Yesterday was a gorgeous spring/summer Saturday and so we hopped in the car and headed out on a short road trip west to Waconia. I continue to be amazed at all the interesting places around the Twin Cities. It really is a great place to live!
Our first stop was to take a tour of J. Carver Distillery. The location is in an old car dealership space and the remodel was fabulous! We learned about the different ingredients that go into the distillation process of gin, vodka, whiskey, bourbon, and grappa. Also learned the specifics around what can be called a bourbon, brandy, etc. So many rules and regulations…who knew?
After learning about the process, we were back in the sampling room where 3 samples were included in the price of the tour. The hubby and I made sure to pick different samples so we could really decide what we liked. I was less fond of the grappa than the hubby – grappa is made with grape skins left over from wine making. It was fine, but I’d rather just drink wine if it’s going to be involving grapes. I did like their gin and vodka. The gin is not the pine tree gin that most of us remember. Yes there was a bit of smell of pine to one of their gins, but it was smooth and quite tasty. The vodka was also very good and went down nice and smooth. One of the employees came over to ask how things were going and gave us a sample of their barrel gin (it’s brown) – if you like scotch, this beverage is for you! I ordered a Minnesota Mule which was so refreshing on a warm sunny day. It was a cocktail featuring gin, ginger beer, lime, and mint over ice. So refreshing and will likely make an appearance for the upcoming girl’s weekend in July.
After the sampling, we headed over to Lola’s Lakehouse on Lake Waconia. We sat outside by the lake and enjoyed a starter of walleye cakes followed by a Caesar salad with chicken for the hubby and an order of fish and chips for me. We finished the meal by sharing a blonde brownie with vanilla ice cream. It was a good meal and the ambiance of sitting by the lake made it a nice finish to our afternoon in Waconia.
This is definitely a good day trip for anyone in the cities. There are wineries in the area so lots to do and see in Waconia.