We understand school is out, but a brief lesson in the summer libations 101 in Lake County course is sure to pique your interest.
The Lake County Libation Trail features the most delectable flavors from locally-grown ingredients.
From beer and wine to vodka and whiskey, crafted and distilled adult beverages are designed to dazzle and educate the most discerning tastes.
In the summertime, while we do love enjoying all of the coasters, community festivals, boating expeditions, shopping options and bodies of water, we also like to kick back and relax with a cold one.
We make our own here in Lake County. Take your taste buds out for the ride of their life as we divulge a crash course to summer libations 101 in Lake County.
Summer Libations: Cherry Lager (release on July 20), Raspberry Wheat (release in August) and Blueberry Wheat (release in August)
Outlook: The Cherry Lager is a crisp finish lager with the subtle background flavor of seasonal cherry. This would make a great compliment to your summer with an ABV of 4.6 percent and IBU of 16. The Raspberry Wheat is a season American pale wheat ale providing a subtle but expect tart flavor from the berry. The raspberry libation has a 5.3 percent ABV with a cloudy aesthetic but a slight effervescence. Finally, the Blueberry Wheat compliments its raspberry cousin. The blue fruit tasting brew has an ABV of 5.3 percent and IBU of 15 like its raspberry buddy.
Summer Libation: Redheaded Stepchild
Outlook: The ginger-haired youngster that this libation is named after is a traditional German blond ale. This fruitastic brew has a 6.1 percent ABV and has been infused with 30 gallons of strawberries.
Summer Libation: Southside Fizz
Outlook: The Southside Fizz is created with one and a half ounce of Fiddle Gin, a half ounce of simple syrup, a half ounce of simple syrup, topped with soda and three to four mint leaves
Summer Libations: Crimson Nectar, Meridian Wit and Cloud Cover
Outlook: Crimson Nectar is a bright red refreshing blackberry berlinerweiss. The Meridian Wit is a wafts a strong peppery citrus aroma and has a spectacular, crisp taste with a 5.3 percent ABV (just released in June). The Cloud Cover is a New England IPA. All perfect options for all the summer feels.
Summer Libation: Sangria in a can
Outlook: When you’re active during the summertime, it’s the dream of many (including this author) to enjoy the fruits of vino in a can. Now this dream is a reality as Glunz Family Winery and Cellars have this berry concoction in an aluminum can format!
Summer Libations: Lynfred Rosé, Lynfred Sparkling Rosé, Lynfred Sangria Blanc and Lynfred Sangria Rouge
Outlook: The Lynfred Rosé (70 percent Petite Sirah, 30 percent Pinot Noir) bursts with aromas of strawberry jam and summery herbs with a bright, citrus palate perfect for enjoyment on the patio. The Lynfred Sparkling Rosé (100 percent Pinot Noir) is an elegant, effervescent apértif with notes of elderflower, red currant, and ginger. The Lynfred Sangria Blanc is a tropical escape in a glass with white wine blended with pear and passion fruit wines. It’s delicious on its own, but even better with fresh, summer fruit mixed in. Last, but certainly not least is the Lynfred Sangria Rouge which features red wine blended with cherry, cranberry, raspberry and strawberry wines for a sweet, tart and herbaceous summer sipper. Oenophiles can add sparkling water and a squeeze of lime to make the ultimate spritzer.
Summer Libation: Gudenteit Hef-Weizen
Outlook: The Libertyville brewery’s favorite brew of the vernal equinox months. This German-style ale is brewed with 60 percent wheat malt and 40 percent malted barley. This award-winning suds libation is uniquely highlighted by light fruit, banana, clove and vanilla taste. The Gudenteit Hefe-Weizen, which is 5.5 percent ABV, is best served in a 22 oz glass.
Summer Libations: Jasmine Jump, Cucumber G&T and Tropical Mule
Outlook: The Tropical Mule contains 1.5 ounces of Doublewood Rum, 1 ounce of pineapple juice, one-half ounce of lime juice and ginger beer. The beachy keen drink is a classic Moscow Mule utilizing one of the Green Oaks newer rums. The Cucumber G&T has two cucumber slices one-fourth ounce of simple syrup, one-fourth ounce lime juice, tonic water and one and a half ounces of Distiller’s Gin No. 11. The Jasmine Jump obtains two-ounces of North Shore Vodka, three-fourths ounces of lime, three-fourths of an ounce of Jasmine simple syrup and club soda. The bouncy “Aladdin” princess libation is a perfect refreshment while lounging on the front or back porch in a dapper pair of slippers.
Summer Libations: Brett in the Afternoon and Secret Beach
Outlook: Brett in the Afternoon is a saison mixed with a farmhouse ale. The 5.5 percent ABV drink has several Brettanomyces strains that lend savory notes of wet hay, Meyer lemon, and pepper to this dry blonde ale. The Secret Beach is a hefeweizen. The hefeweizen summer drink is a Bavarian wheat beer, with a grain bill of malted wheat and barley and a pinch of light crystal. The beach bum drink provides the simple canvas on which the essential yeast strain works its magic. The Secret Beach attains tasty hints of banana bread.
Summer Libations: Mechanics Grove and Go Go Wit
Outlook: The Mechanics Grove is a maibock with 6.1 percent ABV and a more hoppier version than the bock. The Go Go Wit is a 5 percent ABV Belgian witbier that is sweet and citrusy finishing dry and crisp with a hint of tartness.
Summer Libations: Bianca Ice Wine 2014 Vintage & Marechal Foch Reserve 2013 Vintage
Outlook: The Bianca Ice Wine 2014 was recently released earlier this summer. It is a barrel aged white wine made of frozen grapes. This style of vino’s flavor has a sweet taste to it. The Marechal Foch Reserve 2013 Vintage is a red libation. This barrel-aged wine is available for purchase for $39 (usually a $59 retail price), while the Bianca Ice Wine has a $40 discount. The Hungarian-style white is being sold for $39 (typically a $79 retail price).
Summer Libations: Kaleidoscope and Summer Shanty
Outlook: The Summer Shanty is a unique white wine made from the Somerset table grape. This white vino has earthy aromas with a finish of strawberry and a hint of grapefruit. The Kaleidoscope is a semi-sweet fusion of the vineyard’s St. Pepin, LaCrescent and Somerset wines. The melody of flavors includes tropical citrus, peach apricot and strawberry.
Upcoming Summer Libations 101 Festivals and Deals
- Valentino Vineyard Tour, Wine Appreciation Seminar for only $23 (Limited Time Offer) INFO»
- Beer, Brats & Beethoven at Ravinia Festival (July 14) INFO»
- Muttersholtz Fest at Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove (July 21) INFO»
- Jazz & Wine Festival in Deer Park (August 4) INFO»
- North Shore Wine, Beer, Cigar & Food Festival in August INFO»
For more information about summer libations 101 in Lake County, continue here.