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.

To search, click here:


Patowmack Peach Water Rye

The General Mayhem

The General MayhemThis cocktail is a delightful twist on the Colonel Langdon, which is a very popular perennial favorite in our tasting room.  In the General Mayhem, we switch out the Langdon Wood Maple Syrup for a house made beer syrup using one of our favorite local brewers, Adroit Theory Brewing Company in Purcellville, Virginia.  Here, we've chosen to use a Belgian Ale as a base for making the syrup base.  The Belgian Ale on its own is not too overpowering (especially when reduced), and will blend well with the lemon and rye in the drink.

1 oz Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit™
¾ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ oz beer syrup (equal parts beer + sugar in the raw, heated until dissolved)
2-3 oz seltzer
Lemon peel

In a shaker with ice, combine juice, syrup and Mosby's. Shake. Pour over ice in a rocks glass. Top with seltzer, garnish with lemon peel.

Elemental Rye Julep

Element Rye Julep

We are very excited about the newest product available in our tasting room, a fine collection of hand-crafted shrubs from Element.  What is a shrub, you ask? We're so glad you asked!

Whereas a syrup (aka simple syrup) is a mixture of sugar and water with optional fruit and herbs, and bitters are concentrated tinctures of alcohol and herbs, fruit, and other flavorings, a shrub uses a base of vinegar to achieve acidity, and is then a mixture of herb and fruit flavors.  A shrub allows the cocktail to skip the ubiquitous citrus used to provide acidity, and gives a whole new range of flavors.

This is a traditional mint julep, but we've substituted the shrub for the mint simple syrup.

3 oz of Roundstone Rye whisky
½ oz of Element lemon mint shrub, more or less to taste, but remember, a little bit goes a long way!
6-10 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Add mint to a rocks glass with crushed ice, and middle the mint to the ice.  Add the rye and shrub and stir to combine, then garnish with more mint.

Element Shrubs

What You Talkin' 'bout, Willis?

The lemon and pepper in this cocktail balance nicely with the honeyed sweetness and the rich vanilla mouthfeel of the Mosby's Spirit. A refreshing aperetif.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz peppercorn infused honey syrup
3 oz club soda
lemon twist

Shake all together, garnish with lemon twist, and serve on ice in a rocks glass.

Rise 'n Shine

A lovely milk-based cocktail from Chad Robinson.

1½ oz Mosby's Spirit
½ oz 1757 Virginia Brandy
½ oz 2:1 turbinado sugar syrup
1-2 dashes of vanilla extract
2 oz half & half
Nutmeg for garnish

Combine Mosby's Spirit, Virginia Brandy, syrup, half & half and vanilla extract in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 30 secs. Strain to an old fashioned glass and grate nutmeg over top for garnish.

Photo and recipe courtesy Chad Robinson.

Rise 'n Shine

The Ole Virginia Accent

This was a featured cocktail of the Columbia Room pop-up at PX in Alexandria.  Of the featured cocktails, was this one, which debuted our Apple Brandy on the menu, a recipe created by J.P. Featherston.  Word from the customers that night was that it was amazing!

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 oz Catoctin Creek Quarter Branch Apple Brandy
½ oz Fallen Bark Hickory Syrup
Aromatic and Blackstrap Molasses Bitters

Combine the rye and brandy in equal portions, add about half as much hickory syrup and a dash or two of the bitters.  Stir on ice and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.

Photo courtesy Christopher Wescott.  Recipe courtesy J.P. Featherston.  Both used with permission.



A classic cocktail that predates the martini.  This one is really good with our Old Tom style Watershed Gin, if you can find it!

2 oz Watershed Gin
¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
¼ oz Luxardo maraschino liqueuer
2-3 dashes aromatic bitters
Cherry garnish

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Stir and strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

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.

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


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Latest Events

Dinner at the Distillery, with cocktails and more!

  OCT 15   Dinner at the Distillery 7:00pm—9:30pm Dinner will be a four-course affair, using seasonal produce and local suppliers, prepared by Chef Justin Garrison, who is widely known for his simple, yet eclectic food combinations...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  OCT 16   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm WORKSHOPS ARE BACK!  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...

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Maple Finished Cask Proof Release Day

  OCT 18 Release Day!  Maple Finished Cask Proof Roundstone Rye 8:00am On Monday, October 18 at 8am, we will release the Maple Finished Roundstone Rye Cask Proof in our ONLINE STORE and tasting room. ...

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