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Archive for November, 2014

Moonshining

Brewing beer is great, but distilling your own Moonshine is better. And more difficult. There are a lot of different flavors you can create depending on what you are looking to serve up. The images below are from a friend of Brooks Grain (FOBG) from Minnesota that turned out, well, great.

As you can see from out photo there a few steps to the process and decided to capture a few of them. You will see the mashing, distilling and obviously the end product depicted here. Not quite like Otis and his friends from the Andy Griffith show but you get the general idea.

 

 

 

 

Here is the definition of Moonshine from Wikipedia

Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly.  Moonshine is typically made with corn mash as the main ingredient. The word “moonshine” is believed to derive from the term “moonrakers” used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey. The distillation was done at night to avoid discovery.

Ready to give it a try?

 

The Classic Derby Recipe

2 Cups sugar
2 Cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Kentucky Bourbon
Silver Julep Cups

No Derby Party is complete without the Mint Julep which has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. This is a feat that requires over 10,000 bottles Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Click here for the Kentucky Derby Website

If you have never been on the bourbon trail you simply have to place it on your bucket list. The tours, scenery, whiskey and history make it a trip never forgotten. Here is a link to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail website to get a feel for the story behind the spirit.

Thank you Lacy Dunsmore for sharing your great photos with us.

 

 

 

 

Bourbon Trail-001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means plenty of time with friends and family, as well as plenty of food.  In our estimation that’s a good thing.  Of course, that isn’t always the case.  Friends can overstay their welcome, family can bicker and too much food doesn’t always sit well.

Fortunately, whiskey can be something of a jack-of-all-trades fix-it this time of year.  Whether it’s a friendly peacemaker, a patience regenerator or a simple digestif, whiskey might as well be the official drink of Thanksgiving.  With that said, here’s a nice round-up of Thanksgiving-friendly whiskey cocktails and punch to help you through the holiday.

If you aren’t tasked with cooking and can spend a little time mixing and stirring for guests, I highly recommend this Thanksgiving-inspired cocktail menu from Kitchn, particularly the Lazy Boy Cocktail (bourbon, dried figs, simple syrup, fresh ginger juice) or the Jack-O-Latern  (whiskey, apple cider, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spices).

The ladies at A Beautiful Mess put together three different punches for Thanksgiving, because while it’s fun to make individual cocktails, you’ll probably already have your hands-full on turkey day.  You can make the punches ahead of time and guests can serve themselves.

Finally, and sticking with the punch-route, which seems to be the best large-crowd elixir available, the folks at Esquire have put together an impressive list of eleven punches that you can ride from Thanksgiving through Christmas. And if we had to recommend just one, then our money is on the Gaelic Punch, an Irish Whisky-based play on the traditional hot-toddy that is remarkably simple and sure to please.

The above punches and cocktails won’t fix your family or undo that third portion of sweet potatoes you ate, but they’re going to be good, and that’s something to be thankful for.

 

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The cold weather of winter is officially upon us.  The American Midwest is staring down the season’s first arctic vortex, which stands to bring with it icy temperatures and up to a foot of snow in the coming days.

Like you, we at Brooks Grain are scrambling for ways to stay warm.  We’ve unpacked our cold weather gear and stocked the propane tanks and wood shed, but still we knew there was something missing. Enter: “The Mitch Morgan” – a cocktail so simple, delicious and warming you’ll wonder why you never thought of it yourself.  Ready for the recipe? Read slowly, you might miss it:

The Mitch Morgan

-One shot of bourbon;

-One-half slice of cooked bacon;

-Combine ingredients, enjoy.

Yep.  That’s it.  The smoky bacon pairs wonderfully with the wood in the bourbon and makes a delicious garnish, and its fat cuts the bite of the alcohol with ease.  Put them together and you’ve found the perfect way to stay warm this winter.

The drink originates from Telluride, Colorado, specifically a BBQ and Bourbon joint called “Oak…The New Fat Alley.”  Telluride makes sense for this cocktails’ birthplace: know for cold, snow and mountains, the one-time silver mining camp has emerged as a destination ski resort town.  The Mitch Morgan speaks to the town’s hardscrabble roots (it’s easy to see a drink like this counting as breakfast for a miner) and it’s foodie/ski resort present.

One thing, however, is certain: The Mitch Morgan will warm your belly and put a smile on your face at the same time.  Time to stock up on ingredients before the snow cuts you off from the store.

“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.”  Johnny Carson

photo from fan share

Thoughts on whiskey: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”   Mark Twain

photo by great authors

Orange Manhattan

Christmas Burwell Manhattan

These are great…actually one of the house fav’s.

Here is what you will need

  • cocktail shaker
  • ice
  • dash of sweet vermouth
  • 1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • dash orange bitters
  • dash maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 maraschino cherry, to garnish – well, make it 2

Mitch Morgan

Mitch-Morgan

The Mitch Morgan

-One shot of bourbon;

-One-half slice of cooked bacon;

-Combine ingredients, enjoy.

Yep.  That’s it.  The smoky bacon pairs wonderfully with the wood in the bourbon and makes a delicious garnish, and its fat cuts the bite of the alcohol with ease.  Put them together and you’ve found the perfect way to stay warm this winter.

The drink originates from Telluride, Colorado, specifically a BBQ and Bourbon joint called “Oak…The New Fat Alley.”  Telluride makes sense for this cocktails’ birthplace: know for cold, snow and mountains, the one-time silver mining camp has emerged as a destination ski resort town.  The Mitch Morgan speaks to the town’s hardscrabble roots (it’s easy to see a drink like this counting as breakfast for a miner) and it’s foodie/ski resort present.

One thing, however, is certain: The Mitch Morgan will warm your belly and put a smile on your face at the same time.  Time to stock up on ingredients before the snow cuts you off from the store.

Mint Julep

Mint julep

Ingredients
4 cups bourbon
2 bunches fresh spearmint
1 cup distilled water
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

Directions
To prepare mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.

To prepare simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

To prepare mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon.

Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.

When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice.

Serve immediately.

Manhattan Italiano

Manhattan Italiano

2 ounces bourbon reserve
1/2 once Tuaca
1/2 ounce triple sec
6 dashes of Orange bitters
1/2 ounce of white sweet vermouth

 

Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

Bloody Mary

Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

1 teaspoon salt / pepper / paprika mix
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 large lemon wedges
1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce
1 can (6 ounces) campbell’s tomato juice

Blackberry Soda

Blackberry-Soda

Blackberry Soda

1.5 oz Ole Smokey Blackberry Moonshine
top off with soda water on ice

Rye Rocks

Rye Rocks

Locate your favorite whiskey glass
add ice
pour Rye

Enjoy

Bourbon Iced Tea

Rye Iced Tea
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus mint sprigs for garnish
  • 6 good-quality black tea bags

Good-quality bourbon

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Bourbon Burger

Rye Burger

Burger Patties and Cheese:
30 ounces ground chuck (20 percent fat)
2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
30 grinds fresh black pepper
6 ounces Dubliner cheese (Kerrygold brand), thinly sliced and divided into 6 (1-ounce) servings

Sauteed Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (European style)
1 large Vidalia onion, halved (through the core) and thinly sliced (1/4-inch)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 grinds fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)

Buns:
Brioche hamburger-sized buns, halved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style), at room temperature

Rye Sour

Bourbon Sour

2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry

Bourbon on the Rocks

drink

The Plan

Find a good bourbon
Select your favorite glass from your bar
Drop in a couple of cubes
Pour over ice
Savor

 

 

Classic Manhattan

drink

3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash  bitters
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey, and bitters with 2 – 3 ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir or shake gently so you won’t cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry.

Perfect Manhattan

drink

2 oz blended whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash bitters

Shake with ice to chill, pour into a low ball cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

 

Cara’s Feature

cara

750 JB White
1 can Concentrated OJ (Do not add water)
1 can Concentrated Limeade or Lemonade (Do not add water)
1 jar Maraschino Cherries. (I use DK Michigan Cherry since I don’t care for the Cherries)
2 Ltr Lemon-Lime Soda

Blend all ingredients together-place in freezer minimum 24 hrs.

**Once you remove from freezer, stir mixture from the bottom. Slight separation may have occurred during the freezing**