As the summer cruises along, we are hitting the road to visit great places around our wonderful state and the meet the best damn West Virginian’s you will ever find anywhere (can you tell I’m a little biased ).
Recently I traveled to the Northern Panhandle and the town of Weirton, WV for a tasting event at Basil’s Sports Bar & Grill. This is a true gem of the area, a real locals spot for families, league players, moms night out gals and just about anyone who appreciates an evening out with great food. Owner Pete Basil not only serves up a kickass menu of goodies (and he can make some mean BBQ let me tell ya), but he really knows how to make an excellent cocktail with our moonshine.
When we do our tasting events and introduce our moonshine, I show guests how versatile corn whiskey really is to mix a drink with, even one like ours that leaves the corn flavor it rather than distill it to almost vodka. When making a cocktail, you just need to add to your recipe a mixing ingredient that will neutralize the corn flavor so it won’t overpower the taste. Adding something acidic, like a sour mix, triple sec, or even a lemons and limes, will build the foundation of a perfect drink.
As I was doing the tasting, Pete served up five cocktails for me to try with our moonshine during the evening. From a Bloody Mary to tiki-style beach drinks, each one was a “perfect” balance of the cocktail to our corn whiskey. I loved that he knew just the right amount of ingredients to use, but still kept the sweet corn there, no masking heavily with fruit juices or adding two or more liquors. Anyone can add ingredients till there is no ‘shine left in the drink, but it takes someone special to bring out the unique flavors of a spirit into the cocktail. Pete is a true ‘shiner.
Drink ingredients are show in images, thanks to Pete for sharing them with us:
We can’t wait to return in the Fall for another tasting and sure to find even more goodies Pete will have whipped up for us all to enjoy!
What more recipes? Visit our recipe page here.