Bluewater Vodka is a new brand of distilled spirits to the Northeast. Founded by Seattle based John Lundin and his wife Jessica- they call it an “ecologically responsible vodka.” Sporting the impressive USDA Certified Organic designation on the label, you cannot miss this vodka on the shelf- it looks even more distinctive next to the usual suspects. With its bold graphics of a classic sailboat’s white sail on crystal clear glass, the bottle design alone is immediately intriguing.
Available in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with more states on the way- Bluewater is expanding, albeit slowly. Bluewater is not mass- produced and it takes time to craft distill a carefully nurtured slurp. Craft distillation is a passionate industry- it takes great amounts of hard work to turn these dreams into reality. Bluewater Vodka is the amalgamation of this passion. They use time-honored methods to craft Bluewater along with pristine Colorado spring water, organic wheat and their unique form of passion for small batch spirits using their copper pot still.
Royal Rose Syrups may not be on your radar- but they should be. This is an organically produced, hand made product from Brooklyn, NY. I became interested in them because of their intense flavors. You may be interested in their corporate ethos:
• We use only 100% organic, fair trade cane sugar made from evaporated cane juice.
I’m especially fond of their Tamarind syrup and the Three Chili Syrup- The recipes are included in this article.
A couple years ago I made my way up to Tuthilltown in Gardner, NY. Having tasted a perfectly gorgeous Manhattan Cocktail at Blue Hill/Stone Barns- I was hooked. Then after learning more about this small craft distillery and the fact that it is an easy drive from my home in NJ, I knew that their funky little bottles were more than the sum of their parts. This is an ardent spirit and their entire range of distilled liquors is distinctive and flavorfully unique. Their White Whiskey is pure and clear from the corn. It is at first soft on the mouth- like the kiss of a young lamb. Then other amazing things start to happen. The heat from the alcohol arrives in short bursts of steam and fire- a runaway train? Sure. Cream, butter, fire and more vanilla notes reveal themselves. I love mixing with the Tuthilltown White Whiskey. It’s a moonshiner’s nightmare because this product is just so good. (And legal!) I’ve created a couple of cocktails with Royal Rose Syrups, Tuthilltown White Whiskey and Bluewater Vodka. Enjoy!
Frosty Winter Sled Cocktail
4 oz. Bluewater Vodka
1/2 oz. Royal Rose “Rose” syrup
1 Medicine Dropper of Bitter End Thai Bitters
Spray of Dolin Dry Vermouth
1. Spritz the inside of a pre-chilled Martini glass with Vermouth.
2. Grab a cocktail shaker fill ½ with ice.
3. Add Bluewater Vodka, Royal Rose syrup, the Bitter End Bitters.
4. Stir gently and strain into your Martini glass.
5. Garnish with a sprig of Lemon Thyme.
Moonshiner’s Nightmare Cocktail
2 oz. Tuthilltown White Whiskey
3 oz. freshly made sweet black tea
3 oz. Apple Cider (I prefer unfiltered)
1 oz. Royal Rose Three Chilies Syrup (A nice burn in this syrup)
1. Brew tea, let cool.
2. Add Apple Cider to the tea.
3. Mix in Tuthilltown White Whiskey.
Then add the syrup. Shake and strain into a tall cocktail glass filled with rock ice.
4. Garnish with a slice of a grilled apple.
Home Cured Cherry Old Fashioned with White Whiskey
1. Chill a couple of shots of Tuthilltown White Whiskey in a cocktail shaker
2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the liquor from some home cured cherries.
3. Add ½ shot of the Royal Rose Tamarind Syrup.
4. Add one oz. good Sweet Vermouth such as Punt e Mes.
5. Garnish with a muddled home cured cherry and a spray of seltzer water.
Warren Bobrow is the cocktail writer for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista, Voda Magazine and the 501c3 not for profit Wild River Review/Wild Table, where he also serves as an editor. www.cocktailwhisperer.com