Hot Buttered Rye

Mulled Cider and RyeThis recipe was developed by Chad Robinson for the Edible DC spirits festival. The festival was held in late February, when the average daytime temperatures were about 19 degrees Fahrenheit, so we felt a warm cocktail was the perfect thing.

To make the cocktail best, you should batch up a large quantity of the ingredients ahead of time.

Per serving:
½ oz softened butter
1 oz brown sugar
ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, ginger
3 oz hot water
1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky

Mix soft butter, brown sugar and a dash of each of the spices together thoroughly. This is the batter.

Add 3 oz of boiling water to your batter and stir well until a frothy top forms. Stir in your rye and garnish with nutmeg or a cinnamon stick.

Photo by Sonja Bradfield, and used with permission.

Three Cocktails for St. Valentine's Day

Valentine's ArtThe following cocktails were the highlights of our February Wandering Chef dinner and concert with Andrew McKnight.  It was Valentine's Day, so we riffed off that to create sensual and vividly colored cocktails ranging from light pink to dark crimson. Cupid's Delight, like the mythical Cupid himself, looks small and harmless, but packs an impish and unexpected surprise. Cherry Smash is a beautiful cherry cocktail cocktail reminding us of the simplicity of pure love. Finally, the St. Valentine is a rich, darkly colored, and decandant experience. We hope you've experienced a love as rich as this cocktail!

Cupid's Delight

2 oz Fennel infused Watershed Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz peppercorn infused honey syrup
3 oz club soda
lemon twist
Fennel garnish
dash berry syrup for color

Shake all together, garnish with a sprig of fennel, and serve on ice in a rocks glass.

Cherry Smash

1½ oz Mosby's Spirit
½ oz Kirschwasser
½ oz Fresh lemon juice
½ oz Simple syrup
Rhubarb bitters
dash berry syrup for color
1757 Brandied cherry garnish

Shake all together with ice, garnish with a brandied cherry, and serve in a cocktail glass.

St. Valentine

1½ oz Roundstone
½ oz Fonseca Bin 27 Port
½ oz Grand Marnier
½ oz Fresh Lime juice
½ oz Simple syrup

Shake all together with ice, garnish with a lemon peel, and serve in a cocktail glass.

Courtesy Hannah Blymier.

Ramos Gin Fizz

This one takes a lot of shaking... best to do it with friends!Old Tom gin

3 oz Catoctin Creek Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" Watershed Gin
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
4 oz cream
1 egg white
3 dashes Orange flower water
2 drops Vanilla extract
Soda water

Pour all ingredients except soda in a mixing glass, dry shake (no ice) for two minutes, add ice and hard shake for another minute.

Strain into a highball glass without ice, top with soda.

Recipe courtesy Wikipedia.

Katy Pear-y

Katy Pear-yThis Super Bowl libation brought to you by @dcembitterment and @catoctincreek Pearousia. We call it the Katy Pear-y in hopes of a decent half-time show.

2 oz junmai sake
1 tbsp jasmine tea simple syrup
Juice of 1/4 lime
Several dashes aromatic bitters
½ oz Pearousia pear brandy

Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass. Top up with pear brandy and garnish with a pear wheel.

Courtesy DC Embitterment Bitters.

Sleight of Hand

Chad's Port PunchThis recipe comes to us from Doug Atwell of Rye in the Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore. 

2 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
¾ oz Giffard's Banane du Bresil liqueur
¾ oz brown sugar syrup (1 brown sugar:1 water)
2-3 dashes The Dead Rabbit Orinoco bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Courtesy Doug Atwell, and used with permission.

Chad's Port Punch

Chad's Port PunchChad came up with this cocktail for a private party for the RAMMY nominations in DC last month.  Easily batched and poured for the masses, it is reminiscent of a sangria or a grog. 

6 oranges
12 lemons
20 oz of superfine sugar
2 bottles of Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 bottles of Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia Brandy
2 bottles of good port

Peel the lemons and 2 of the oranges and set them aside for juicing later. Muddle the peels with the sugar in your punch bowl and let it sit for at least 1 hour until the citrus oils mix with the sugar. This is called oleo saccharum.
Juice your lemons and 3 of your oranges. Mix the juice with the oleo saccharum, making sure the sugar is fully dissolved in the juice. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the port, rye and brandy. Add a large quantity of ice to the punch to keep it cool while you're serving it. Slice the remaining oranges into wheels and use the orange wheels to garnish your punch bowl.

Serves at least 30-40 people.

Three Cocktails for January

The following cocktails were the highlights of our January Wandering Chef dinner.  We had fun pairing the cocktails with the seasonal food of the evening.  Our first course had pineapple and Hoisin sauce glazed shrimp, so we chose to go Oriental with the use of pineapple, ginger and Chinese five spice.  Our second cocktail, a take on a Manhattan or an A La Lousianne, was nicely paired with a lamb and risotto dish, the whisky cutting nicely through the fatty and rich meat.  Finally, we ended with a berry/moonshine cocktail garnished with a fresh basil leaf.  The aromatic experience is basil, while the berry sweetness compliments the meal of beef and root vegetables.

Shanghai 75

1½ oz Watershed Gin
½ oz pineapple ginger syrup (fresh made)
Chinese Five Spice
Sparkling white wine
Dried pineapple chunk on toothpick for garnish

Combine syrup, spice and gin in a shaker of ice. Stir, and pour into a rocks glass or flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a pineapple chunk.

"Drye" Bones

3 oz Roundstone Rye
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz Benedictine
Orange bitters
Thin orange half-wheel for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker of ice. Stir, and pour into cocktail glass. Top with a dash of bitters, and garnish.

Only the Good Rye Young
Courtesy Brian Bachley at The Occidental, Washington DC.

2 oz Mosby's Spirit
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup
½ oz cherry/blackberry syrup (fresh made)
Basil garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker of ice. Stir, and pour into a rocks glass full of ice. Top with a single fresh basil leaf.

Mulled Cider with Rye

Mulled Cider and RyeThis cocktail comes to us from Sonja Bradfield, author of Ginger and Toasted Sesame.  Sonja has some amazing photographs and a delicious recipe for cider and rye, perfect for a warm winter beverage:

One of my favorite things to drink when the weather gets cold is something warm with a kick like a nice chai tea or a hot toddy. On Thanksgiving my family brewed an impromptu pot of mulled apple cider and for a little extra warmth we added a nip of whiskey. For this recipe I used some apple cider pressed in Virginia and some rye whiskey distilled in Virginia.


[This] rye is great in this mulled cider recipe. It’ll warm you right down through your toes. This recipe makes a half gallon but you can easily double that for a bigger group gathering for the holidays. Just let the spices and fruit simmer long enough to get the cider nice and spicy. For an extra kick, you can add a few black peppercorns and maybe a bit more rye.

½ gallon of apple cider
2 satsuma oranges
1 honey crisp apple
3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky

Thinly slice the oranges and apple horizontally.

Pour the cider in a large pot and add the slices of fruit, the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant.

Fill up mugs about three quarters full and add about an ounce of rye whiskey to each mug.

Garnish with an apple or orange slice, half a cinnamon stick and cloves.

Recipe and photo by Sonja Bradfield, and used with permission.


Gibson II

This cocktail is another one from our brand ambassador, Chad Robinson.  Chad created a shrub to give this cocktail a little extra "zang".  A shrub, for those not informed, is a cocktail base made of vinegar, which brings the needed acidity into the drink in lieu of the usual citrus.  This cocktail tends on the less-sweet side, not quite savory, and is a perfect compliment to shellfish like oysters and shrimp.

Gibson II
2 oz Mosby's spirit
½ oz Manzanilla sherry (I used Lustau)
 ½ oz pear shallot shrub*

Combine all ingredients in a shaker of ice, strain into a rocks glass and enjoy.  Ice optional.

*Pear shallot shrub
4-6 large Bartlett pears
½ shallot bulb
16 oz Turbinado sugar
8 oz white balsamic vinegar

Coarsely chop the pears after removing the stems. Cover the pears in the 16 oz of turbinado sugar. Allow the mixture to sit in a sterilized jar for 24 hours. 

Mince half a shallot bulb and mix with the pears in the syrup. Let the mixture sit for another 12 hours.  Strain out the solids and add the white balsamic vinegar with the syrup. The shrub is good for up to 3 weeks.

I hope you get a chance to make it and enjoy the results.

Recipe courtesy Chad Robinson.

Spiced Rye Cider

Mugs are nice for this one, or it can be made as a punch.

32 oz fresh pressed cider (usually found in autumn in the grocer's aisle near fresh juices)
16 oz Roundstone Rye (about 2/3 of a bottle)
4 oz Honey
10 Cinnamon sticks
8 whole allspice berries

In a saucepan combine the cider and honey. Combine the cinnamon and allspice in a spice sachet and drop in the saucepan. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and remove the spices. Stir in the rye whiskey, and serve and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Modified from a recipe by Kara Newman, Cocktails for a Crowd.

Chuck's Cranberry Revenge

Cranberry SauceThe name for this cocktail centers around a family story from Scott and Becky.  Every year at the Thanksgiving table, we would dutifully open a can of jellied cranberry sauce, slice it up, and place it on a platter on the dining room table.  And nobody would touch it.  Nobody liked cranberry sauce in our family.  But we felt obligated by the traditions of the season to offer it.

One year, Becky's brother Chuck was with us for Thanksgiving, and skipping all formalities, opened a can of cranberry sauce, walked straight over to the garbage disposal, and with a satisfying "SCHHHHLOOK!", dumped it straight down the drain.  Appalled, Becky's mom asked what he was doing.  "Just saving everyone the trouble."

We've never had canned cranberry sauce since.  This cocktail is a satisfying substitute.

1 oz Mosby's Spirit
1 oz Cranberry/orange syrup*
Ginger ale to top
Orange peel for garnish

Mix all ingredients and serve in a rocks glass.

*Cranberry/orange syrup

12 oz fresh orange juice
12 oz cranberry preserves or cranberry salsa

Combine both and let settle for two hours.  Strain out the chunks and save the liquid.

Courtesy Hannah Blymier.

Chad's Holiday Punch

Our brand ambassador, Chad Robinson, is a marvel of cocktails.  Here is his holiday punch, a delightfully easy beverage for a group of 20-30 people.

1 bottle of Roundstone Rye
½ bottle of REAL maple syrup (more or less to taste)
2 bottles of apple cider (more or less to taste)
10 dashes Angostura bitters
Anise, to garnish

Mix all the ingredients in a punch bowl with a cup or two of ice.  Float anise pods for garnish in the bowl.

Honey, I Drunk the Kids

Honey, I Drunk the Kids2 oz Mosby's Spirit
2 oz Ginger honey simple syrup*
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 bar spoon fig preserves
1 oz club soda

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Strain (using a sieve to collect fig pulp) into a rocks glass with ice.  Garnish with citrus peel.

Ginger Honey Simple Syrup

2 cups water
1 large piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cups honey

Boil the water and steep the ginger in the water for at least an hour.  Remove ginger pieces and combine the water with the honey to dissolve.  Store in the fridge for up to one month.

Courtesy Hannah Blymier.

Latest News

March 2015 News

February...ugh!  Glad that's over! Enough of all this snow... bring on the spring!! Despite the dreary weather, February was a pretty good month for us.  We announced our release of the Barrel Aged...

Read more

Press Release: Catoctin Creek now avail…

Arriving in March, 2015 in the Golden State. February 23, 2015, Purcellville, VA – Catoctin Creek expanded its distribution into California through JVS Imports, a wine and spirits importer and wholesaler...

Read more

SmokyBeast Reviews Single Cask Nation Ca…

The folks over at SmokyBeast got their hands on a bottle of Single Cask Nation Catoctin Creek Rye, a private barrel expression we released only through SCN, and I believe...

Read more

Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404

Latest Events

Release Info and Launch Party: Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" Watershed Gi…

Catoctin Creek is pleased to announce the limited release of our Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" style Watershed Gin.  We took our regular, award-winning Watershed Gin, and set some aside for...

Read more

BUNCEAROO Presents! Howie Day! Live at Catoctin Creek!

An Intimate Evening with Howie Day! Nestled in the distillery, enjoy a one-of-a-kind event with great music in a fantastic venue. What: BUNCEAROO Presents! Howie Day Where: Catoctin Creek Distillery120 W. Main St.Purcellville, Virginia When: Thursday, March...

Read more

Catoctin Creek Pairing Dinner at Trummer's on Main

Following the HUGELY POPULAR James Beard Dinner in 2014! In 2014, Trummer's played host to six rising star Virginia chefs recently acknowledged by the James Beard Foundation.  Six chefs came together...

Read more