I felt that the “local” craft spirits scene would be the perfect backdrop for September’s MxMo LXI...So…pull out your favorite “local” craft spirit (for those of you not in the US, what hidden gem from your neck of the woods do you want to give some cocktail press?), tell us a little bit about it and why you love it, and let it shine in whichever way (or ways!) you see fit!I split my time between NYC and CT, and not too long ago I wouldn't have all that many choices for local hooch, but times have been a changin'. There are the dueling gins of Brooklyn, Brooklyn Gin and Breuckelen Gin. (According to the Post, they've since called a truce, and the same article also says Breuckelen Distilling "is only the second distiller to open in the city since Prohibition." So there you go. Proliferation, like I said. I think King's County Distillery is the oldest, fyi.)
Tuthilltown Distillery (who will also sell you a small barrel you can use to age your own cocktails), but my Tuthiltown bottles are in NY and I'm in CT, and browsing the store here in CT I came across a perhaps more intriguing option in WhistlePig Straight Rye, a 100 proof 100% Rye
Clear Creek Distillery in Portland. I think Oregon in general and Clear Creek in particular exemplify the platonic ideal of localness, so in a nod to that in it goes. Their product compares well to a fine Calvados.
But I'm not done yet. For a tip of the hat to my other haunt of NY, I've used some Bittermens Mole bitters to season the drink, which as of Jan 2011 are proudly produced in Brooklyn. Putting it all together, here's the drink:
Fig 'n WhistleThe cocktail has a lot of deep round flavors from the wood aged spirits and spices from the bitters, not to mention a certain earthy nuttiness from the fig spread. The pectin from the preserves also contributes to the mouth feel, somewhat reminiscent of what you might find in a cocktail made with a gomme syrup.
Truth be told I actually made the initial version this cocktail using just Rittenhouse Rye for my second drink for TDN:Fall, but it ended up being an early night for everyone so I never got around to submitting it. I thought about using Laird's or Calvados the first time, but had none; my trip to the store for the WhistlePig and Clear Creek Eau de Vie took care of that, and this is a better version in any case. In an odd coincidence, I actually was going to use the same name before I even considered the WhistlePig Rye; it just popped into my head, I think because there is a pub called the Pig 'n Whistle in NY I pass by sometimes. I hadn't even realized WhistlePig was from Vermont and thus a viable option for MxMo until I saw it at the store the day after concocting the drink, I would have guessed it was from Kentucky or thereabouts. But such is fate. Enjoy.
UPDATE: Lindsay's roundup post is up over at her site, head over there and check out all the drinks for this round of MxMo.