Sunday, August 7, 2016

Alchemy Distillery Boldt Rye Whiskey Cocktails

It seems like new distilleries are popping up all over the place.  Partly due to the resurgence of craft cocktails, whiskey/bourbon and the loosening of prohibitive post-prohibition laws locally.  My (smaller geographically) area has seen a surge of new distilleries making everything including vodka, gin, moonshine, rum, whiskey and liqueurs.

Alchemy Distillery is a local husband a wife team who, while interested in spirits, just said one day "why not us?"  They did their research and come up with a plan.  The initial funding was done almost three years ago via a Kickstarter campaign.  They raised the money needed, but didn't jump right into the production of a distilling facility or rush to produce just anything.  They took a distillery tour of the United States towing their Airstream behind them, took distilling classes with the masters and refined their distillery vision (using local grains, buying American made equipment). 

Their first product hit shelves just before St Patrick's day this year.  They crafted two different clear whiskies made from locally grown soft white wheat and hard red wheat, sourced from Hindley Ranch.  These whiskies were different in a sense because the mash bill was 100 percent wheat.  They weren't a wheated bourbon, or mixed with any rye or barley.

Locally these products were a success and the farmers soon ran out of product for the season.  Next they sourced organic rye from a producer just over the border in Oregon.  The 100 percent rye, clear whiskey (a particularly stubborn and hard to make distillate) is their next product to market and the subject of this post.

I wanted to try using their unaged rye whiskey in cocktails that were common enough, but through slight tweaking would show off the character of their new whiskey.  I had previously made a margarita, screwdriver, Boldt Sunrise and a Boldt Julep with their hard red wheat clear whiskey.  They were nice because you could still taste the fresh, dry, dusty grain character of the whiskey.

The top of the picture is the Boldt Rye Whiskey neat along with a Boldt Sazerac.  I used:

3oz Boldt Clear Rye Whiskey
1/4 oz or a splash of Wild Card Absinthe from Oregon
1/4 oz Agave Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters (the original Sazerac calls for Peychaud's, but I was looking for something less sweet with the clear whiskey)
1/2 oz Perucchi Dry Vermouth
Lemon Zest Garnish

-Add the absinthe to your chilled glass, swirl to coat and discard the remainder.
-Fill a shaker with ice and add the whiskey, simple syrup, bitters and dry vermouth.
-Shake well and strain into your coated glass.
-Use a peeler to pull a thick zest from a fresh lemon. Rub around the rim of the glass and twist over the cocktail before adding.

On the bottom left is a Boldt Manhattan.  Being a clear whiskey, you don't want to overdo it with too much spice or sweetness.  Toning down the vermouth by using both sweet and dry will make for a more balance cocktail.  You will need:

3oz Boldt Clear Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1oz Perucchi Dry Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/2 t Luxardo Cherry juice/syrup
2 ea Luxardo Cherries
Lemon Zest Garnish

-Combine all ingredients except the cherries and lemon garnish in a shaker with plenty of ice.
-Shake vigorously and then strain into a coupe or martini glass.
-Add the cherries on a skewer and twist the lemon zest over the cocktail before adding it.

The bottom right picture is two different Boldt Rye Mules.  The Moscow Mule is one of my favorite light, bright and refreshing cocktails.  this one uses Fee Brothers Barrel aged bitters to add some structure, spice and tannin to the young whiskey, all things it would pick up with a little time in barrel.  The recipe is for the cocktail on the right.  For the more traditional version, leave out the bitters.

3oz Boldt Rye Whiskey
2 dashes Fee Brothers Barrel Aged Bitters
Juice of half a lime
4-5 oz Bundaberg Ginger Beer

-Mix the Rye Whiskey, Bitters and lime juice in a shaker with ice.
-Strain into a glass filled with ice.
-Top with 4-5 oz of ginger beer and garnish with the zest or a round of lime.

This is the end of my weekend of experimental Boldt Rye Whiskey cocktails, but I'm sure I'll still play around with them.  The Manhattan is my favorite cocktail.  Preferably with a high proof (or barrel proof) bourbon, Carpano Antica, luxardo cherries and Paychaud's bitters.  This doesn't mean that it's the be all end all of my cocktail world. Take a look at your favorite cocktail recipe and change it just a bit.  Try a different liquor or change the proportions of certain ingredients.  You may just find a new favorite.

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