Wishing You a Happy New Year With A Festive Cocoktail

As we bring a memorable year at J. Carver Distillery to a close, we want to thank you for supporting us in 2014. Here is to you, our distillery friends and fans and all of the liquor stores and restaurants across the state who have partnered with us to carry J. Carver craft spirits. In honor of all of you, we are raising a glass to celebrate this past year and this New Year’s Eve with this classic French 75 cocktail. Enjoy this libation this evening while the Champagne is flowing or during your New Year’s Day brunch tomorrow. Cheers to another successful year in 2015 as we create and launch new and unique Minnesota craft spirits and continue this exciting journey together. 

“J. Carver French 75”

1 ounce J. Carver Premium Vodka OR Premium Gin (Amazingly – you can use either/or!)
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 and ENJOY!

The J. Carver Distillery Team wishes you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Sunrise And Sunset - Along With The SW Minne Tour

The sun rose over the distillery this morning as we were busy making vodka and gin, and only one thing came to mind (other than the vodka and gin of course), these are some of the most glorious days in Minnesota. 

Sunrise Over J. Carver Distillery

Sunrise Over J. Carver Distillery

Cool nights and crisp morning air, along with views of breathtaking morning mist dancing across many of our 10,000 lakes, including Lake Waconia, as the sun rises giving us afternoon warmth...this can mean only one thing, autumn in Minnesota is here. 

This is the time so many travel around the state soaking in the sights and smells of the season.  At J. Carver Distillery, we are very grateful to be surrounded by so many wineries and breweries who are buzzing with activity as many customers visit their tap rooms and sampling rooms taking in everything these businesses have to offer from new vintages of wine to the latest seasonal ales on tap. These are exciting times for Waconia and its surrounding communities.

Picturesque Lake Waconia

Picturesque Lake Waconia

Our distillery, and our local breweries and wineries worked with Stephanie and Lori from the SW Metro Chamber of Commerce to set up the SW Minne Beer, Wine & Spirits Tour. Many of you, our distillery friends, have shared with us how much you have enjoyed your visits to these businesses and have asked when we will be open for distillery tours and tastings. We are looking forward to that day, but for now, we are focusing our efforts on getting our products to all of the local liquor stores and area restaurants. We are working on vodka and gin and many other distinctive spirits for you to try. From vodka and gin, to bourbon, brandy and whiskey, we are committed to producing distinct spirits inspired by a tradition of craft and curiosity made with local ingredients just down the road. There will be much more information published on our website in the coming weeks informing you of when and where you can find our products. We look forward to seeing you at your liquor stores in the coming months as we pour samples and have you taste our products. Stay tuned to our website for more information.

Sunset Over Lake Waconia

Sunset Over Lake Waconia

As this gorgeous day comes to an end and the sun is setting, another thing comes to mind…we are still here making vodka and gin…and couldn't be happier! J. Carver – Spirits of Discovery.

The Ambassador Visit – First Dollar of Clear Profit

Waconia Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors

Waconia Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors

We had visitors yesterday. Kellie Sites, President of the Waconia Chamber of Commerce, stopped by with the Chamber Ambassadors to deliver our First Dollar of Clear Profit. We did not really know what that meant until we were presented with a framed one dollar bill which read, “Congratulations and Best Wishes to J. Carver Distillery. May the confidence you have shown in this community be rewarded with many years of success. By way of a start toward this goal, the Waconia Chamber of Commerce presents you with your First Dollar of Clear Profit.” What a great idea and incredible gesture! 

To Kellie, Carmen, and the Ambassadors of the Chamber, thank you for all you do to support this community. You definitely have put the DESTINATION into “Destination Waconia” which was so evident during last Saturday’s successful Nickel Dickel Days! Congratulations! The Chamber and its volunteers do amazing things. We appreciate you sharing your time, gifts and talents with J. Carver Distillery and our community.

Many of the Ambassadors in attendance yesterday read the blog from last week, so it was a perfect opportunity to explain to them the next steps of distillation and now to all of you.  
To recap from last week, in the fermentation process the objective is to convert the starch in the grain to fermentable sugar creating a liquid that is fermentable.  In last week’s blog, it was described as an ale-like liquid. That liquid mash is run through the still in what is called a stripping run and what comes out is a liquid we call a low wine(not wine at all and not beer either). The liquid that comes out of that first stripping run will then go through the rectifying columns in our Vodka Still and will become our J. Carver Premium Vodka. 

The grain for our Premium Vodka is local winter wheat. A question was asked, “can vodka be made from potatoes?” The simple answer is yes. In short, vodka is distilled from the mash of a variety of grains including wheat, corn, rye, potatoes and grapes.

From mashing to fermenting with the next step being distilling, the team at J. Carver Distillery is on track to crafting unique and quality spirits for you to enjoy - In the words of our Lead Distiller, Matt, “Just around the corner, baby! We are that much closer.”


Carver County Fair – We’ll Be There Too

Amazing to think July is coming to an end and August is upon us. That can mean only one thing; the Carver County Fair is here.  The town is already hustling and bustling with activity and in less than a week, visitors from all over will be enjoying themselves at the fair. We will be there too! Our booth will be located by the Entertainment Building so make sure you stop by and say “Hi.” We will have J. Carver Distillery shirts and hats for purchase and we will have better answers to all the questions you may have about products and our production schedule as we anticipate the arrival of the stills next week. I will definitely have the camera in hand and post photos on our gallery. Exciting times for the history books - hope to see you at the Fair!

Finishing Touches – It’s All In The Details

I've learned a lot of things over the past week as the building renovation project is coming to an end. It’s all about the finishing touches and it’s all in the details. CD Products, our neighbors next door, created our exterior sign and assembled it last week. Matt and Chad, our electricians, are doing the final hook up as I write. The lit sign looks really awesome during the day; we can’t wait to see the sign illuminate tonight. Ken and Dave are finishing up the tile work in the lobby, while Bob, Eric and Joe work away on the plumbing in anticipation for the stills which are on their way. The grain and barrels have been ordered and our bottles are here. Big equipment arrives daily like the huge chilling tower we endearingly call the spaceship. More equipment is on the way and Matt is working on production details. 

As we transition out of the renovation project, the weekly blog will move from construction to production. With that, today’s blog photo of the illuminating sign inspired me to share a recipe for a cocktail I had last weekend. It’s called an Aviation Cocktail. It is a tasty drink and beautiful in the glass too. Put all ingredients (see below) in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass. This is a perfect cocktail served poolside on a hot, summer day or as you stare at an illuminated J. Carver Distillery sign under the sky. Either way CHEERS and ENJOY!

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

•    2 ounces of gin
•    1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
•    ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
•    2 dashes of crème de violette
•    Orange peel or maraschino cherries for garnish


Aviation Cocktail

Aviation Cocktail