Brandied Peach PieThis recipe comes to us from Kristen Hartke, beloved friend of the distillery:

Walking through Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market on a Saturday afternoon, I am always overwhelmed by the amazing scent of ripe peaches, tottering in massive piles all along the farmer’s line. For me, the smell is everything that is good about summer, capturing the essence of long lazy days in the warm sunshine. In the dark of winter, when I am dreaming of summer, I sometimes like to recapture those moments with a tot of peach brandy made by Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in nearby Purcellville, Virginia — unlike most peach brandies, their brandy is not too sweet but has an underlying note of fresh peaches that you smell as soon as you bring the glass to your nose. Marrying fresh summer peaches and a smidge of peach brandy together into a glorious pie is a perfect way to celebrate the changing seasons as we get ready to welcome fall.

You’ll need fresh pastry for a two-crust pie; I like to make a vegan pie crust similar to this one by Savvy Vegetarian (http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-recipes/vegan-pie-crust.php), so that none of my friends have to be left out of dessert.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

3 cups sliced fresh peaches, skins removed (see Cooking Hack for skin removal tips)

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup Catoctin Creek peach brandy

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons basil buds (these are the little buds you’ll find growing on your basil plant and sometimes also for sale at the farmers market; a little goes a long way; you can also use finely chopped basil)

1 tablespoon heavy cream or vegan soy or coconut creamer

1 tablespoon regular or vegan butter, broken into pieces

2 chilled unbaked pie crusts

Put peaches, sugar, and brandy into a bowl and mix together. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then add the flour and basil buds. Combine well and pour into the pie pan that is lined with one of the chilled unbaked pie crusts. Dot the top of the peach filling with the butter. Roll the other crust over the top, tuck the edges of the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust and crimp together. Brush the top of the crust with the heavy cream (or vegan alternative), then cut a few slits in the top of the crust to let the steam escape as it bakes.

Place the pie in the oven on the middle rack with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any overflow during baking. Bake for 30 minutes at 400ºF, then cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil (to prevent burning) and lower the oven temperature to 375ºF. Continue baking for about 40 more minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vegan vanilla ice cream.

**Cooking Hack: to remove peach skins, pour boiling water over whole peaches, let sit for a minute or two, then run under cold water. The skins will slip off easily with your fingers!

Recipe and photo courtesy Kristen Hartke and used with permission.

Maple PopcornRebekah Pizana writes for I Am Modern magazine, and she recently created a flavored popcorn highlighting our Roundstone Rye:

Throwing a Halloween or autumn party? A big batch of this caramelly corn will satisfy any guest’s cravings, hitting all the right elements of a memorable party treat: sweet, salty, crunchy, warm…and spiked. The wonderful thing about this recipe is not only the versatility, but the ingredients can be easily substituted to adjust to your taste. My favorite variation includes adding a splash of Catoctin Creek’s Rye Whisky. The natural woody, toffee notes make this caramel really special.

Sauce:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (or 8 oz. coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Few pinches of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Grade A, Medium Amber Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky

Use raw cane sugar or granulated sugar for a lighter color and taste, and substitute cane syrup for the maple if you prefer.

Place all ingredients in a deep pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Allow to bubble for approximately five minutes. Try not to cook it any longer or it will get harder as it cools. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10-20 minutes. Pour in whisky and stir until smooth. If you want to make this a few hours before serving, simply heat over low and stir until smooth again.

Popcorn:
½ cup yellow popcorn kernels
3 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
½ tsp. sea salt

In a large two-gallon pot over medium-high heat, place oil and sea salt and allow to heat up for about five minutes. You’ll know the oil is “ready” if you throw one kernel in and it pops. Add the popcorn and cover with a lid. Be sure to slowly move the pot around, with oven mitts, to coat the kernels with oil. Turn the heat down to medium. Once you hear more popping, continue to move the pot around to allow even heat. After a few minutes, the popping will slow down. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before tossing in the caramel.

Serve the popcorn gooey or spread on a baking tray and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, break up into clusters and serve warm.

Recipe and photo courtesy Rebekah Pizana of I Am Modern, and used with permission.

Roundstone Rye Ice Cream SundaeSummer. 

It's hot outside. A nice summer cocktail is cold. Ice cream is cold. Why wrestle with which one to enjoy first? Have them at the same time with our Catoctin Creek Manhattan Sundae. Using our organic 100% rye whisky, we created this delicious summertime delight. Remember, a real Manhattan cocktail should be made with rye, so only the best rye will do in our ice cream treat...and in your glass!

Roundstone Rye Ice Cream

1¼ c. sugar
2 c. whole milk
2½ c. cream
4 T Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Few drops of almond extract
Heavy pinch of salt

  1. Whisk the milk, sugar, and salt together until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the cream and gently stir to combine. (You don't want to make butter!)
  3. Add the Roundstone and almond extract and gently stir to combine.
  4. At this point you can either use your prepared ice cream maker according to its directions, or you can simply pour the mixture into a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap so it touches the mixture, then cover with a lid, and place it in the freezer. If you go this route, you may want to take it out of the freezer every hour or so for a few hours and give it a stir until it starts to get really firm.
  5. Freeze at least overnight before enjoying, 24 hours would be better.

Note:

  • The ice cream won't totally freeze solid because of the alcohol in the mix, so it will have a consistency almost like soft serve
  • Also, you folks lucky enough to have a bottle of wonderful Roundstone Rye Cask Proof, I know what you're thinking, and DON'T DO IT!

Vermouth Syrup

3 cups of sweet vermouth of your choice
1 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt

Combine vermouth, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy. Allow to cool and pour into a squeeze bottle. Keep in the refrigerator.

(If the syrup gets too thick, add a teaspoon of vermouth to thin it out.)

Whisky Cherries

Cherries of your choice, carefully pitted (REAL cherries, please. Not marischino.)
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye

    1. Add cherries to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
    2. Add enough Roundstone to cover the cherries.
    3. Cover the jar and put it in the fridge.
    4. At this point, you can forget about them for a long while, but if you want to use them, give them at least a week in the jar to soak up the goodness.

(Don't forget about that liquid! It's marvelous in almost any cocktail.)

Assemble the deliciousness

      1. 1 or 2 hefty scoops of Roundstone Rye Ice Cream in the bottom of a lovely sundae glass.
      2. Pour over the vermouth syrup.
      3. Sprinkle with chopped salted almonds .
      4. Add the tiniest dollop of whipped cream, fresh if you can make it.
      5. Garnish with a Roundstone Rye cherry.

Remember to breathe normally as you eat this sundae. You will be temped to inhale the whole thing in one bite, but just remember to savor the flavor....and that you can always make yourself another one.

Courtesy Emily Landsman, and used with permission.

Banana Nut CakeSometimes, a boy just wants his Mama's homemade cakes.  Here is a recipe from Scott's mom, for a cake featuring Roundstone Rye and Langdon Wood Maple Syrup.

1 cup butter - softened
3 cups sugar
2 cups mashed banana's
4 eggs, beaten
3¾ cups all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Roundstone Rye
1 cup chopped pecans
Langdon Wood Maple Syrup
Cream cheese frosting

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of mixer. Add banana; mix until smooth. Stir in eggs.

Combine flour & soda. Add to banana mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning & ending with flour. Mix after each addition. Stir in vanilla, rye whiskey, & pecans.

At this point you have several choices - you can make 3 -9" layers or a sheet cake & a dozen cupcakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool, poke holes all over the top of the cake and/or cupcakes & brush liberally with Langdon Woods Cask Aged Maple Syrup. Allow to penetrate cake & if using layers remove to wire rack to cool thoroughly before frosting.

Once cooled, I frosted with cream cheese Frosting. I drizzled Langdon Woods Cask Aged Maple Syrup & garnished with pecan halves.

Courtesy Sandi Harris, and used with permission.

Dark Chocolate Maple and Roundstone Rye GanacheFrom the Governor's Virginia Executive Mansion: A simple twist on one of our signature desserts, ganache made with Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky

1 pound dark chocolate
2 cups heavy crème
3 ounces pure maple syrup
2 ounces (or more, depending on your taste) Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  When melted, slowly add the heavy cream stirring constantly.  Keep stirring until smooth.  Add the maple syrup and stir.  Add the whisky and continue to mix until smooth.

There are many uses for ganache.  If you want a firmer ganache, add more chocolate.  For softer ganache, add more cream.  This can be used as a glaze, truffle filling, whipped for a filling or mousse, and many other uses.

Garnish with fresh mint, a small dollop of yogurt or whipped cream, and fresh berries.

Courtesy Virginia Executive Mansion, www.executivemansion.virginia.gov.  Recipe used with permission.

Tomato SoupThe Watershed Gin has an unmistakeable influence--an herbal quality that makes the soup fresh and lively.

3 large, skinned, blanched tomatoes (beefsteak tomatoes from the garden)
24 oven roasted cherry tomatoes (also from the garden)
¼ cup onion
¼ cup fennel
tsp thyme
Italian parsley
salt
pepper
1½ oz Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin

I roasted the cherry tomatoes, blanched the large tomatoes, carmelized the onions, fennel and thyme and then pureed them together. Seasoned the puree with thyme, salt, pepper, and italian parsley. Added the gin and let it simmer together. I strained all the solids and the remaining soup was a thin, yet very flavorful soup.

Courtesy Stephanie Wolf.

ChorizoScott's Mexican Chorizo
3 lbs pork butt
0.5 - 0.75 lbs pork fat, still frozen
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh ground black peppercorns
1.5 Tbsp cayenne
1.5 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
2 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1/8 c rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp fennel, cracked
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c Catoctin Creek Virginia Brandy
1/2 tsp curing salt (Prague Powder #2)
medium hog casings

Cut the meat and the fat into 1" cubes. Grind the meat and the fat together. Mix all the rest of the ingredients with the meat and the fat. Grind everything again and mix well. Stuff the meat mixture into the hog casings and tie off into 5-6" links. Let cure uncovered for at least 24 hours in the fridge or a cooler. Optionally, dry them for 5-6 weeks. Otherwise, freeze and cook before serving.

Variations:
For a kosher variety, use kosher beef, beef fat (or eliminate the fat for a leaner sausage), and stuff in kosher collagen casings.

Chocolate CranachanChocolate Cranachan
Adapted from Bon Appétit

2 c. coarsely grated bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate (about 6 oz.)
1 c. hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped (4½ oz.)
1/3 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (3 oz.; do not use instant)
1¾ c. chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. crème fraîche or sour cream
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix chocolate, hazelnuts, and brown sugar in medium bowl. Spread oats out on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir hot oats into chocolate mixture (hot oats will partially melt chocolate); set aside until chocolate firms, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Or stick in the freezer to rush the process.)

Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream, crème fraîche, and sugar in large bowl until cream mixture holds peaks. Fold in liquor.

In each of six 10- to 12-ounce goblets, layer ¾ c. cream mixture and ¾ c. oat mixture; repeat layering.

Top each parfait with ¾ c. cream mixture and sprinkle with oat mixture. Cover parfaits and chill overnight.

Variations:
Instead of goblets, Becky serves the whole dessert in a trifle dish, then she layers raspberries and mint sprigs on top for a final flourish.

Serves 6.

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