Just catching up to the fact that Rogue has taken its Spirits to the next logical extension and canned cocktails. For me, the green cucumber lime is the first choice since I am a gin man with the ginger lime mule being my second choice. I am wondering where the whiskey drinks are though.
I like a good cocktail but between prices at fancy bars and the ingredients that need to be muddled at home, I don’t drink a lot.
Now if the Can Can Cocktails could work their way to L.A. from up north. I would be interested.
This White Linen sounds quite good…
“To make the White Linen we take the freshest cucumbers we can find, infuse them in high proof vodka, add gin botanicals, elderflower, lemon, a little bit of cane sugar than carbonate the whole thing in our 1000L pressure tanks.”
There is always something to learn about for the first time. Today it is Starka. If you knew about this version of vodka then kudos and gold stars to you.
For those like me who have never heard of it or tasted it, this spirit has Eastern European roots and it is basically vodka aged in oak casks.
Three Oregon distillers have combined to make three unique Starkas and this is where a new craft beer idea could be found. The three participants Big Bottom Distilling, Bull Run Distilling and Indio Spirits and Distillery each “created an exclusive variation of Starka by choosing specific barrels that are distinct to each producer.”
What would happen if a group of brewers brewed up a whopping batch of a base beer and then each used their distinctive cooperage to age their ales to see what difference that not only the wood but the expertise of a brewery can be created.
What truly sets apart the trip that Firestone Walker provided the L.A. Beer Bloggers group is that it isn’t all about beer. Yes, there is plenty of Easy Jack and Pivo Pils flowing but these guys want to showcase all that the Central Coast and Paso Robles in particular has to offer.
Last year, the spotlight was on the bio-dynamic farming of Windrose Farms and the wines of Herman Story. This year Andrew Murray Vineyards was showcased along with an amazing dinner and spirits extravaganza at Re:Find Distillery.
Alex and Monica Villicana are winemaker’s first. But they wanted to find a use for grape juice that got bled off to enhance the finished wine. What to do with what is technically called saignée. Well, they went the distilling route. They make vodka and gin and brandy and limoncello all from grape juice!
Now Firestone doesn’t just stop at the introduction. I should have been hip to that after the Friday we enjoyed. No. We not only got to taste the vodka and gin. We got to try our hand at blending our own gin for our own gin and tonics! Now my first two stabs at it were over lavendered and way over Angelika Root’d. My third attempt yielded a passable gin. But now I know much more of what makes spirits so good and what goes into making and blending them.
But folks, that was not all. Re:Find had been in contact with Firestone about our trip and they went even further and made us a white whiskey from a wash similar to the 805 lager recipe. With the appropriate name of Writer’s Blanc.
They could have stopped there. Told us to get back on the bus and find our own food and we would have been happy. But then out comes a five course meal from Chef Thomas Yun?
There was octopus which I tried but didn’t super enjoy but there was a glass of Opal saison to drink. There was a lamp chop and a rib eye cap and, well… here’s the menu….
It was an amazing melding of food, spirits and beer and people.
And we in the beer blogging community should be hailing passionate producers of cheese, lettuce, wine or whatever because they are the same as our brewers. Artisans who are raising the bar on how we see our food.
The Distilling side of Anchor has put out some cool spirits in the past. I myself have bought their Junipero Gin on occasion.
Now they are playing to the hop boom with Hophead Vodka…
Obviously, you would have to be more choosy in cocktail recipes seeing as how hop bitterness might not work in some vodka cocktails but I would try this straight. Maybe they will do single hop versions down the road.