Very sorry for the long lag in posts. Life has been a bit crazy for me, with a recent move to NYC. Lots going on – including a stolen laptop and shitty wireless connections – that has kept me from the blog. Kevin will have to provide his own excuse for being lame :)

Anyway, while visiting Albany two weekends ago, I was inspired by the (temporary) break in bad weather. With the first signs of a thawing out, I had summer on the mind and wheat beer in my glass. I’ve been looking for a way to use up a million-sheet pack of rice paper wrappers I’ve had for a while. With many filling options on hand, Jaime and I got to work making summer rolls based off of this recipe. To incorporate the fruit and wheat beer flavors that go so well with everything summer, I came up with a recipe for a fruit and American wheat beer infused dipping sauce.

First,  get the dipping sauce together:

Mango and Apricot Wheat Beer Dipping Sauce

1 12 oz bottle apricot wheat beer (I used Ithaca Apricot Wheat. Dogfish Head ApriHop would work nicely too)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 mango, chopped
lemon and orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
2-3 dried red chilies

Add everything to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-high and boil for 12 minutes. Remove chilies and puree the mixture. Let cool.

While the sauce is cooling, get started on the rolls. We didn’t really measure anything and you don’t have to use what we used. Some basics to have on hand, though: rice paper wrappers, vermicelli noodles (cooked), lettuce,  cilantro and thinly sliced carrots. We also added thinly-sliced red pepper, flavored tofu (Soy Boy Tofu Lin) and half of a mango.

Prepare the wraps as Sala at Veggie Belly suggests. When the dipping sauce has cooled, place the rolls around the sauce and serve with some American wheat and/or fruit beer.

I cannot take any credit for the tightly-wrapped fatties. That was all Jaime. The flavors were super fresh and citrusy. The sauce had a complimentary tropical fruit burst that reminded me of Amarillo hops. Plenty of spice in the sauce, but did not dominate the flavor. Very yummy stuff.  For many reasons, looking forward to making these again whenever Spring/Summer finally arrives here in the Northeast.