Those of you who have visited our J. Carver Distillery cocktail room in Waconia, MN have asked for some cocktail recipes easy enough to make at home. Here are a number of tasty Sevilla Liqueur recipes that pair beautifully with grilled meats to enjoy as we hang on to our last days of summer!
J. Carver Martini Monday
May in Minnesota is one of the most gorgeous months of the year. During winter, Minnesotans hibernate from the cold and wait for the days of summer. In May, the bees are buzzing, the tulips are in full bloom, and martinis at J. Carver Distillery are flowing.
Have you seen Martini Monday? For those of you who have tuned in to view the video on our FB page, thank you! If you haven't had the opportunity, "Like" us on Facebook and watch Gina teach you how to create some of the tasty cocktails served in our cocktail room. Here are a few of the recipes. Get ready for some summer sipping.
Some say good news, bad news. At J. Carver Distillery, we say good news and great news. The good news is we have a number of special events and liquor store tastings occurring in the Twin Cities highlighting our line of J. Carver spirits. Store locations and times are detailed on our website Events tab. Looking for an event that will certainly make your taste buds do a jig? One of these fabulous events is being hosted by Sanctuary Restaurant in Minneapolis. Sanctuary Executive Chef Patrick Atanalian has created a special one night menu this Thursday, March 24, from 5-9 pm incorporating J. Carver Distillery gin, vodka, and whiskey. For reservations, call 612-339-5058 or go online. Stay tuned for details regarding a speculator gin event at Black Forest Inn Minneapolis on April 6th. Erica and team have some great surprises up their sleeves or lederhosen as the case may be.
The great news is spring is in the air just in time for the release of one of the first grain-to glass bourbons distilled in Minnesota. J. Carver Bourbon Whiskey has a mash bill of 75% local corn from Plato, MN and 25% local rye from Clear Lake, MN, and has been aged in oak barrels coopered in Avon and Park Rapids, Minnesota. We are thrilled with the response we have received. Check out the feature written by Loren Green with City Pages and another by The Whiskey Wash, a website dedicated to all things whiskey.
From our press release: "J. Carver Bourbon Whiskey offers the sweetness of corn with a spicy rye finish. While it is crafted for straight sipping, its notes of cinnamon, toffee and oak make it ideal for drinks with bourbon as the central focus. J. Carver Bourbon Whiskey mixes exceptionally well in classic cocktails including the Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Sazerac."
Try our featured specialty J. Carver Bourbon Whiskey Ginger Old Fashioned. Enjoy straight up or on the rocks. Here is the recipe:
2 oz J. Carver Bourbon Whiskey
½ oz Ginger Simple Syrup
3 dashes bitters Jamaican #1
Shake and strain in a chilled martini glass or serve over ice in a low ball glass and garnish with an orange slice and a bourbon cherry.
Another thing putting a spring in our step is the celebration of Easter this weekend. Not too early for the Easter Bunny to start making his rounds. Maybe there is a basket of J. Carver spirits hidden for libation lover in your family. Speaking of Easter, J. Carver Distillery will be closed this weekend so our team can spend time with family and friends. We will resume regularly scheduled cocktail room hours and tours and tastings on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2. Enjoy the spring season everyone and don’t forget to take time to smell the flowers, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy some J. Carver spirits and specialty cocktail to welcome the new season. Happy Easter from our J. Carver Distillery Family to you and yours. Cheers!
Autumn is definitely in the air. The gorgeous sunny days dance their way into cool, inviting nights. I look back and ask, “How did summer come and go so quickly?” The last three months have flown by and again, so much has happened at the distillery. We started the summer months with tours and tastings on Saturdays and over the past few months added Fridays and special events during the week to the mix. It has been incredible meeting so many of you from across the state, even across the border, as your interest in the art and science of the distillation process at J. Carver Distillery brought you to our door. Who knew a re-purposed Pontiac Car dealership, where so many locals bought their first car, would now be the spot to enjoy a specialty cocktail with grains grown from just down the road.
We started slowly with our cocktail offerings and quickly became inspired to add to our specialty cocktail list. You asked and we created. From the Basil Cucumbertini to the Blackberry Bramble, local fruit, herbs, and infused simple syrup inspired the many specialty cocktails created in the tasting room for you to enjoy.
We wanted to highlight the J. Carver spirit in each specialty cocktail created. The Minnesota Mule using J. Carver Premium Vodka instantly became a crowd favorite as did the Lake House Lemonade and the Venetian. Okay, to all my gin lover’s, you have to know how happy I was to hear you say that Grimm Farm Gin made the best gin and tonic you ever had. Hats off to the history books and Wendin Grimm for bring everlasting clover to the Grimm Farm in Victoria, the botanical that inspired that gin. I’ll personally raise a glass to that. But honestly, the best ever has been the sheer enjoyment of those of you who sat back and relished every sip of your J. Carver Barrel Gin Old Fashioned. As promised, I believe to about 15 of you last Saturday alone, (wink, wink) here is the recipe to make the Old Fashioned simple syrup so you can enjoy a J. Carver Barrel Gin Old Fashioned at home. Just promise me you won’t be a stranger and come in for one at the tasting room every now and again. We love love when you stop in. Here it goes. I told you it was not that complicated, it just takes some time. I would be remiss if I did not give props to Robb Jones from Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis for the inspiration behind the simple syrup in this classic cocktail. Making this simple syrup upfront makes the actual task of making the cocktail a breeze.
You will need two separate pots, sugar, water, rosemary, vanilla bean, bitters, cherries, wild flower honey, and oranges or orange marmalade.
In one pot add:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup frozen organic cherries. (In season I used fresh cherries but hard to come by now)
¼ of a vanilla bean
Stir the sugar until dissolved over medium heat. Wait for a slight boil and macerate the cherries until you get the color and flavor extracted from the cherry and skin. Add vanilla bean. Turn off the heat and let cool. Check the intensity of how much flavor the syrup is getting from the vanilla bean. Remove the vanilla bean when the vanilla is balanced with the cherries, about 30 minutes. Leave the cherries in the pot.
In a second pot add:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 Rosemary sprigs
1 teaspoon Wild Flower Honey
1 teaspoon Orange Marmalade (Homemade is best. I got my from a dear mentor this summer - Thanks Winnie!)
Bitters to taste – here is where you can be creative. You’ll see what I mean later in the blog.
Stir the sugar until dissolved over medium heat. Wait for a slight boil. Add Rosemary sprigs, Wild Flower Honey, and the Orange Marmalade. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Check the intensity of how much flavor the syrup is getting from the Rosemary sprigs. Take out the sprigs when the rosemary is balanced with the other flavors in the pot, about 60 minutes. If you want a little more intensity, feel free to leave the rosemary in the pot for a longer period.
Once the simple syrup has cooled, usually about 1 ½ hours, strain the simple syrup into separate mason jars to remove any particles from the cherries, marmalade, and rosemary. Here is where you can be creative with the amount and kind of bitters you want to add to create your final blend. If you want a little more cherry and vanilla, add cherry vanilla bark bitters. If you want a little more orange, add orange bitters to the rosemary simple syrup jar. When you are satisfied, Blend the two mason jars together into a larger container. Pour the final combined syrup into two separate mason jars, label and date. The simple syrup will keep in your refrigerator for up to a month - if it lasts that long - and the J. Carver Barrel Gin is available at local liquor stores in your area.
To make the J. Carver Barrel Gin Old Fashioned:
2 ounces J. Carver Barrel Gin
½ ounce Rosemary Scented Wild Flower Honey Simple Syrup
1 slice orange squeezed into glass
1 brandied cherry
Serve over ice, stir and ENJOY!