Celebrate June’s National Drinking Days with Cocktails from Excelsior Vintage’s Greg Varner

Cheers to National Moonshine Day.

Greg Varner, owner of Excelsior Vintage, opened his boozy utopia in 2001, specializing in craft beer and unique spirits—but his first passion is wine.

Varner enjoys the romance around wine, and pairing the perfect glass of wine with a meal. And that perfect wine doesn’t always have to break the bank. After having trouble finding the highly rated wines he read about from critic Stephen Tanzer and in publications like Wine Advocate, Varner took it upon himself to open the liquor store he’d been looking for. “I wanted to introduce people to wines that are just wonderful values.”

But enough about wine—June happens to include a number of (self-proclaimed) national cocktail holidays. We asked Varner to share a few of his favorite recipes with us; you can find more online at lakeminnetonkamag.com. Did you know June 19 was national martini day? Cheers!

June 5: National Moonshine Day
Blue Sky (High West)

  • 1.5 oz. High West Silver whiskey
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • Spoonful of blueberry jam
  • Top with ginger beer.
  • Garnish with mint leaves.

June 10: National Iced Tea Day
Back Porch Tea (Saveur)

  • 6 oz. fruity iced tea
  • 1.5 oz. gin
  • Top off with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with a slice of white peach.

Stop by Excelsior Vintage on Fridays and Saturdays between 3 and 7 p.m. for free wine tastings.