361.9463
Milk and Cookies Milkshake
The milkshakes at Coldstone Creamery have a way of being rich and refreshing all at the same time. The milk and cookies shake is made with sweet cream ice cream and Oreo cookies, a summer alternative to everyone’s favorite after-school snack. The cake n’ shake is made with cake batter ice cream and yellow cake pieces.
Coldstone also blends a line of “sinless” smoothies, made with fruit, juices and ice in flavors like Berry Lemony, with mixed berries and lemon, or 2 to Mango, with mango and pineapple. All frozen drinks range from $4–5.25. 582 Prairie Center Dr., Eden Prairie; 952.943.9538
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