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5 Things: January 24th, 2020

It’s my favorite time of year to be at work. I’m happy to see the business battling sales records all Summer long, and there is a certain excitement that comes with the furious tide of December mail order days, but I prefer taking life a bit slower.

The post-holidays Winter to early Spring segment of the year is the time when we try new things, be they grab & go items, like cookies, pasta salads, and condiments, or new smoked meat and fish products for our deli cases. Right now, our fish, meat, and grab & go cases are fully-stocked with goodies.

It’s also the time for larger projects, and planning for the aforementioned projects: A break from the routine, and, of course, time for a few more breaths between each movement.

Here’s a few things that happened this week.

Megan cleaned and organized the deep freeze.

No one asked, “Hey, Megan—would you like to clean the deep freeze?” In fact, it was Megan who asked, “Hey, is it cool if I clean the deep freeze?”

Four hours later, it went from a chaotic state—which, for my anxiety’s sake, I don’t have a photo of—to this nice, organized area in which I will still always irrationally fear becoming trapped.

This is much better.

Thank you, Megan!

Work began on our new office.

The plan is to knock down a few walls in our current third floor office, so we can fit another large walk-in cooler in our collective space, leaving only enough room for the mail order office and workstations.

Meanwhile, Rosewater Music has moved their operation to a new location, and we’re taking over that space—conveniently also on the third floor of the DeWitt-Seitz building—to accommodate our creative team, managers, and anyone else who would be displaced.

More details and photos will be coming in the next handful of weeks.

We finally have jerky.

This business may be in its third decade of life, but we haven’t run out of ideas yet.

Jerky is an often-requested item at our deli, and with the success of other take & eat items like our host of snack sticks, and Patricia’s various baked goods, Eric decided it was time to give the people what they wanted.

We’re currently offering three varieties of Smoked Jerky—Umami Tsunami Bison Jerky, Maple Bourbon Bison Jerky, and Sockeye Salmon Jerky—with plans of new varieties to come.

Learn more about our Smoked Jerky here.

Soba Noodle Salad.

Patricia came up with this delicious new use for our Teriyaki Smoked Tofu, which is now available out of our deli meat case for $8.50/lb.

I could say some more about it, or you could just read the list of ingredients:

The savvy cook will know what to do with this list better than I, but if you’d like to skip all the steps of smoking tofu, preparing the noodles, chopping and grating the ingredients, and more, just stop in and try it.

Patricia is working on a few other pasta salads at the moment, and always up to something new in the bakery. We’ll do our best to inform you as each of these new offerings occurs.

Sandwich Lab Specials return!

This is the preview to the preview: Next week we’ll be announcing the FOUR NEW SANDWICHES coming to our menu from the November 2019 Sandwich Lab.

And two sandwiches from last year’s cycle of monthlong Sandwich Lab Specials join the permanent menu: The Wagner and The Sebu-Chan. Each selected based on their successful sales numbers, as well as their popularity amongst our staff, who voted these the top two.

On top of all that, come March, we’ll be offering two new sandwiches: an as-of-yet unnamed smoked fish sandwich in development, and The Pack Lunch, our sandwich collaboration with our friendly neighbors at Duluth Pack.

2020 is going to be a big year for new options at the Smokehaus.


After all that I’ve said about this being a slow time of year, the news broke to me this morning that there will be two hockey tournaments in town this weekend, so gear up for a busy handful of days in Canal Park.

See you next week, with a bunch of new Product Features, and at least five more Things™.

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Simple Syrups Three Ways

Life in Duluth revolves around the lake. Whether you think it cheesy, inspirational, mundane or not; Lake Superior rules. The water is calming, refreshing and gives vitality. We drink the best water in the world (it’s our world) every day, so it’s not surprising that this city on the banks of Lake Superior has attracted Vikre Distillery (a lauded and award-winning company) to hand make its delicious spirits  here.
The following recipes use Vikre Gin (you can sub with your favorite London-dry gin– but you should trust us and try Vikre), Lake Superior Water, and some terminology that you might not be used to or maybe you are. Either way let’s define some words so that we’re all on the same page.

Simple Syrup- Usually a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. You can make Rich Syrup or Weak Syrup by altering the ratio in either direction. You can choose to flavor your simple syrup by adding vegetables, herbs, and botanicals.

Cordial- A more ‘advanced’ version of a simple syrup made by infusing water with flowers and/ or fruits.  Cordial sits for longer than a simple syrup in the fridge and is then strained.

Coupe- A type of stemmed glass with a shallow bowl used for champagne, gimlets, martinis, etc.

Collins-  A tall and narrow glass tumbler glass (think Mojitos).

High Ball- A short and stout glass tumbler (think Old Fashioned).

Sour- 1:1 ratio of Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup + Spirit.

Gimlet- 1:1 ratio of  Lime Juice and Simple Syrup +Spirit (or Lime Cordial + Spirit).

Bitters- A pungent liquor that is made with botanicals and added to cocktails for enhancing its flavor profile.

 

Now that we have that covered we can focus on what’s really fun; making our ingredients and having the satisfaction of enjoying a home-made cocktail from scratch.

We’ll start with some simple syrups:

Lavender Syrup

3 TBSP of Dried Lavender

1 C White Sugar

1 C Water

Bring your water and lavender to a soft boil and stir in your sugar. Once sugar is dissolved bring your syrup down to a simmer and stir for a couple minutes. Let your ingredients steep for 15 minutes off heat. Strain with cheese cloth or fine mesh. Allow the syrup to cool and keep it refrigerated.

 

Ginger Syrup

1 C Roughly Cut Ginger (1/2 in- 3/4 in)

1 C White Sugar

1 C Water

Bring your water and ginger to a soft boil and stir in your sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, bring your syrup down to a simmer and stir for a couple of minutes. Let your ingredients steep for 15 minutes off heat. Strain with cheese cloth or fine mesh. If you want to get all of the ginger goodness, use a spoon to press on the softened ginger chunks. Allow the syrup to cool and keep it refrigerated.

 

Basil Syrup

1 C Loosely Packed Basil

1 C White Sugar

1 C Water

Bring your water and basil to a soft boil while stirring occasionally and slowly add in your sugar. Once sugar is dissolved bring your syrup down to a simmer and stir for a couple minutes. Let your ingredients steep for 15 minutes off heat. Strain with cheese cloth or fine mesh. Allow the syrup to cool and keep it refrigerated.

 

Now, what you do with these simple syrups is up to you. You can use them for baking, enhancing your tea, making flavored sodas or making cocktails at home. If you feel like shaking things up, we suggest some variations of sours and gimlets as a go-to for a refreshing evening. If kept in the fridge, your syrup will last about 2 months. 

Lavender Gin Sour

2 oz Vikre Juniper Gin

0.75 oz Lavender Syrup

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

Add the lemon juice, lavender syrup and gin to a shaker and fill with ice. You’ll want to vigorously shake your mix for about 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe and enjoy!

Basil Gin Sour

1.5 oz Vikre Juniper Gin

0.75 oz Basil Syrup

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

 

Add the lemon juice, basil syrup and gin to a shaker and fill with ice. You’ll want to vigorously shake your mix for about 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe and enjoy!

You can sub the Vikre Boreal Spruce Gin for this cocktail for extra citrus and bright notes.

 

Spring’s in the Air

1.5 oz Vikre Juniper Gin

0.25 oz Ginger Syrup

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

0.50 oz St. Germain (or sub for any Elderflower cordial)

Add the lemon juice, ginger syrup, St. Germain and gin to a shaker and fill with ice. You’ll want to vigorously shake your mix for about 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe, garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

 

And if coupes are not your style, these syrups lend themselves to make refreshing variations of a Tom Collins.

 

Not Your Average Tom

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

0.75 oz Ginger Syrup

1.5 oz Vikre Boreal Juniper Gin

Soda Water

 

Add the lemon juice, ginger syrup and Juniper Gin to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball or Collins glass. Add ice cubes to the top and fill your glass with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge. Enjoy!