This is an age of cocktails defined by sleek bars and new speakeasy-style basement lounges that hide behind hidden doors with their own separate entrance in alleys or tucked down a set of stairs that give their space the feel of secrecy. What is being poured behind those mysterious doors? Among other craft spirits, Minnesota rye whiskey of course. Simply put, rye whiskey is experiencing a renaissance thanks in part to the popularity of classic cocktail programs and the passion behind craft bartenders and mixologists across the country. As cocktail artists, the rye becomes their paint and the coupe their canvas. We, the fans, watch in awe as a cocktail is created before our eyes and the assertive and robust flavors of rye dance across our palate.
Minnesota is a significant producer of rye and our rye whiskies continue to put Minnesota distilleries on the map. Spicier and more robust than other whiskies, rye whiskey is differentiated by its mash bill which must contain at least 51% rye. Our J. Carver Rye Whiskey has a mash bill of 70% local rye from Clear Lake, Minnesota, and 30% corn selected from local farms close to the distillery. After aging in new, charred oak barrels coopered in Minnesota, our J. Carver Rye is approachable and delivers bold, savory, flavors of baking spice and pepper expected of a rye whiskey. There is a smooth finish softened by the sweetness of the corn. We are thrilled to say we have released our Rye Whiskey Batch No. 2 earlier this year and we are bottling Batch No. 3.
As with many craft bartenders who enjoy creating classic cocktails with our rye whiskey, we are passionate about the many tasty libations we have been mixing up at our cocktail room at J. Carver Distillery. So many fantastic events have occurred over the past few months and there does not seem to be an end in sight. We couldn't be more thrilled.
For those of you who have discovered our J. Carver Cocktail Room and enjoyed the experience of the tour and tasting and our cocktails, you know one of our favorite specialty cocktails is the "Wise Guy." I made this drink for a "Women Who Whiskey" event in Minneapolis this past week and highlighted it on our Martini Monday FB video. As promised, here is the recipe with easy step by step instructions. J. Carver spirits are available for purchase at over 450 liquor stores in Minnesota. Check out our store finder link. Cheers!
J. Carver Wise Guy Cocktail
2 oz J. Carver Rye Whiskey
¾ oz turbinado agave nectar simple syrup (see below)
¾ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 dashes orange bitters
1 dash of black pepper
Add all ingredients into shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled. Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon peel. Enjoy!
Turbinado Agave Nectar Simple Syrup Recipe:
½ cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
½ cup water
Heat in a sauce pan until dissolved and let cool.
Add 1 cup agave nectar to the turbinado simple syrup. Will make approximately 2 cups total. Put in a clean glass jar in your refrigerator. Will last up to 2 weeks.
Stop by this weekend for a tour and taste. Distillery tours, held on Fridays at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 pm, and Saturdays at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 pm, provide a glimpse into the inner workings of our artisan craft distillery. Distillery staff provide an overview of the J. Carver grain-to-glass approach and allow visitors an opportunity to see the stills, mash tun, fermentation tanks, bottling operation and the barrel house. Book a tour on-line today and discover J. Carver Distillery.