I love huckleberries. Even before I moved to Montana, I loved the tart little high-mountain fruit. But I never really considered them for a cocktail until I read Imbibe’s Facebook post about just such a think.
The Doc Holliday is a great-looking cocktail with rum, lime juice and huckleberry black tea. Please see Imbibe’s recipe and try one for yourself.
I love a good Bloody Mary once-in-a-while, and I’ve even thrown an ounce or two of liquor in any number of cold soups, but this article from the Wall Street Journal brings whole new meaning to the term drinking your dinner.
I’m not the biggest fan of gin the world has ever seen, but I’ve been known to take it up on occasion. Not in the form of a martini of course, I like vodka a lot more for that drink. But a gin and tonic on a hot summer day can be appealing too.
My wife, however, does not enjoy gin at all. So when I picked up a bottle of Dry Fly’s gin, I figured I’d be sipping on that bottle for a long time. Unfortunately for me, I happened to find a new cocktail I hadn’t tried, and when my wife tasted it, she fell in love.
Made with Eastern Washington soft winter wheat, the obligatory juniper berries as well as dried Washington apples, mint and hops, Dry Fly’s gin is impeccably clear, dry and very tasty. Some gins are too ginny, which means they have an overabundance of medicinal tastes. What I really enjoyed about Dry Fly’s gin was it’s subtlety and strong lines. The flavor carries back over the tongue and spreads out to reveal some of the mellower aspects of the drink, like the dried apple, mint and hops.
I don’t know too many people who drink gin straight up, but if you were to enjoy a good gin with a little soda or tonic water, this would be the gin you’d want to be drinking.
After tasting the gin neat, I was nearly out the door to pick up some tonic water and limes when I stumbled across a recipe for a drink called a Gin Buck. Happening to have all the ingredients, I mixed up the drink and was astounded at how great it tasted.
A Gin Buck is essentially a shot of gin and some fresh-squeezed lemon juice topped off with ginger ale. I used a good sugar-free ginger ale from the health-food store that I really enjoy, and I think it has more ginger bite to it.
One person described the combination of ginger ale and gin as “going together like basil and tomatoes.” I think that’s a pretty apt description. Fruity without being overly sweet, the combination of juniper’s medicinal taste with ginger ale’s spicy pepper really works in this forgotten cocktail.
We enjoyed a couple gin bucks over the weekend, and my wife pretty much lost her fear of gin.
You can find Dry Fly gin at fine liquor stores around the country as well as at Grizzly Liquor in Missoula.
Micro distilleries are popping up fast these days. Already, you can make a swing through eastern Idaho and Washington and find three or four world-class distillation facilities. On a recent trip to Seattle, I happened upon a little vodka called Dry Fly, which I found out comes from Spokane, which is like in our back yard.
I looked in a few liquor shops in Seattle and Bellingham, but I couldn’t find this great vodka anywhere. Then, about three days after returning home, a friend came to dinner with a bottle of Dry Fly wheat vodka. I was so happy I could have cried. But I didn’t.
I chilled a couple servings, and we enjoyed sipping on the clean, smooth vodka around the living room. But then, the weekend was upon us, and it was time to see how this vodka plays with other ingredients. I decided to try and replicate the famed “Vesper.” A drink which gained its reputation as the drink of choice for James Bond in the book, “Casino Royale” by Ian Fleming.
Purportedly made from mixing three parts gin, one part vodka and a half-ounce of Kina Lillet on ice, this pale-gold concoction is served up with a fat twist. However, the drink has changed somewhat since it was mentioned in the book so many years ago. Lillet Blanc doesn’t use nearly as much quinine in the recipe, which means the fortified wine is not nearly as bitter as it should be. Today, Lillet Blanc is available as a much lighter aperitif than it was once known. It’s reported that you can buy quinine powder to mix into the drink to give it the bitterness Bond would have expected.
But I found the drink to be wonderful. Not nearly as sweet as some cocktails, and not completely dry like I like my martinis, “Vespers” offer a nice, big cocktail before dinner, or just something to enjoy on a hot day when you don’t have any other responsibilities. By the recipe, you can tell these drinks pack a punch or two.
These cocktails are a great starter for a movie night catching up on your favorite Bond movies too.
All in all, the Dry Fly works great neat, as a dry martini or as a cocktail. And best of all, it’s a available at Griz Liquor.