May Greetings from Catoctin Creek - The strangest thing happened today...
The most unusual things happen sometimes!
What would you do if you walked into your house one day, and everything you own had turned purple?
Well, this happened to us. But let me start at the beginning...
Way back in 2010, when we were first starting the distillery, we had a single copper potstill. One particular day, we were distilling pear wine into brandy. As the day went, it was rather unremarkable. The wine was boiled, the cuts made, and the day's bounty of brandy was collected and readied for the barrel. As usual, at the end of the day, we dumped the spent wine and washed down the still with the hose. With the potstill still steaming, we turned off the lights, locked the doors, set the alarm, and went home.
The next morning, as we arrived early to work, we entered the distillery and turned on the lights. Our beloved (and very expensive!) potstill had turned purple! And not just a hint of lavender or pastel purple, but a bright shining amethyst purple. I'm talking King Henry VIII royal robe purple! It was beautiful! But.... what on earth?!
I immediately started combing the Internet looking for answers, and finally stumbled upon a site where a Scottish chemist had the answer. Apparently, pear wine has trace amounts of a chemical called cyanuric acid. This acid, in contact with copper under conditions of low pH (which wine definitely is), causes copper to turn bright purple! Lo and behold, we had our answer!
We thought it was cool to have a purple potstill, but sadly, over the next few days, it tarnished and dulled to resemble the color of gray concrete, not exactly beautiful. So we polished it only to see the purple return. Eventually, its patina moved into the more typical copper brown of an old penny. But you can still see traces of cyan and magenta in the sheen if you look at it right. And the funny thing is, to this day, every time we polish the still (which we do rarely these days), that purple returns bright and shiny.
So we have a potstill that insists on being purple, and hence we named him... Barney.
Sláinte and Cheers!
Spring Dinner at the Distillery
Join us May 10th for a spring-themed cocktail pairing dinner. We will feature a four course menu plus an amuse boushe from Justin Thyme Culinary. The theme for the night will be the Pacific Rim, so expect lots of great courses and cocktails that borrow elements from the Pacific Rim. Price is $99 not including tax and gratuity. Find out more and book your tickets, here.
We have some great events in May. Here is the full list of events planned at the distillery and in the area this month. Many events are free, so be sure to join us for something fun:
- May 7 - Whisky Dinner at Monks - Join Scott & Becky at Monk's for a cool dinner. $80/pp
- May 10 - Dinner at the Distillery - Join us for our spring dinner at the distillery. $99/pp
- May 11 - Bottling Workshop - Ever popular, always free and lots of fun! FREE!
For the full list of events, check our events page.
Cocktail of the Month – It's the Little Things
Some kudos from @fractionsofzero on Instagram:
No long winded post for this one. Just an amazing fresh made botanical sour with delicious gin created by a talented Bar Manager from a wonderful Brand.
2 parts Watershed Gin
1 part butterfly pea tea syrup
1 part lemon juice
⅛th part cassis
2 dashes lavender bitters, to top
Combine all ingredients in a shaker of ice, strain over new ice in a Nick and Nora glass.
Recipe courtesy Denise Petty. Photograph courtesy @fractionsofzero.
See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.
As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery. We are open every Tuesday through Sunday for tastings and bottle purchases, so stop by and see us sometime!
Scott & Becky