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.
Now back to the tasting…
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.
I’ll always hang my hat Under those Blue Ridge Mountain skies — Marshall Tucker Band
This is my absolute favorite month of the year. May is many things to many people, but to me it marks the beginning of a my life here on Black Draft Farm. Seven years ago this month I met Glen and we spent out first date enjoying the sunset from this very back yard view.
Every spring I marvel at the vivid, beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains that envelopes my view in all directions here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. I love the fragrance of spring blossoms on country drives along back roads and the warm breezes that last well into the night. As I drive along through Maryland, Virginia, and then back to West Virginia, I feel like I am cruising through a watercolor painting. The trees are so vivid and blend into shades of greens and blues, layer upon layer, till they melt into the blue spring sky. There is just nothing I have found close to my love for the Blue Ridge Mountains.
According to “A Naturalist’s Blue Ridge Parkway” by David Catlin, “It can be legitimately claimed that trees put the ‘blue’ in Blue Ridge, for hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere by the forest contribute to the characteristic haze on these mountains and to their distinctive color.”
I stopped over to visit one of our favorite local pubs, Dub-V, for lunch one day and Liz shared with me with her latest creation with our First Harvest Moonshine.
A great spring cocktail with some of the most beautiful shades of aqua and blue.
I dedicate this recipe to her and call it the Blue Ridge Breeze.
To view this recipe, click here.
Time to hit the roads this springtime and visit all the beautiful, wonderful parts of my home state of West-by God-Virginia! The sweet spring air is calling me to the mountain roads to visit the great folks here in the state and discover the hidden gems along the way. I enjoy meeting all the small businesses that are the backbone of our state, the mom and pop places as I affectionately call them.
As I start out on my journey, I begin by sharing one of the newest restaurants to open here in downtown Martinsburg, Boyd’s Steakhouse.
Owner H.D. Boyd turned this once notorious speakeasy location into a fine dining steakhouse with a wink and a nod to the Prohibition era, including a bar purchased from the estate of Al Capone, now serving up bourbon and and our moonshine in style.
Five cocktail recipes featuring First Harvest Moonshine are on the menu, including one of the best all time recipes Glen and I have ever tasted, called ‘Almost Heaven.’ It is the go-to cocktail for friends and family to sip on a warm spring day or savor over Blue Ridge sunsets from our back deck.
Mixologist maven Caren served up my cocktail and shared a little secret on how to create this shine-tini at home. We call it ‘Country Roads.’
Stayed tuned for more stories from our adventures from the road.
In addition to honoring our servicemen and servicewomen, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season. Families across the country gather together in backyards or vacation spots, and get to share stories, cook great barbecues, and (our favorite) break out the cold drinks.
For that last one, be sure to check out our Strawberry Field Lemonade by jumping over to our Recipes area.
And if you’re looking for something the whole family can do outdoors, check out this DIY Giant Jenga Game to get the kids and adults together.
We at Black Draft Distillery continue to relish each and every moment that we can share with friends and family.
At the end of the day though, be sure to take some time to thank our veterans and service members who dedicated their lives to this country. It’s important not only for our generation, but for the next as well.