Gie him strong drink until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief and care:
There let him bouse, an' deep carouse,
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more.
-- Robert Burns, Scotch Drink, 1785.
For those of you with Scottish ancestors (and that should be just about every one of you!), in January, we toasted Robert Burns, the national bard of Scotland. Burns enthusiasts across the world don the kilt and tartans and celebrate the poet's birthday with dinner, drinks and poetry—a lovely excuse to enjoy that "guid ol' Scotch drink".
Big Production Month in January
January was a crazy month for us at the distillery. The holidays literally exhausted all of our supplies. You drank us dry! By January 4th, we were almost completely out of Mosby's Spirit, Watershed Gin, Roundstone Rye and Pearousia. We had less than ten cases left of everything. Obviously, we had some bottling to do!
With two teams of wonderful volunteers, in one weekend, we bottled approximately 10% of our entire 2011 production! Yes, over one and a half tons of spirits were bottled and shipped out in just two days. It was an incredible effort, and we were certainly exhausted afterwards, but we were satisfied knowing that our stock was replenished throughout our markets.
Facing such a shortage was a huge problem, but as Becky likes to say, "We have good problems!" It was a lot of spirits to ship out, but that just motivated us more to produce these lovely spirits that you all seem to enjoy so much. Cheers, and thank you!
Appreciating Alice Waters at the National Portrait Gallery
We were very honored to be invited to participate in the unveiling of a portrait for Alice Waters at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Alice Waters is the pioneer chef and owner of Chez Panis in Berkley, California, and the author of the local food "Locavore" movement across the nation.
Both Becky and I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Waters, and what's more, our Watershed Gin was chosen as the local spirit for the night, with Adam Bernbach of Proof/Estadio pouring an amazing pear and gin cocktail for the 300+ patrons. Many local celebrity chefs, including Chefs José Andres, Cathal Armstrong, and Mike Isabella, among others, were present providing their creations of local foods.
It was an amazing night to be part of the food and drink culture in DC.
There are a variety of events planned for midwinter that should prove entertaining and educational:
- All February - Celebrate Lincoln's Birthday - The LINCOLN Restaurant is partnering with local Ford’s Theatre and the Catoctin Creek for a month’s worth of special deals and drinks.
- February 11 - Bottling Workshop - Ever popular, get a chance to bottle your own Roundstone Rye and take home a personalized souvenir of this very hands-on workshop and tour.
- February 18 - Loudoun Grown Expo - Back by popular demand, the expo highlights the best of Loudoun's local food, wine and YES, spirits! And this year, we're doing TASTINGS! We'll be paired up with the NOVA Roller Derby girls, so look for some rowdy fun in the booth!
- February 22 - Cocktails at Rye - Join Scott at Rye in Fells Point, Maryland for a night of cocktails and fun.
- February 27 - Dinner and Cocktails at J&G Steakhouse - Join us for a four course dinner of small plates and cocktails at the J&G Steakhouse in the historic W Hotel Washington.
For the full list of events, check our events page.
Cocktail for February - Pfeffernüsse
Pfeffernüsse are traditional German cookies served at Christmastime. The cookie is a sharply spiced gingerbread cookie rolled in powdered sugar. The name, literally, means pepper-nuts, which gives a hint to the ingredients in the cookie. Here we've reproduced the experience in a cocktail version. Scofflaw's Den barrel aged bitters provide the spice, with a sharp homemade ginger syrup providing the backbone. And for a garnish, just a sprinkle of cracked black pepper, to add that authentic German touch. Schmeckt gut!
2 oz Catoctin Creek Organic Roundstone Rye
1 oz homemade ginger syrup
3-4 dashes of Scofflaw's Den barrel aged bitters
splash of soda
sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, stir together rye, ginger syrup and bitters with ice. Strain and pour into rocks glass. Add 3-4 ice cubes, top off with soda, and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper.
See this cocktail and over sixty others on our cocktails page.
As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery. We do tours and tastings every day except Sunday, so stop by and see us sometime!
Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM
Scott & Becky