products

Crafting Holiday Cocktails - Spirits of Discovery

The holiday season is upon us. What better way to celebrate with family and friends around the table than with a libation made with hand crafted J. Carver Premium Vodka and Premium Gin. Watch guests’ eyes light up when they see these festive cocktails awaiting their arrival. These cocktails are among the tasty traditions that evoke memories during the holidays – and inspire new ones. There are many creations here for you to choose from: 

J. Carver Crimson Splash
1 1/2 ounces of J. Carver Premium Vodka
2 ounces Cranberry Juice
A splash of ginger ale
Fill a low ball with ice. Add J. Carver Premium Vodka and cranberry juice. Leave room for a splash of ginger ale. Squeeze in a lemon for garnish. For a festive touch, add three cranberries infused in simple syrup as an additional garnish. See below for simple syrup recipe.*

J. Carver Moscow Mule
2 ounce J. Carver Premium Vodka
4 ounce Ginger Beer
3/4 ounce fresh lime
Served over crushed ice in traditional copper mug or a Collins glass. Garnish with lime.

J. Carver Cosmopolitan
1 ounce J. Carver Premium Vodka
1 ounce J. Carver Premium Gin
1/2 ounce Marie Brizard Triple Sec
3/4 ounce of Cranberry juice
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in Martini Glass rimmed with fine sugar and garnish with a lemon twist and cranberries*.

Pomegranate Gin Martini
1 1/2 ounces of J. Carver Premium Gin
1 ounce Marie Brizard Triple Sec
1/2 dropper of Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
¾ ounce Powell & Mahoney Pomegranate Mixer OR pomegranate juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in a Martini glass.
Garnish with an orange twist and pomegranate seeds infused with simple syrup* for a festive flair.

Pomegranate Vodka Martini
1 1/2 ounces of J. Carver Premium Vodka
1 ounce Marie Brizard Triple Sec
1/2 dropper of orange or grapefruit bitters
¾ ounce Powell & Mahoney Pomegranate Mixer OR pomegranate juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in a Martini glass.
Garnish with an orange twist and pomegranate seeds infused with simple syrup* for a festive flair.

J. Carver Negroni
1 ounce J. Carver Premium Gin
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Vermouth Blanc
Combine all ingredients in a low ball served over ice. Garnish with a thick lemon twist.

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. Serve in a Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and a Maraschino cherry.

J. Carver Vesper
2 ounces J. Carver Premium Gin
1 ounce J. Carver Premium Vodka
1 ounce Vermouth Blanc
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in a Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

J. Carver Left Bank
1 ½  ounces J. Carver Premium Gin
1 ounce Elderflower Liqueur
1 ounce Vermouth Blanc 
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in a Martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

J. Carver Aviation
1 ½ ounces J. Carver Premium Gin
½ ounce Crème De Violette
¼ Maraschino Liqueur
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in a Martini glass. Serve in a Martini glass rimmed with fine sugar and garnish with two Maraschino cherries and a lemon twist.

Maple Kiss
1 once J. Carver Premium Vodka
2 ounces chilled Pacific Coast Hard Apple Cider
Drizzle with real maple syrup
Served over ice in a low ball glass.

J. Carver “French 76”
1 1/2 ounces of J. Carver Premium Vodka
1 ounce Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao
1/2 dropper of Bittercube Jamaican Bitters
1 ounce chilled Cava or Prosecco
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve in a champagne flute. Top with Cava or Prosecco. Garnish with an orange twist.

*Simple syrup recipe: In a saucepan, boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat immediately. Cool and store in glass container.

*For cranberry garnish, after removing from heat, take the batch of simple syrup add one bag of fresh cranberries while liquid is still hot and then cool completely. Store in a glass container and refrigerate. Use as garnish in above cocktails.

*For pomegranate seed garnish, after removing the liquid from heat, cool the batch of simple syrup completely and add seeds of one pomegranate. Store in a glass container and refrigerate. Use as garnish in above cocktails.

J. Carver Premium Vodka and Premium Gin are available at over 137 local spirit shops and restaurants in Minnesota. From north to south, and east to west, J. Carver Premium Vodka and Gin are within reach to taste, create and enjoy classic, quality cocktails during the holidays. ‘Tis the season for time with family and friends all together in one place. The J. Carver Distillery team looks forward to celebrating the season with our distillery fans and friends enjoying these and other tasty cocktails. J. Carver Distillery – Spirits of Discovery. 

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.”

 

Flurry – Defined By J. Carver Distillery

How can I describe the past week’s activity at J. Carver Distillery in one word? Let’s try this one – FLURRY! Flurry is defined a number of ways by Merriam – Webster on-line dictionary. One definition says, “A brief period of excitement or activity”. Flurry defined another way, “A large amount of something that happens or comes suddenly”. Both definitions perfectly describe the activity since last week’s post. There was a flurry of activity and excitement from Wednesday through Sunday, August 6-10th, at our booth during the Carver County Fair. We were able to answer questions regarding the renovation project at the distillery, from electrical, plumbing, and steam lines, to our products, and our opening date. While at the fair, we all talked about the other flurry - "the large amount of something" - ‘aka’ - the delivery of our stills scheduled for arrival on Monday, August 11th. Many of your questions we had definitive answers and others we could not answer specifically, such as, “When are you going to be open”? As we explained, we will open for distillery tours when we are producing three ore more products to sample and taste (ABSOLUTELY can’t wait for that day!) If you haven't heard, will start out making vodka and gin and will get as much whiskey, brandy and bourbon into barrels for aging. Thirsty? Me too!

So many of you, from near and far, said we were all beaming with excitement at the fair as we announced the delivery date for the the stills. Yes! We were set for Monday morning, August 11th. Right on schedule, minutes before 8 am,  a large, red semi-truck turned onto Mill Lane holding two of the most beautiful, shiny stills to adorn the production floor at the distillery. I heard Matt say, "Billy, the stills are here!" I ran and got my camera so I could add photos to our website photo gallery. Also on the truck, was our large stainless steel mash-tun. The mash tun made the delivery complete and added to all the excitement since we knew it was going to be tight getting that piece of equipment through a window into the building. At that moment, it was great to have friends in all the right places. Jason, Brian and Ryan from Shorewood Engineering down the road on Mill Lane answered our call. (Sounds catchy doesn't it!) We needed some tools and they lent us the helping hands we needed to get the job done as we squeezed the mash tun through the window with just centimeters to clear and I mean centimeters to clear! Thanks for all the help guys! We are so glad you were here during the “flurry” of activity.

Since Tuesday, the day we installed the stills, the activity at the distillery continues! The walls for the hammer mill room and mash tun room were framed. The flooring in the sampling room is being installed, carpeting installation for the conference room starts this afternoon and to top it all off, we are putting the finishing touches together for the first annual J. Carver “Golf With A Purpose” tournament benefiting the Waconia Baseball Association “Raise the Grandstand” project set for next Monday, August 18th at Island View Golf Club with food and beverages served by Island View Dining. Thanks for signing up for the golf tourney, and thanks for subscribing to The Good Gossip E-Newsletter, and liking and following all our social media sites; your comments have been priceless. Whew! This past week was packed with activity at the fair, the distillery and in the community - a flurry indeed! Now, off to the next project! Cheers!!!

"Gin Boom" - Tasty Creations with Minnesota Craft Spirits

There is a buzz around town with people excited about the booming Minnesota micro-distillery industry. It’s exciting to see these local spirits being produced, purchased and people creating tasty cocktails from them. I am heading to The Ritz Theater in Minneapolis next Tuesday for an event called "Tastemakers" hosted by Stephanie March & Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. This event will be attended by individuals passionate about the local spirits scene and the “Gin Boom”. I fall into that category, so I will be joining other gin lovers enjoying “a spirited discussion” about Minnesota gin and the Minnesota Craft Distillery industry. 

The timing couldn't be more perfect for today’s blog. As promised for those of you who subscribe to our newsletter, The Good Gossip, I am posting a refreshing gin cocktail recipe. Check it out and give it a whirl. It's nummy! Mix gin with blackcurrant liqueur (Crème de cassis), freshly squeezed lemon, a dash of simple syrup and garnish with a lemon peel. Serve with an appetizer made with slices of toasted banquette from your local bakery topped with a four pepper goat cheese and drizzled with black currant preserves. Don’t be afraid to zest lemon on top of the preserves for the finishing touch. The drink and appetizer recipes are easy to make and a perfect way to start an evening of fun. These are exciting times for the craft spirit industry, Minnesota Distilleries, and our future J. Carver Gin.

RESERVE NOW