The Wait Is Over - It's Tour Time and So Much More

It has been a busy couple of months with lots of changes at the distillery. Historical photos adorn the walls in the tasting room and racks in the barrel room are filling up fast. Barrels, barrels, and more barrels. 

We opened our doors last week and were thrilled with all the distillery friends and fans, old and new alike, who stopped in for a tour and a taste.

Our tours provide a unique glimpse into the inner workings of our artisan distillery. You'll get a step by step overview of our grain to glass approach, from the mash tun to the custom copper stills to the barrel room. Our knowledgeable distillery staff will explain the differences between distilling brown spirits including our whiskey, rye, apple brandy, and grape brandy and white spirits like vodka, gin, and grappa. We are so proud of the collaborative work being done with our local wineries and breweries (more to come on that).

To top it off, you will enjoy a sampling of spirits or a tasting cocktail which is included in the tour. Stop in Saturdays in June from 12-5 pm for a Tour and Tasting or try a tasty J. Carver Specialty Cocktail. Tours start on the hour at 12, 1, 2, 3 pm. Book on-line at jcarverdistillery.com

Many have asked if the tasting room is open to stop in for a specialty cocktail made with our J. Carver Spirits. The answer is yes! Looking forward to seeing you!

 Photo by J. Carver Distillery

Photo by J. Carver Distillery

All the action is not just here at the distillery.  J. Carver Barrel gin is taking the cocktail scene by storm and we couldn't be more proud!

Spoon and Stable

Robert Jones of Spoon and Stable is a spirits genius with the cocktails he is creating with private barrel #157 J. Carver Barrel Gin featured in Eater.com "Flower Power: 26 Rose Cocktails to Try This Summer - Eater". 

 Photo by Spoon and Stable

Photo by Spoon and Stable

Coalition Restaurant

Just down the road in Excelsior Coalition Restaurant has mastered amazing cocktails with J. Carver Barrel Gin. Andrew knocks it out of the park with his J. Carver creations and the last visit was as amazing as the first. Coalition is hitting high notes with J. Carver Barrel Gin Barrel #206. Yes! Andrew creates amazing libations that keeps customers coming back for more. One of his signature cocktails with the J. Carver Barrel Gin is called the Water Street Smash - it's a must try!

 Photo by Coalition Restaurant

Photo by Coalition Restaurant

 Photo by J. Carver Distillery  After all this, who's thirsty? Stay tuned and until next time, keep an eye out for these delicious libations and stop by the distillery for a tour and a taste! We'd love to see you and show you what we are up to! J. Carver Distillery - Spirits of Discovery. Cheers!

Photo by J. Carver Distillery

After all this, who's thirsty? Stay tuned and until next time, keep an eye out for these delicious libations and stop by the distillery for a tour and a taste! We'd love to see you and show you what we are up to! J. Carver Distillery - Spirits of Discovery. Cheers!

Club Gourmand Cocktail Pairing at 6Smith Restaurant

Even though there is still a thick layer of ice on Minnesota lakes, it is melting fast on the eve of the vernal equinox. Happy Spring indeed! There's an air of anticipation and excitement at local restaurants around Lake Minnetonka as they gear up for the spring and summer season.

6Smith Restaurant in Wayzata recently hosted Club Gourmand, a group of businessmen who visit local restaurants once a month to enjoy the chef's latest creations. I was invited by this month’s hosts (Thanks Isaac and Chad) as a special guest to talk about J. Carver Distillery and our spirits portfolio. I had the joy of working with 6Smith events coordinator Carly Clark and Chef John Mullen pairing two of the four courses with cocktails made with J. Carver Barrel Gin and our J. Carver Premium Vodka. It was an amazing afternoon of tasty food, delicious libation pairings and a wonderful group supporting local businesses.

The starter course delighted the senses. Chef John made a perfectly seared Diver Sea Scallop with Apricot Mostarda Red Mustard Greens, and Dijonnaise. Mostarda is an Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard-flavored syrup.  The J. Carver Barrel Gin Old-Fashioned complimented this plate perfectly. The sweetness of sea scallops and apricot was balanced by the earthiness and depth of flavor of the red mustard greens dressed with dijonnaise and paired beautifully with the citrus notes, smokiness and layered flavors from the botanicals interacting with the char and tannins from the barrel. The result, harmonious layers of flavors between this starter dish and the tantalizing flavors of the J. Carver Barrel Gin along with the other delightful flavors from the cherries, bitters, and orange in the old fashioned. (recipe is on our website)

Rock Shrimp, Honey Aioli, Crispy Prosciutto, Melon, and Red Watercrest adorned the second plate and wine was paired with this dish, Bonny Doon Albarino. I was asked what cocktail I would pair with this amazing dish for an option other than wine. I would enjoy a Vesper with this dish. A spin on the Vesper would be to take an ounce of the Albarino with an ounce of J. Carver Lake House Vodka, an ounce of J. Carver Grimm Farm Gin. Shake and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The entrée, Grilled Hanger Steak, Porcini Mushroom Glaze, Snap Peas, Baby Carrots, and Spring Onions was paired with a glass of Rail 2 Rail Zinfandel with bright spicy acidity framing the red berry and pepper flavors in the wine.

Lastly, the Sweet Course was a Chocolate Torte paired with J. Carver Premium Vodka, served neat. When I first met with Chef John Mullen and had him taste our products, he said "This vodka is great neat! Let’s serve it up with the chocolate torte." Simply delicious.

Looking forward to the next pairing. Stay tuned friends and fans to #jcarverdrinks when we visit another fabulous Minnesota restaurant serving up J. Carver spirits! Cheers!

Happiness At The Happy Gnome

We have been out and about visiting restaurants who are creating tasty libations with J. Carver spirits. Tasty indeed and a very welcoming environment is what you will find when visiting The Happy Gnome! 

An Evening Together - Northland Country Club and J. Carver Distillery

Hard to believe January is coming to a close. The distillery has not slowed down after the hustle and bustle of the 2014 holiday season. Actually, it feels like we have been busier than ever. Product development has been on the forefront while the J. Carver team continues to get out and about with tastings and events.

Last week’s trip to Duluth for a five course cocktail and food pairing at Northland Country Club was delightful. A huge shout out to Ryan Bauer, Director of FUN, the chefs, and his team for collaborating with J. Carver Distillery to create tasty cocktails made with J. Carver Premium Vodka and Premium Gin that paired beautifully with jaw dropping appetizers. It was an evening enjoyed by all that brought Minnesota craft spirits and chef inspired food for the members and guests at Northland Country Club to a new level. Cheers to a memorable evening!

COURSE 1
“J. Carver French 75”
1 ounce J. Carver Premium Vodka
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
3 ounces Champagne
Add all ingredients except the Champagne in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne. SERVED IN A CHAMPAGNE FLUTE  
Paired with:  An Alaea salt, Kukui nut & scallion poke cones 

COURSE 2
J. Carver Left Bank
1 ½  ounces J. Carver Premium Gin
1 ounce Elderflower Liqueur
1 ounce Sauvignon Blanc
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. 
Serve in a Martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist
Paired with an assortment of gourmet cheeses including Chevre from Wisconsin.

COURSE 3
Copa Malbec created at Coalition
2 oz J. Carver Premium Gin
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz Piatelli Malbec wine
Shake all ingredients and strain in a low ball with ice. Top with Malbec wine.
SERVED IN A LOW BALL GLASS WITH ICE  
Paired with:  Braised five-spiced pork belly, pickled cucumber and jalapeno slaw, Sriracha aioli, crushed peanuts, sweet soy on a bao bun.  

COURSE 4
Maple Kiss
1 oz J. Carver Premium Vodka
2 oz Chilled Pacific Coast Hard Apple Cider
Drizzle with 2 teaspoons REAL Minnesota Maple syrup
Shake all ingredients and strain in a Martini glass.
SERVE IN A MARTINI GLASS 
Paired with:  Chicken fried bacon and sausage cream gravy.  

COURSE 5
J. Carver Jasmine
1 ½ ounces J. Carver Premium Gin
1 ounce Cointreau
¾ ounce Campari
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a low ball glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and a Maraschino cherry.
Great balance of bitter orange and sweetness
PAIR with:  Tempura fried spicy ahi roll, soy reduction and pickled ginger aioli.  

Looking forward to our next event. Until then, raising a glass to those who create tasty libations with hand crafted spirits distilled here in Minnesota and to our restaurateurs and chefs who create delicious bites satisfying all of us who hunger and thirst for good eats and drinks. Cheers!

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

The Cocktailian, Restaurants, Spirit Shops, and Gifts of the Season

The most wonderful time of year is here and the hustle and bustle of the season has kept us on our toes at the distillery and around town. The focus has been on production and keeping the J. Carver Premium Vodka and Premium Gin flowing. The Distillery team has been busy pouring at festive events like the Cocktailian at the Varsity Theater last week. J. Carver crafted two specialty drinks, the “Botanical Lady” and “Maple Kiss” which were enjoyed by over 843 guests at the Cocktailian. Thank you to City Pages for inviting J. Carver Distillery to participate in this amazing event with a portion of the proceeds benefiting “Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.” 

Botanical Lady
Ingredients
3 oz J. Carver Premium Gin
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz thyme-infused simple syrup
Shake all ingredients and strain in a Martini glass. Garnish with a thyme sprig.

Maple Kiss
Ingredients
1 oz J. Carver Premium Vodka
2 oz Chilled hard apple cider (Pacific Coast Hard Apple Cider)
Drizzle with REAL Minnesota Maple syrup
Shake all ingredients and strain in a Martini glass.

Other events have included pouring at liquor stores and specialty shops around town. A popular tasting was at The Vintage in Chanhassen. J. Carver Vodka served with Jack Rudy Elderflower tonic was tasty and refreshing. This cocktail can be made as a Martini or served over ice in a Collins glass. 

J. Carver Elderflower Tonic
Ingredients:
2 oz J. Carver Premium Vodka
1 oz Jack Rudy Elderflower tonic
½ simple syrup
¾ oz fresh lemon juice

Out and about and around town, bars and restaurants are shaking things up with J. Carver craft spirits creating drinks and expanding their specialty cocktail programs - exciting times in the spirits industry. 

At Lola’s Lake House in Waconia, our table enjoyed an array of cocktails including the classic Lemon Drop Martini and Orange Martini, the J. Carver Vodka Cosmopolitan and Lola’s specialty Fireside Martini made with J. Carver Premium Vodka. Delicious!

The ever popular Moscow Mule and specialty martinis were enjoyed by all listening to talented local artists singing classic Christmas carols at School of the Wise 2 in Chanhassen. SOW2 is all about local. Stop by and check out this neighborhood gathering place supporting J. Carver craft spirits distilled just down the road. 

Many have asked during our open house last week and we are pleased to announce rye whiskey and apple brandy that are aging in barrels made right here in Minnesota. And yes, the rye and apples are local too. For the Bourbon lovers out there, patience is a virtue, but do not fret, we are working on Bourbon too.

Need a little help deciding what to get that special someone on your list? How about gift ideas from your backyard and the gift of J. Carver Distillery Minnesota craft spirits? It is a party in a bottle. J. Carver Premium Vodka and Premium Gin are available at local liquor stores around town. Keep local gifts in mind. Cheers!

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