Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the options on a restaurant menu? Multiply that feeling by 100 and it's safe to say you understand how I feel in a grocery store. Everything looks appetizing and I want to try it all, but my eyes are always bigger than my stomach...and wallet. To help you get over that first "What should I be drinking?" hurdle, let's take a walk down the beverage aisle together and quench that thirst with five great Alex-endorsed options from Lakewinds Co-Op.
PROHIBITION KOMBUCHA & TREE FORT SODA
Minneapolis residents might be familiar with Verdant Tea in Seward, but did you know you can get their amazing Prohibition Kombucha on tap at Lakewinds? It prides itself on being "The Twin Cities' first non-alcoholic Kombucha served on tap made with direct sourced, hand picked Chinese teas from small family farms with rare botanicals, tropical juices, and the cleanest SCOBY cultivated this side of the Prime Meridian." (As someone who once dabbled in brewing kombucha from home, a clean SCOBY is a BIG DEAL.) Lakewinds has three great flavors on tap: Ginger, Cherry and Pink Robot. If you can't decide on a flavor, follow in my footsteps and make a 'bucha-suicide. There really is no wrong way to blend. Fancy something else? Try the Tree Fort Root Beer or Ginger Ale that's also on tap, and show your support for an entrepreneurial young lady.
JOIA NATURAL SODA
While we're on the topic of delicious, locally-made soda, have you tried JOIA? JOIA's all natural sodas first caught my attention a couple of years ago with flavors like Lime, Hibiscus and Clove, and Grapefruit, Chamomile and Cardamom. Truthfully, I'm not much of a soda—er, excuse me "pop" drinker—but with no preservatives, caffeine or artificial anything, it's pretty easy to make an exception for JOIA. Please note that the sodas also make excellent drink mixers. I suggest you start dreaming of summer over a RuPaul.
CALIFA FARMS CAFÉ LATTE
Guys, I really like coffee. Really. When my day starts without it, I feel a little off, so I wanted to make sure you have a ready-to-go option for home and one to grab while you're working through that shopping list at Lakewinds...but more on the latter later. The Califa Farms bottle caught my eye (good job, brand design team!) and when I read the ingredients (coffee, almond milk and pure cane sugar) and didn't have to Google anything, I was sold. I'm a gal who likes her coffee black but this latte has just the right amount of sweetness. Simply pour over ice and you're ready to go.
(ANYTHING) PEACE COFFEE
It's no secret that I like Peace Coffee a whole lot and it's no surprise that I'm not alone. Their cheery Wonderland Park location is often bursting at the seams with coffee lovers, so I'm grateful that I can also get my fix at Lakewinds. Plus, it's nice to have a little caffeine boost while you shop. The Peace Coffee bar at Lakewinds has coffee shop staples like espresso and macchiato, but this beauty pictured above happens to be the "Desert Rose," a latte with rose and almond syrup.
ODWALLA CARROT JUICE
Step out of your juice comfort zone and add some beta-carotene to your diet. This is one of Odwalla's 100% juices and "carrots" are the only ingredient. I like the taste of it alone on ice, but you can also ease into it by adding it to a banana-based smoothie. Drink up, and know you're contributing to a little bit of good in the world.
Did you find something else you love to drink at Lakewinds? Spill—the story, not the drink.
P.S. Photos were taken by Ashlie Johnson, who had to manually focus all these shots on account of a fussy lens. She's a trooper.