Enjoy

Patowmack Peach Water RyeHuzzah!  for the return of the cocktail!

Catoctin Creek spirits are excellent as mixers.  Many old American cocktails called for rye, and Roundstone Rye is a sweet and very nice rye which pairs nicely with freshly made cocktails.  Or try Mosby's Spirit for a new angle on whisky, or in many recipes calling for vodka and rum.  And with Watershed Gin, you have a modern gin that places nicely in all the classic gin cocktails.

And did you know that spirits are great in recipes too?  Here are a few recipes to whet your appetite.

The Medicine Man

Medicine Man

This cocktail is featured on the menu at the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg, Virginia.  It is a rather simple old-fashioned recipe featuring a rare ingredient:  a simple syrup infused with Palo Santo oil (Bursera graveolens).  Palo Santo comes from a wood native to the Yucatan region of Mexico, and is lauded for its ability to remove the "mala energía" (bad energy).  Deliciousness and setting your energy right?  Yes, please.

2 oz Roundstone Rye
½ Palo Santo simple syrup
4 dashes of house bitters

Mix and serve with a big rock in a rocks glass.  Orange peel garnish.

Courtesy the Wine Kitchen, Leesburg, Virginia.

Almost Red Lips Rye

Almost Red Lips Rye

This cocktail was inspired by the "Red Lips Rye" cocktail currently featured in the cocktail book at the Savoy American Bar in London.  The original cocktail features rye whisky, a raspberry port cordial, Campari and Kummel.  Not having the exact measurements and original ingredients, I endeavored to re-create this cocktail, in color, flavor, and sweetness, with ingredients in my home bar.  I do believe this comes pretty close to the original, and is pretty damn delicious!

2 oz Roundstone Rye 92 Proof
1 oz Port
⅓ oz Garofalo Blueberry liqueuer, Chambourd, or Cherry Heering
⅓ oz Aquavit
⅓ oz Aperol or Campari
2 dashes Peychauds bitters

Combine all in a cocktail mixer with ice, stir well, and strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass.

Recipe by Scott Harris, inspired by the American Bar, Savoy Hotel, London.

Crackbrained Poet

Crackbrained Poet

This cocktail comes to us from Italy, through bar manager Mario Farulla of Baccano in Rome!  It is so cool to be selling our products in Italy, the land of vermouths, bitters and amaro.  Mario writes:

La lucida follia di Schmidt, è pura arte, genio ed improvvisazione; estro di cui siamo tutti figli. La sua visionaria via di accostamenti e presentazione dei drink è l’eredità di cui dobbiamo far tesoro senza però fermarci mai alla superficialità. Per questa rivisitazione del “Pleasant Surprise” ho voluto utilizzare il Catoctin Creek, che con le sue note vanigliate e di pellame ben sia accostano al mix di vini liquorosi e spezie presenti nel drink.


Translation: Schmidt's lucid madness is pure art, genius and improvisation; inspiration of which we are all children. His visionary way of combinations and presentation of drinks is the legacy we must treasure always maintaining the superficiality. For this version of the "Pleasant Surprise" I wanted to use Catoctin Creek, which with its hints of vanilla and leather, well match the mix of liqueur, wines and spices present in the drink.

The "Schmidt" referenced here is William Schmidt, a pre-prohibtion bartender and author of The Flowing Bowl.

1 tsp caster sugar
40ml (1⅓ oz) Catoctin creek Roundstone Rye Whisky 92 Proof
20ml (⅔ oz) Lustau Almacenista Sherry
20ml (⅔ oz) Madera Cossart 5 y.o.
1 dash orange bitters
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish: Essentia vaporized nutmeg

Grated black pepper crusta

Glass: Sherry Goblet

Tecnique: Savoy/Throwing

Courtesy of Mario Farulla, Baccano, Rome, Italy, @mariofarulla on Instagram.

Traditional Whisky Sour

Whisky Sours

The whisky sour is one of the simplest drinks you can make.  It is easy and refreshing, and unlike many complicated drinks, the simple ingredients really highlight the whisky and allow it to shine through. 

The humble whisky sour is one of the basic spirit+citrus+sugar cocktail recipes that serve as the backbone to American cocktails.  Citrus in the below cocktails can vary between fresh lemon juice and fresh lime juice (or some combination of both).  Sometimes, it also includes a splash of orange juice or orange liqueur (like Triple Sec). 

For those interested, here are the basics on this theme:

  • whisky+citrus+sugar - The whisky sour
  • gin+citrus+sugar - The gimlet
  • vodka+citrus+sugar - The lemon drop [sometimes called the lemon drop martini]
  • rum+citrus+sugar - The daiquiri
  • tequila+citrus+sugar - The margarita*
  • brandy+citrus+sugar - The sidecar
  • cachaça+citrus+sugar - The caipirinha

*It is said that the whisky sour is the precursor to the margarita.  Back in the late 1800's the whisky sour was often called the whisky daisy, and when whisky for this popular cocktail was hard to find in Mexican resorts, they switched to using local agave spirits (tequila).  The name "Margarita" happens to be the Spanish word for "daisy".

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
¾ oz simple syrup
¾ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (Never ever use sour mix!  It is nasty!)

Combine the ingredients in a shaker of ice, strain and pour into rocks glasses with ice.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and a cherry on a bamboo skewer.

Black Manhattan

 Black Manhattan

I made this cocktail up as a variation of "black manhattans" that I've been playing with for years.  I love amaro and have been experimenting with it a lot.  The Don Ciccio ones are my favorites, but Averno is good also.  There are even German bitters which are very similar (Boonekamp is a favorite from Bavaria), but they don't call them amaro in Germany.   So, amaro was the basis of the drink... with chocolate and mole bitters to give more richness and dark depth.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
½ oz Amaro (try one from Don Ciccio, Averno, Ramazotti, Cynar or your favorite)
½ oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes of Mole / Aztec or Chocolate bitters
Luxardo cherry garnish

Combine all over ice, stir, and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

Negroni

Negronis

The Negroni is one of those classic cocktails that is easy to make, and so easily enjoyed.  Created by Count Camillo Negroni and bartender Fosco Scarselli in Italy in 1919, the contrasting flavors of the spirit, bitters, and vermouth combine perfectly for something totally refreshing and quite sophisticated.  We use equal parts of each spirit for easy remembering, but some recipes will suggest slightly more spirit.  Do as you wish.  Try substituting rye whisky for gin in this recipe, you have yourself a new cocktail, the Boulevardier! Or, with the whisky, try dry vermouth, and you have the Old Pal.

1 oz Watershed Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Carpano Antica (or your favorite) sweet vermouth

Combine all three ingredients in a shaker of ice, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass, or over a large rock in a rocks glass.  Garnish with citrus peel.

El Diablo

El Diablo

The El Diablo was found in Trader Vic's 1946 recipe book. To this day, no one is sure whether it is a Trader Vic's original or if it's roots stem back even further.  We've substituted gin for vodka in this recipe, because we love gin!

3 oz Watershed Gin
1 oz Chambord (or use a fresh raspberry simple syrup)
1 oz lime juice
2-3 oz ginger beer
Fresh blackberry

Combine the first three ingredients in a rocks glass, stir to combine, and add cube ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with blackberries.

Courtesy Vic Bergeron.

Gerald of Rivia

Gerald of Rivia

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1½ oz Barolo Chinato Vermouth
½ oz Glenfiddich Scotch
½ oz Cynar
2 dashes Plum Bitters
Rinse glass with Yellow Chartreuse
Bruleed Lemon Twist

Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients except chartreuse. Stir vigorously until chilled and then strain into chartreuse rinsed Belgian globe glass or brandy snifter. Rub lemon peel around rim, garnish and serve.

To brûlée a lemon twist, simply scorch peel with small blow torch or lighter.

Courtesy Caleb Donovan from Can Can Brasserie.

Rye-lent Night (Holiday Eggnog)

Rye-lent Night

This cocktail comes to us from one of our holiday dinners.  A delicious take on eggnog. This recipe is complicated, but worth it!

12 large eggs (divided into yolks and whites)
1½ cups sugar
8 cups whole milk
vanilla extract
nutmeg
cinnamon
heavy cream/whipping cream (either works)
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye

First off separate your eggs into whites and yolks, then in a kitchen aid or other large mixer whip the yolks with the 1½ cups of sugar until they form what are called "soft peaks", I'm not sure how much baking you do, but this is just when the yolk starts to adhere to the side of the bowl more noticeably, it's pretty much just thickening it.

Next: add in the whole milk, cream, your selection of spices (I used nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, but you could also add allspice or other holiday spices, be sure to taste while doing this and find a flavor profile that you like) as well as adding your alcohol (to the whole mixture which made about 2 quarts i used 10 oz of 80 proof, again this is a kind of to taste preference). Let that mixture fully homogenize and then empty it into a large bowl.

Next, whip the eggs whites with about a table soon or two of sugar, whip until they form "stiff peaks". then "fold" that into the mixture you previously separated into a large bowl. by "fold", it's pretty much just gently pouring the second mixture into the first, and mixing slowly.

[Optional] This is where my recipe will deviate from others. After I completed these steps, the eggnog wasn't quite thick enough for my liking, so i put it over heat, at a very low simmer temperature and let the whole concoction heat until it hits 160 degrees F. Then, I quickly take it off heat and let it cool. Leave it to cool uncovered in the fridge over night. in the morning there will likely be a congealed layer of fat on top of the eggnog, Separate this off and then run the eggnog through a fine strainer to get out any unappetizing chunks. I then grated fresh nutmeg and cinnamon on top before it served it. That's it!

Scott's note: For full potency, add the alcohol AFTER the heating stage.

Recipe courtesy Peter Nelson.

Joy to the Watershed

Joy to the Watershed

This cocktail comes to us from one of our holiday dinners.  A bit like a gimlet, or gin sour, but with that wonderful absinthe rinse for complexity.

1 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz lime juice
Absinthe rinse

Combine ingredients and serve in a martini glass that has been rinsed with absinthe. Lime twist garnish.

The Catoctin Jingle

Catoctin Jingle

This cocktail comes to us from one of our holiday dinners.  The ingredients magically blend into something delightful, light and unexpected!

2 oz Catoctin Creek Apple Brandy
1 oz pineapple juice
½ oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
Prosecco
Nutmeg

Combine ingredients and serve in a punch glass.  Top with Prosecco, and grate some fresh nutmeg over the top, garnish with apple slices.

Up on the Roundstone

Up on the Roundstone

This cocktail comes to us from one of our holiday dinners.  A delicious take on a Vieux Carre.

¾ oz Catoctin Creek 92 Proof
¾ Catoctin Creek 1757 Brandy
¾ oz Mount Defiance Sweet Vermouth
1 tsp Benedictine
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Peychauds bitters

Combine ingredients and serve in a rocks glass with a luxardo cherry garnish.

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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!

  DEC 14   Dinner at the Distillery 7:00pm—9:30pm Dinner will be a four-course affair, using seasonal produce and local suppliers, prepared by Chefs Wes Rosati and Maria Aros of The Wandering Chef. Enjoy a private...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop (13)

  DEC 15   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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Whimsy and Wonder New Years Eve

  DEC 31   Whimsy and Wonder New Years Eve 5:00pm—8:45pm Join us this New Years Eve for a very special event: The distillery will be decorated in an ethereal 19th century setting, inspired by Wonderland, Neverland...

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