THE POUR

Thanks to you — Haskell’s named 2019 Retailer of the Year.

Posted by Beau Farrell on Oct 11, 2019 10:19:58 AM

Haskell’s just named 2019 Retailer of the Year by Market Watch Leaders!

That means a lot to us here at Haskell’s, but let's give credit where credit is due. It's because we have the best customers that we’re able to do what we love: offer you the right wine, beer, and spirits for just the right occasion. 

To Be Farrell  

Benny and Fritzi Haskell started their eponymous company in 1934 — not even a year after Prohibition — as a French wine importing business. Jack Farrell (my dad) bought it in 1970. With his commitment to customer service, quality, and serious wine bona fides, the company has expanded from its flagship location in downtown Minneapolis to 11 stores serving the Twin Cities metro. Currently, the Farrell family has owned the company almost 50 years, about 14 years longer than the Haskell's; but, rest assured, the name on the outside will never change because, honestly, without the Haskell's, there would be no Haskell's. 

Jack currently serves as CEO and chairman, running the company with his four sons: Ted (president), Brian (chief operating officer), John (vice president of sales), and Beau (vice president of e-commerce—that's me!).

Download the Haskell's Family Recipe Book

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The Best Scotch for Every Budget

Posted by Beau Farrell on Oct 3, 2019 3:43:25 PM

Typically one of the more acquired tastes among spirits, Scotch is the Scottish cousin in the prolific whisk(e)y and bourbon family. Smoky, peaty, intense, sultry – however you describe it, Scotch tends to conjure up classy vibes of sturdy people sipping the strong stuff.

What are the Scotch basics?

Single malt Scotch is superb on its own, while blended Scotch is best suited in cocktail recipes. Earthy and leathery notes accompany the peaty smokiness. Where does that peaty flavor come from, by the way? American and Irish distillers use other substances to dry the malted barley, but Scottish producers stoke the kiln with peat (dried plant matter), which in turn adds robust smokiness to the Scotch.

There are five recognized regions for Scotch: Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown. 

Bold flavors, honey tones, and dryness characterize the Highlands. Grassy and lighter-bodied high alcohol content marks the Lowlands. You'll notice Speyside has deep complexity from light and grassy to rich and sweet. Islay is the peaty and salty powerhouse of the bunch. The small Campbeltown region offers Scotch of intense smokiness and sometimes savory territory (or to some people, wet dog).

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We're Playoff Bound! Raise a Glass for Twins Bomba Squad & MNUFC Loons

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 26, 2019 5:28:11 PM

After a summer filled with Bombas and Wonderwall, the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota United Football Club are both going to the playoffs this fall. Better yet, the Twins clinched their division title and the Loons clinched their playoff berth within hours of each other.

In a state that hasn't had all that much playoff success in recent years (with the notable exception of the amazing Minnesota Lynx), cracking the bubbly for two teams on one night was something to celebrate! In fact, it inspired us to create some special Minnesota team-themed cocktails to enjoy throughout their playoff runs.

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What is Caballero Liqueur? The Spirit of Spain

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 19, 2019 8:52:00 AM

Do you know about the "Spirit of Spain?"

“Spain has a spirit?” you ask. “I thought it was only superb Rioja reds and Albariño white wines, with the occasional vermouth.”

All great Spanish choices, but there’s more: Ponche Caballero.

If you haven’t yet discovered the glory that is Caballero liqueur, don’t fret. Many of us here in Minnesota and around the United States are late to the Caballero party, so we're here to invite you.

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Best Rosé Wines That Are Sweet, Dry, and Everything in Between

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 5, 2019 9:20:11 AM

Remember when rosé was considered passé? Not anymore. Rosé wines have undergone a big transformation in the image of the public. This isn't your old Aunt Alice's rosé – that sweet, awful stuff. Today, they're wonderful, beautifully balanced wines.

Rosé wines now run the table from ultra-sweet to bone dry. And most do not cost very much either. Rosé wines still seem to suffer from seasonal neglect, but more people are now discovering just how enjoyable they can be year-round, especially in the Midwest, where we can always use a bright winter pick-me-up.

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The Classic Margarita Recipe and More: Your Official Guide to Margaritas

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 29, 2019 12:39:04 PM

You don’t have to wait for Cinco de Mayo or National Margarita Day (February 22) to celebrate in true margarita fashion.

While margarita-making is the obvious choice for celebrating May 5th and the anniversary of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French, this quintessential Mexican drink is too good to leave to only a couple occasions per year. And there are many options beyond the traditional margarita recipe.

A Word About Tequila

One of the reasons margaritas are so good is that this cocktail is built on simplicity, good ingredients, and balance. To authentically enjoy a margarita, one must appreciate tequila – a distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant in the Mexican city of and near Tequila (yes, it’s a place).

There are 200 types of agaves found in Mexico, and they are classified much like fine wines. Tequila that is labeled 100% de Agave can only be bottled in Mexico. It refers to being made from the blue agave plant and does not have added sugars. Mix to refers to tequila that is made with blue agave plus non-agave sugars such as sugar cane. These are usually simply labeled Tequila.

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Ope That's Good: 5 Quintessential MN State Fair Food and Wine Pairings

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 20, 2019 3:11:50 PM

You know it’s almost autumn in Minnesota – not by the changing colors of leaves or kids returning to school – but by the Minnesota State Fair excitement building all over. There are animals, the rides, the games, and don't forget the people-watching. There really is something for everybody, especially when it comes to food.

The Great Minnesota Get-Together runs from August 22-September 2, and let's face it: for many of us, it's just a ten-day window to eat and drink fun stuff that wouldn’t feel quite right any other time of year. So, to get your juices flowing, we'll give you five fun food and wine (or beer) pairings that are uniquely Minnesota at our great State Fair.

Pro Tip: Take your foodie adventure to the next level by using the State Fair Food Finder, where you can filter by category and keywords to craft your own personalized menu for the Fair.

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Party Planning: A Drink Calculator for Weddings, Graduations and More

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 12, 2019 2:24:00 PM

Party planning is fun, but it also requires some math. Whether it’s a graduation party, a sports viewing, a wedding reception, or a big weekend hangout, you want to have the right amount of alcohol available for the number of people in attendance. We've got the answers - but it helps to first consider a handful of key questions.

  • Did you invite light, average, or heavy drinkers?
  • How many adults over the age of 21 will be drinking?
  • How much money are you willing to spend?
  • Will you have only beer, only wine, only spirits, or a combination of everything?
  • Will someone be bartending, or will it be self-serve?

Pro Tip: Don’t forget non-alcoholic beverages for your underage and non-drinking guests. And don't skimp on the food, either. Plan to have at least a few finger foods or snacks to munch on.

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Day Trip Itineraries for Minnesota Wineries

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jul 25, 2019 1:13:22 PM

It’s no secret that Minnesota has grown to produce lots of craft beer — and we’re getting attention around the nation because of it. But let’s not leave out a growing scene that has roots all around our fine state: Minnesota wineries.

You may think that the north Midwestern climate is too cold and often too humid to grow grapes like the world-renowned vines in dry, arid climates like Italy, France, California, and Argentina. Though our colder climate is harsh for many grape varieties, thanks to the research and perseverance of the University of Minnesota, we are ripe for a few cold-hardy hybrid grape varieties. That includes one of the state’s most important grapes: Frontenac.

But are they any good? We say the best way to find out is to drink Minnesota-grown wines for yourself and see what you enjoy. There are a surprising number of wineries across our state to choose from. Work your way through Haskell’s custom-made ultimate list of Minnesota wineries, and you’ll find many unexpected varieties based in scenic locations around our beautiful state.

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The Hot List of Minnesota Craft Beer and Where to Go to Enjoy Them

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jul 18, 2019 6:36:32 PM

We could write every day about Minnesota craft beers and never lose things to talk about. Why? Because so many are well-crafted, rooted in tradition – and, most importantly, great to drink.

Here’s our "hot list" of Minnesota’s best brews, some of our favorites, and some of the top-sellers around our state. The final decision is up to you, since everyone’s tastes differ and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what hops make you happy. But you could definitely have a lot of fun exploring these options, either from A to Z (okay, our list ends at W), or one end of the state to the other! Cheers!

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