Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Not Your Pappy’s Moonshine

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Last week I got a fun treat and joined Seattle’s LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of the Endangered Cocktail – love that!) group for a private tour of the Woodinville Whiskey Co. Talk about a perk to this blogging stuff!

Only open to the public for a few months, the Woodinville Whiskey Co. has been busy creating a boutique whiskey distillery not far from the Red Hook Brewery, Chateau St. Michelle Winery and many other booze-forward businesses in Woodinville. Owner Orlin Sorensen took about 20 or so LUPEC women through their facilities, let us peer into vats of boiling organic corn and rye mash, and gave us several samples to sip. While I was familiar with the basics of bourbon and whiskey, the tour went way beyond. I can’t do all of the information justice (a few bullet points are at the end), but tastings and tours are available to the public each week.

These barrels are in high demand by home and commercial brewers!

 While Boss Hogg pursued the Dukes of Hazzard for runnin’ moonshine, the distillery has accomodated us by launching Headlong White Dog Whiskey, an organic, unaged whiskey made with true bourbon mash but just out of the still…in other words, legal moonshine. Orlin described white dog as being to bourbon what white rum is to aged rum – rougher, sharper but still flavorful. Just for kicks, he used the white dog in a cocktail called the Green Trellis to demonstrate its mixability. You can pick up a bottle of Headlong at the distillery or at state liquor stores: How fun to tell guests at your next party that you are serving a form of moonshine!

Green Trellis (created by John Ueding at Trellis Restaurant in Kirkland)

3 slices of cucumber
10-12 mint leaves
1 ½ oz Headlong White Dog Whiskey
1 oz apple cider (they used non-alcoholic, but I think hard cider would also be tasty)
½ oz simple syrup

Muddle the cucumber and mint in a cocktail shaker, and then add ice and other ingredients. Shake well, strain and serve up in a chilled cocktail glass.

Orlin gave us a sneak peek, or rather sip, of their first batch of micro-barrel (5 to 7 gallons) aged bourbon. Very tasty. Plans are to release a new micro-batch of organic bourbon each quarter, so it will be interesting to see what more refined palates have to say about the releases.

Cutest cask ever (don't mention that to Dad).

Can’t wait to taste their results? The distillery is also selling its “Age Your Own Whiskey” kit, complete with a wee cask. The company says that the small cask size means the aging process is greatly accelerated, producing a properly aged whiskey in just 3-6 months. Too late for Mother’s Day, this kit could make a great Father’s Day gift for the whiskey lover in your family.

And although bourbon is clearly their passion, the distillery’s owners also produce an organic vodka to pay the bills while the bourbon ages. Most vodka is pretty tasteless, but the Peabody Jones Vodka tasted almost creamy, with hints of vanilla. A pleasant way to add interest to your vodka drinks.

In addition to the sipping and sampling, LUPEC also raised about $400 for the Red Cross’s tornado relief efforts – fitting given that the recent tornados have devastated areas around and in the South’s bourbon region. Cocktails and a cause, the perfect combo.

Bonus: Random Bourbon Factoids

  • Bourbon is America’s only native spirit and must contain at least 51% corn mash. But it does not have to be made in Bourbon County, Kentucky, to be called bourbon.
  • Bourbon barrels are made from new white oak by professional called coopers (at a cooperage, naturally).
  • The insides of the barrels are charred to distillery preference, depending on the flavor profile the distillery seeks.
  • After the barrels are used just once for bourbon, they are used by other distilleries for beer, Scotch or Irish whisky, rum and tequila.
  • The alcohol lost to absorption in the cask is called the angels’ share.
  • The Woodinville Whiskey Co. already has a long list of home beer brewers and commercial brewers waiting for those used bourbon barrels to free up!

Cheers, ICE

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol
and mixer definitions and details.


¡Salud to Cinco de Mayo cócteles!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Although we are far from the U.S.-Mexico border here in Seattle and my kids can speak more Spanish than I can, we do have a cat named Nacho Libre and I’m always happy to lift a glass in celebration.  I think that’s enough to get my tequila revved and ready for Cinco de Mayo.


El luchador mexicano dice: "Escucha al HIELO, este es un cóctel muy bueno!"(translation: The Mexican wrestler says, "Listen to ICE, this is a very good cocktail!")

This cocktail, the St. Rosemary by mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout, is another approachable tequila drink (more here) that is easy to make and chug, er, sip.

St. Rosemary

Leaves from a 1-inch rosemary sprig, plus 1 rosemary sprig for garnish
¼ oz fresh lime juice
1¾ oz  reposado tequila
¾ oz  St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1¼ oz apple juice, preferably unfiltered

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the rosemary leaves with the lime juice. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish and shake well. Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the rosemary sprig.

¡Salud, ICE

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.


This Applejack Is Not For Breakfast

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Wee little things are so cute, aren’t they? Baby shoes, miniature booze bottles – you get the picture. The Lady apple is one such tiny thing. A basket of them caught my eye at the market, and I remembered a cocktail recipe that calls specifically for the Lady apple.  

Smashing Lady, from the MixShakeStir book of cocktails.

1 Lady apple, quartered, cored and cut into five ½ inch slices
¾ oz simple syrup
1 ½ oz applejack (I used Laird’s) or apple brandy
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
Soda water to taste

Muddle the apple slices with the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, applejack and lemon juice and shake well. Pour into a chilled glass and top with soda water (I used a champagne flute just for fun).

The Smashing Lady

My son eats his weight in apples daily, so we have a lot in the house. The Lady apple doesn’t taste much different than other crisp, mellow varieties, so feel free to substitute (try a quarter of a Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Braeburn). Or use a blended unfiltered apple juice – start with ½ oz in the recipe above and then add to taste.

This would be a great sipper on Thanksgiving day while prepping the meal (I’m lucky to have fantastic in-laws that do this!) and greeting guests. It’s fairly light on alcohol since the applejack is less than half the quantity, the taste is smooth and it features a spirit out of the usual vodka/tequila/rum categories.  But if Thanksgiving is so stressful that you do pour this applejack into your morning Apple Jacks…well, I’m not judging.

Coming up: I will trial a few pumpkin and cranberry drinks, and post the keepers here within the next two weeks.

Cheers, ICE


An Apple A Day…

Friday, October 8th, 2010

It’s Rocktober! A month filled with occasions for cocktails. In fact, I thought of calling it Cocktober, but that sounded a bit unseemly.

Since today is Apple Day in my kindergartener’s class, naturally I had to have an apple cocktail last night (we all mark events in our own way).  And just to mix it up, I went with a cachaca-based drink. Cachaca (pronounced ka-sha-sa) is made with fermented sugarcane juice in Brazil.

My first stop on liquor store visits is the mini bins. Granted, the selection can be limited, but sometimes I find a mini bottle that lets me try a liquor without the commitment of the big bottle. My discovery of the Novo Fogo cachaca mini allowed me to try the delicious Homecoming Caipirinha (pronounced kie-pur-reen-yah).

Drawer o' minis (I promise that it is neater than it looks!)

Homecoming Caipirinha

1 ½ oz cachaca
2 apple slices
2 lemon slices
1 oz unfiltered apple juice
½ oz agave nectar
Dash cinnamon

Muddle the apple and lemon slices in a cocktail shaker, and then add ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake to chill, and then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. (Note: I made some changes to the original recipe to simplify it.)

This is a great drink for fall, and would be easy to scale up for a party. The agave nectar can be found at most grocery stores in the sweetener or honey sections.  Perhaps it’s time to invest in a bottle of cachaca, or even to try this recipe with rum.

Halloween + Cocktails. Two of my favorite things together, so I’m going to have a fun month. Stay tuned!

Cheers, ICE