Spring gives me the feelings of growth, rebirth and hope. I love that this time of year brings a fresh new selection of experiences that aren’t normally available during the other seasons. That includes new alcoholic beverages. Most of the time, I turn towards Rose’ and seasonal wines, easy to travel bubbly products in a can and gin. But if Minnesota weather can be all over the place, why can’t I do the same with my adult beverages?

Every May, I get really excited because the new vintages of Rose’ and seasonal wines arrive at our store, and each year they are different. I’m especially interested in any Rose’ bubbles. They are fresh, bright, and full of vibrant flavors. And now this year, we have two more people at our stores helping choose our wines. My brother Pat and I have chosen in the past, but this year we now have Cheryl at Lakeside and Eirik at our Lowry Hill location. Our new variety of wines are diverse and lovely, and I can’t wait to see where the spring takes us.

Things in a can that bubble, like seltzers, sparkling wine, and pre-made cocktails have exploded everywhere. (Especially if you shake them.) New products and flavors keep coming out each week and they seem to get better and more interesting. It seems like everyone has their own brand, and Minnesota is trying to keep up with the pace. Whether we’re on a boat or in the basement on a rainy day, it’s always fun to have a can in hand. So, give a new type or brand a whirl to see which one catches your taste buds.

Gin seems to be a great summer drink and there are so many more choices on the shelf. Contrary to popular belief, all gin doesn’t taste like a pine tree. They are offering more citrus and different botanical infusions and some are even barrel-aged. The new gins are becoming more versatile and the tonics are growing and changing as well. It’s not just regular tonic, but also craft tonic, and there are numerous options. From ruby red to elderflower, the tonics keep improving and growing.

I also encourage people to do the exact opposite of what people say they “should be drinking.” If someone says you need to drink a bubbly Rose’ because it’s spring, it’s okay to go against the grain and drink a heavy, dark stout (even out of spite). If someone says the season calls for a gin and tonic, it’s okay to do a boozy Manhattan. Be creative and try something new. Go ahead and do whatever makes you feel like dancing into spring.