Hooray for the return of the cocktail!

Catoctin Creek spirits are excellent neat, but also very nice in cocktails. Many classic American cocktails call for rye, and Roundstone Rye is a faithful reproduction of 19th century rye whisky that would have been common in old classics like the Manhattan, Sazerac, and Old Fashioned. With Watershed Gin, you have a great cocktail for Gimlets, Martinis, French 75's, and much, much more.

Don't forget, you don't need to page through all the cocktails below, searching for the one you want. Use our convenient SEARCH feature to find a favorite ingredient or cocktail name.

For example, try searching for "manhattan", "watershed", "amaro", "sidecar", "lemon", or "orange"... just to name a few.

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Patowmack Peach Water Rye

Whatever You Say I Yam

Whatever You Say I Yam

1½ oz Roundstone Rye Whisky
1 oz sweet potato shrub*
½ oz lemon juice
1 egg white
2 dashes Jerry Thomas Bitters

Add all the ingredients except for the egg white in a Boston shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into the smaller part of the shaker, pour out the ice and add the egg white to the smaller part of the shaker. Add two dashes of Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters into a chilled coupe and coat the inside of the coupe. Shake the cocktail again very vigorously and pour into the chilled coupe. Enjoy!

*Sweet potato shrub

Preheat the oven for 300 degrees. Peel and chop a sweet potato. Place pieces on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Bake for one hour. While sweet potato is baking, prepare 4 cups of 1:1 simple syrup. Puree the baked sweet potatoes with the syrup and add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to the mixture. Allow to cool before using. Store for up to 1 month in the fridge.

Courtesy Chad Robinson, and used with permission.

Wild Oats

Whisky Dinner Wine Kitchen

This cocktail was one of the favorites of our recent St. Patrick's Day Spirits Dinner at The Wine Kitchen on the Creek in Frederick, Maryland.  Perhaps the most surprising flavor in this cocktail is the infusion of the oats into the gin.  It gives the cocktail a warm, very satisfying flavor and texture.

2 oz Oat-infused Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin*
1 oz Strawberry syrup**
3-5 coins of rhubarb
Sparkling water

Strawberry garnish

Muddle the rhubarb in the strawberry syrup.  Add the gin and shake with ice.  Strain to a rocks glass with ice.  Top with sparkling water and garnish with a strawberry.

*Oat-infused Watershed Gin

2 c Oats
2 c Watershed Gin

Mix/infuse the oats in the gin.  Steep the mixture for 24-48 hours.

Separate the oats from the gin.  (Let the solids settle from the gin, then pour through a coffee filter.)

**Strawberry Syrup

1½ c sugar
1 c water
6-8 chopped strawberries.

Combine sugar with water, bring to a boil. Steep the chopped strawberries in the syrup for 20-25 minutes.  Remove strawberries.

Recipe courtesy The Wine Kitchen, and used with permission.

Cocktails from the Wine Kitchen Dinner

Catoctin Rabbit

These cocktails were from our recent St. Patrick's Day Spirits Dinner at The Wine Kitchen on the Creek in Frederick, Maryland. They were fun, original, and totally delicious with the dinner menu for the evening.

If you've not been to one of our dinners, whether at the distillery, or at one of our favorite restaurants, you're really missing out! 

These recipes don't include exact measurements or quantities, so a little experimentation will be needed to get the proportions just right.  But that's okay; experimenting is fun!

Catoctin Rabbit

Watershed Gin | carrot juice | lime | ginger | honey | juniper | carrot top garnish

1 oz. Watershed Gin
½ oz. carrot juice
¼ oz. honey, ginger, and juniper infused syrup (let all ingredients steep in a crock pot for a few hours)
¼ oz. lime juice
garnish with carrot top or parsley


Albino Scorpion

1757 Virginia Brandy | rum | coconut milk | lime juice | lime wheel garnish

2 oz. 1757 Virginia Brandy
1 oz. Coconut milk
¼ oz. lime juice
1 tsp rum extract or 1 oz white rum
garnish with lime wheel


Clearly Manhattan

Mosby's Spirit | dry vermouth | coffee simple syrup | candied rhubarb garnish


Wild Oats

Watershed Gin infused with oats | strawberry simple syrup | sparkling H2O

Read the full recipe for this cocktail, here.


Hoot Owl

Roundstone Rye | Hitochino beer | lime

This one is like a boilermaker meets Corona on the beach.  Fun!


Pecan Pie

Brown butter fat-washes Roundstone Rye | pecan | brown sugar syrup


Recipes courtesy The Wine Kitchen, and used with permission.

March Cocktails

March Cocktails

We started something new in our tasting room starting in March this year.  After numerous requests, we are now pouring cocktails by the glass.  Our menu for March includes a few perennial favorites, including the Balsamic Berry Old Fashioned and the Bloody Mosby, but we also include four new cocktails.  One of our managers, Addie, came up with these.  She prefers her cocktails on the less-sweet side, so if you like a crisp, refreshing cocktail, these will hit the spot.

Fox Mulder

1½ Roundstone Rye
¾ oz lemon juice
¼ oz pineapple juice
½ simple syrup
½ Green Chartreuse

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker of ice, stir and strain into a rocks glass with ice.  Garnish with lemon peel.

Cocktail courtesy liquor.com and contributed by Matt Merkin.

Blueberry Shrub

1½ Mosby's Spirit
1 oz Blueberry syrup (blueberry preserves + hot water)
½ oz Element Lemon Mint shrub
Garnish with whole blueberries

Jasmine Gin Fizz

1½ Watershed Gin
1 oz Jasmine tea
½ oz honey simple syrup
¼ oz lemon juice
Garnish with lemon peel

James Bond Martini

(Not to be confused with our Ghost of Vesper Lynd cocktail.)

2 oz Watershed Gin
1 oz dry white vermouth (such as Lillet Blanc)
Garnish with olive.

Dude, Where's My Bikeshare

Dude, Where's My Bikeshare?

This cocktail wins in the category of "Best Name Ever!"  The drink is the creation of Fabian Malone, bartender at Alfie's on Georgia Avenue in the Petworth neighborhood in DC.  With a name like "Alfie's," you might expect an old-school Italian family restaurant, or even an American burgers and fries joint.  What you don't expect is a place with Thai food so authentic, you'd think you were on the streets in Bangkok. (The bartenders will cheerfully help you through the menu, if needed.)  Mix that with totally hip modern cocktails, a culturally diverse staff (just minutes north of Howard University), and banging Reggae on the house speakers, and you have a place that is quintessentially DC.  

Fabian's cocktail is as diverse as it's environs:  mixing cachaça, cardamom pods, pineapple, and of course, Roundstone Rye in a cocktail-- you get the feel of a tropical night in Phuket, where the rye actually plays the leading role as a replacement for rum!

I dunno, but after drinking a few of these, my head was spinning as fast as the Reggae.  God Bless the District!

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 oz Avua Cachaça Prata
½ oz simple syrup
4 crushed cardamom pods
½ oz lime juice
2 dashes Bitter Truth aromatic bitters
1 oz pineapple juice
Pineapple wedge to garish

Combine the Roundstone Rye, Cachaça, lime and pineapple juices over ice in a shaker.  Break and crumble the cardamom pods into the shaker and cover with the simple to infuse them a little into the sugar.  Shake vigorously until foamy, and then double strain into a coupe, garnish with a wedge of pineapple.

Recipe courtesy Fabian Malone, and used with permission.

Corned Beef with Rye Whiskey Sauce

This recipe is courtesy Carol Melim of A Passion for Entertaining:

I have to admit, every March I have a yearning for Corned Beef. It must be the draw of St. Patrick’s Day and celebrating Irish traditions. Even though I don’t have an ounce of Irish in me, I love a traditional Irish dinner. This one is a bit different, instead of purchasing a brined brisket, I brine my own. Easy to do, it takes seven days in the refrigerator. The brine is comprised of spices and salt. Then simply rinse the beef and boil the beef for three hours, then roast and baste with the most delicious whiskey sauce. Perfect to serve with boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage. I also used my favorite local Rye Whiskey from Catoctin Creek Distillery in Virginia. It is so good you will want to make again and again!

Corned Beef

NOTE: This recipe must be started seven days prior to serving.

1 cup salt
¼ cup sugar
8 cups water
2 bay leaves
4 peppercorns
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 4 pound beef brisket

The following are used when cooking the brisket:
2 bays leaves
4 peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Rye whisky sauce (see below)

  1. In a 2 gallon zip bag combine salt, water, 2 bays leaves, peppercorns, garlic and pickling spices. Stir to combine, add beef. Zip bag closed. I always double bag my brisket. Refrigerate for seven days, turning over each day.
  2. After seven days, remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Put in a large stockpot and cover with water. Add the remaining 2 bay leaves, 4 peppercorns and garlic. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 3 hours or until tender. Remove brisket from water and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, fat side up. Baste every 7 - 10 minutes with Rye whisky sauce (see below). Slice thinly and serve with remaining sauce.

Rye Whiskey Sauce

¾ cup Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky
1½ cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¾ cup apple juice

Mix until smooth

Courtesy Carol Melim and used with permission.

A Snowy Orchard

This one is a nice cocktail before dinner, or with an appetizer course.

2 oz Watershed Gin
1 oz fresh apple juice (preferably from green apples like Granny Smith)
½ oz St. Germaine
small apple slice for garnish

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker of ice, and strain into a small martini glass.  Garnish with apple slice.

Courtesy Suzanne Lenzer, Microshiner magazine.

Jerry Thomas Toddy

Jerry Thomas Toddy

In the annals of time, Jerry Thomas will go down as one of the most important bartenders.  He created many of the drinks we still enjoy today (the Tom Collins, Tom and Jerry, to name just a couple).  Jerry Thomas, more importantly, in 1862 put pen to paper, and is credited as the first person to capture the until-then oral history of the great American cocktail.  This cocktail is an early American toddy, a great cocktail to warm you up on a cold colonial night.  Though the recipe is deceptively simple, the cocktail is deeply satisfying.

1 tsp sugar (we'll use honey)
3-4 oz hot water
2 oz Roundstone Rye whisky
nutmeg, orange slice

Combine the sugar (or honey) and hot water in a mug or punch glass until the sugar is dissolved.  Add 2 oz of Roundstone Rye, then add an orange slice and a few scrapings of fresh nutmeg.  Enjoy immediately!

Killing Me Softly

Killing Me Softly

This cocktail was the feature dessert cocktail at our 2016 Valentine's Day Dinner at the distillery.  It is sweet and bubbly, and perfect for a final night-cap.

1-2 oz of Short Hill Mountain Peach Brandy (or Pearousia Pear Brandy, 1757 Grape Brandy, or Quarter Branch Apple Brandy, to taste)
1 oz of raspberry syrup (steep raspberries in equal parts sugar and water for several hours)
Sparking apple cider, Prosecco, Champagne, or Cava
Raspberries for garnish

Add one or two ounces of brandy to the bottom of a Champagne flute, along with an ounce of raspberry syrup.  Top with chilled sparkling wine or cider, and garnish with one or two raspberries.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The name of this cocktail has nothing to do with the ingredients... all of them are lovely.  This particular cocktail is based on the "Clint Eastwood" cocktail, an Old Fashioned variant found at The Violet Hour in Chicago, courtesy bartender Mike Ryan.

2 oz Mosby's Spirit
¼ oz rich simple syrup
⅛ oz Strong Tonic hibiscus syrup
⅛ oz fresh berry syrup (steep summer berries in simple in a crock pot for several hours)
⅛ oz Green Chartreuse
dash of Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a glass of ice, stir and strain into a rocks glass with a nice big ice cube.  Garnish with a lemon peel.

Roundstone in Broadbeach

Rye Not Roundstone

Rory Lenihan, mixologist at Social Eating House and Bar, is now serving Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "92 Proof".  Social Eating House is located in Broadbeach, on the Gold Coast in Australia, south of Brisbane.  

We must remember that although Winter is Coming here at home, in the Land of Oz, they're heading into high summer!  Hence this lovely tropical cocktail!

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "92 Proof"
½ oz Apricot brandy
¼ oz Banana liquor
¼ oz Lime infused brown sugar syrup
Whiskey aged barrel bitters

Combine ingredients and serve up in a cocktail glass with a lime peel.  

Quantities above are my own estimation, but hopefully pretty close. Your mileage may vary.  Feel free to adjust proportions to your own liking.  And cheers! 

Vermilion's Watershed Gin Cocktail

Vermilion #2

This cocktail was the featured Watershed Gin cocktail at Vermilion for their Catoctin Creek Autumn Cocktail Tasting event.  Head mixologist Jeff Faile created the cocktails to pair with small tapas bites for a wonderful evening of food and cocktails.

1 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
½ oz salted honey syrup
½ oz Yellow Chartreuse
½ oz fresh lemon juice
Lemon peel garnish

Combine the Watershed Gin, honey syrup, Chartreuse, and lemon in a shaker of ice.  Stir and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Cocktail courtesy Jeff Faile of Vermilion in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel +1-540-751-8404



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  DEC 12   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct one of our famous Bottling Workshops!  Here's your chance to volunteer and learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get...

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  DEC 17   Holiday Dinner at the Distillery 7:00pm—9:30pm Join us for our annual Holiday Dinner!  Dinner will be a four-course affair, using seasonal produce and local suppliers, prepared by Chef Justin Garrison, who is widely...

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