110 years old and manufactured about three hours away from the Twin Cities in Spring Grove, the Spring Grove Soda Pop brand has a history that should catch the eye of any Minnesotan curious about locally made food. An excerpt from Soil, Timber, & A Spring — The Story of Spring Grove, Minnesota on the soda’s website tells the story in brief:
Spring Grove Pop has been refreshing palates in this city, and the surrounding area, for nearly 100 years. The Spring Grove Bottling Works is the city’s oldest business, and one dear to the hearts of many Spring Grove residents, some of whom can still remember dashing off to the Bottling Works to buy three bottles for a dime to take along on their school picnics.
A simple sniff of an open bottle indicates that this stuff is more potent than your typical beverage. Halfway between a lemon and a pine tree, the Lemon Sour packs an olfactory punch.
Mildly carbonated, the soda itself is bracing but not abrasive. There’s a distinctly natural lemon flavor (as opposed to 7-Up and other mass market lemon-esque sodas) and a bit of a sour afterbite — not as extreme as Schweppes Bitter Lemon, for example, but convincing nonetheless. This would handily cut through the greasy and / or sweet and / or carbon-charred miasma of your typical backyard cookout food.
The stuff is available sporadically throughout the state and the Twin Cities; Surdyk’s had it recently.
Vodka, it turns out, brings out the soda’s sweetness and lemon zip, making for a tremendously refreshing summer beverage.
Minnesota Knockout Drop
Mix two shots Spring Grove Lemon Sour with one shot vodka over ice in a glass.