- 1 1/2 ounces pumpkin puree
- 2 ounces apple cider
- 2 ounces bourbon of choice
- Ginger beer to top
- This cocktail is so delicious and different everyone will be blown away!
- In a shaker add the pumpkin puree, apple cider, and bourbon
- Shake vigorously and strain with mesh strainer into a glass filled with ice
- Fill to the top with ginger beer, give it a quick mix, add a slice of apple for garnish, and serve!
It was great fun to introduce my Associate Publisher at Elite magazine, Amanda Benson, to Paso Robles. She had a fun time and is already itching to go back. And the one big discovery for Amanda: discovering a distillery in the new Tin City wine tasting area: Wine Shine.
We were actually entering Clos Solene for an interview I had set up there when we spied Patrick Brooks beckoning to us. That was enough of a hook, and when he invited us to visit with him and try his spirits, we knew where we would head next.
Brooks, the owner of Wine Shine, has one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen, and we were about to learn – and taste – why. Beginning with some highly acclaimed vineyards, Grenache grapes that would be distilled into neutral brandy and then infused with fresh fruits and/or botanicals and spice, are sourced from giants such as James Berry Vineyard (a 2010 Wine Spectator wine of the year).
Tasting Neutral Brandy to the Manhattan Project
A bit like a fine no-burn tequila and a grappa, this started with James Berry Vineyard Grenache.
The Turkish fig infusion flavor reminded me of a super yummy/fresh-out-of-the-package Fig Newton bar. A very unique flavor in a spirit.
Hibiscus Lemon Brandy
Our second to taste and a favorite for both Amanda and me, with flowers from Kauai and lemons from San Luis Obispo, it started out sweet but the lemon balanced the flavor perfectly.
Mango Ginger Black Pepper Brandy
Loved the rich viscosity on the mouth, and the sweet flavor of dried candied mango. Brooks said with a little Ginger Beer and lime he creates a “Paso Mule.”
Burned Orange Brandy
This burned orange peel flavor that had been aged in neutral French oak was an easy drinker with 5% sugar and lingering cool oak at the back palate.
Cinnamon French Oak Brandy
Another that had aged for a time in French oak that I thought would be great for the holidays. Brooks said it would lend itself well with a bit of eggnog or in a Horchata!
Barrel Aged Manhattan Project Brandy
After five months in barrels that not only started with that same James Berry Vineyard Grenache, the barrels also were rolled with Wine Shine’s port wine. With the addition of Vermouth and Bitters – again made at Wine Shine – this new ready-to-go brandy in their Cocktail Series had aromas of candy and toasted marshmallows. Brooks said it only needed to be served over a little ice.
Barrel Aged Manhattan Project Whiskey
This time they used a barrel that had held beer before, and again added in their own Vermouth and Bitters. Loved the hint of cherry and oak on the nose and palate.
About Wine Shine
Wine Shine passionately crafts artisan spirits in the heart of California’s central coast. We use only the finest ingredients sourced locally and organically whenever possible. At Wine Shine, we are committed to blending age-old distillation techniques with innovative nuanced flavors that will entice your palate. Our crew collectively has over a century of experience in mixology, culinary arts, and wine making that shines through in every bottle. We invite you to enjoy our brandy, whiskey, and a variety of small batch spirits that will surely leave your taste buds craving for more.
Paso Robles Distillery Trail
Information on all of the member distilleries in Paso Robles, events, contact information and a map can be found here: http://www.pasoroblesdistillerytrail.com/distilleries/
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
I had noticed that other cities were doing cocktail events: our very own Santa Clarita Valley restaurants had bar programs that were vamping up with seasonal craft cocktails along with favorites our parents enjoyed like the rye-based Manhattan, blended whiskey-based Rob Roy, the Luxardo cherry and orange wheel in a whiskey-based Old Fashioned and the bright red Negroni that utilizes Compari and sweet vermouth and the vodka-based Moscow Mule with its bite of ginger beer.
Even the winners of our bartender contest at Cocktails on the Roof all had made at least one with brown spirits. And I’m betting that though they offered more than one cocktail at their tables, these were the winners. Look for their trophies next time you visit:
First Place, Newhall Refinery; Bourbon Bramble by Peter Nguyen: Evan Williams whiskey, St Germain liqueur, Cassis Noir De Bourgogne and lemon wedge.
Second Place, Olive Terrace Bar and Grill; Manhattan by Jonathan Cross: Bulleit rye, Carpano Antica, Angostura bitters and Luxardo cherry.
Third Place, Salt Creek Grille Valencia; Trader Vic’s Inspired Mai Tai by Diego Lara: Premium rum, Cointreau, lime juice, orgeat syrup, pineapple juice.
People have asked me how I came up with the idea for Cocktails on the Roof, now having completed its second successful year as Santa Clarita Valley’s only cocktail event. First came pal Marlee Lauffer, then on the board of the WiSH Education Foundation, who asked me to come up with something. Marlee had supported numerous non-profit events I had hosted with the help of many others in the past, including our first, Pour Into Sandy, which was followed by Pour Into Haiti.
Fast forward to A Toast and a WiSH – a wine event I pitched to the powers that be from the then brand-spanking-new Newhall Library and the WiSH board, where I excitedly explained what I wanted to do, including turning the private study rooms into tasting rooms for the night, etc.
After co-hosting and/or covering nearly every wine event in Santa Clarita, I soon realized: we have a lot of these, seemed like every week there was another wine tasting. At the same time I was probably sipping on a Manhattan, fresh from a cocktail class, and reading a book on spirits.
And that’s when it dawned on me: a real out of the box idea would be to orchestrate a cocktail event. I added the roof idea to make it that much more new. I didn’t want it to be a footprint of any other food or wine event so our vendors could either do a cocktail, mocktail, or a food using spirits. And I also wanted single spirit vendors.
Amy Daniels, the Executive Director if WiSH did all of the legwork, including rallying up a committee of like-minded people to help. Everything fell perfectly into place, so much so that we are already planning next September’s #COTR17.
So what are you waiting for? Get out that cocktail recipe book and start experimenting. Note: if you are a wine drinker I would suggest not imbibing more than two in an evening as you aren’t yet used to the difference in alcohol percentage. And call Uber.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
I was home alone, feeling lazy and I wanted to make something new to use up some of the Fever Tree Ginger Beer I had languishing in my fridge. Well, at least one bottle. At. A. Time.
So I googled recipes and found this one. Just 2 ounces of your favorite Bourbon, I had Buffalo Trace on hand, and a bottle of Fever Tree Ginger Beer. Stirred over ice it looked nice and frothy. And it tasted so good! Love dark spirits in cocktails and love ginger beer! Can’t wait to have again! Highly recommend!
I take that back, three ingredients are needed in this oh-so-difficult cocktail, the third one is ice.
Once again I was looking for a quick way to have my Fever Tree Ginger Beer in a cocktail without dealing with juicing a lemon or orange or whatever. I’ve learned that the ginger beer really lends itself nicely to both clear spirits (vodka) was well as brown spirits (bourbon and rye). This week I went for the rye, Brothers in Arms to be specific, which was a gift from a friend from Vom Fass, Ventura:
Fill glass with ice (at least a 12 ounce sized glass)
2 shots of your favorite rye whiskey
1 bottle Fever Tree Ginger Beer
Recipe adapted from Tracy Obolsky, North End Grill, New York, NY
Yield 8 cocktails.
7 large egg yolks
1 cup Sugar in the Raw
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2¼ cups heavy cream
1¾ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons dark rum, plus more for serving
Three 12-ounce cans ginger beer, for topping
8 lime wheels, for garnish
1. Place the egg yolks in a bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine both sugars, salt, cream and milk, and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to steam, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly pour half of the warm liquid into the egg yolks, whisking the whole time to prevent the yolks from curdling. Whisk the yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and you can see a void when you run your finger across the back of the spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Strain the custard into a medium bowl set over a large bowl of ice. Let cool completely while stirring occasionally. Stir the rum into the cooled custard base and process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to an airtight container and cover. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
3. To make the floats, spoon 2 scoops of ice cream into each glass. Pour a shot of dark rum over the ice cream, top off with ginger beer and garnish with the lime wheels.