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“We just have beer here.”

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My kind of bar! Proletariat Bar, NYC. Superb beer, kind and knowledgeable service, and perfect conversation. DSCF0473DSCF0483DSCF0482DSCF0485DSCF0476

The Great 2017 Amer Picon Experiment

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Because of the Liberal, that’s why. It all started as a hack of Torani Amer and Regan’s Orange bitters #6. But that was before Amer Picon from France. Now there is always Amer Picon in the house, a band called the Bitter Liberals, and a house cocktail.

Then came a Thanksgiving, Christa, and talk of Neroli-Petitgrain oranges growing in East Tennessee.

So yes, Amer Picon. Lets make it. Using ultra local super hot white dog. Lets make it.

December 15

December 19

SOLSTICE

Christmas Eve

And then the big day: January 5, 2017

The final ingredient mix

The final ingredient mix

Orange peel infusion jar

Orange peel infusion jar

Straining the peel infusion with a coffee filter

Straining the peel infusion with a coffee filter

Measuring the proof

Measuring the proof

A drop from 165 to 110

A drop from 165 to 110

*** 110 proof orange peel infusion

Straining the orange leaf infusion

Straining the orange leaf infusion

*** Orange leaf infusion

Caramelized orange juice with brown sugar and butter

Caramelized orange juice with brown sugar and butter

*** Caramelized orange juice

Gentian

Gentian

*** Gentian

Quina

Quina

*** Quina

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Very close but needs some sugar, so simple syrup of demerara.

Demarara

Demarara

Blend, taste, adjust, work. (Two half batches combined was our methodology.)

Notes and the final recipe.

Notes and the final recipe.

Proof is in the Liberal.

A Liberal with homemade Amer Picon

A Liberal with homemade Amer Picon

Success!

Pineapple + Jalapeño = Yowza

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Somehow an actual pineapple grew here in Virginia. It came due today.

Ripe Pineapple

Ripe Pineapple

Around here, when you get ripe you may well end up in a cocktail.

Put the lime in the pineapple

Put the lime in the pineapple

Pineapple + jalapeño mergerita
2 oz liquified mix of 1/2 jalapeño and a tiny cored pineapple
2 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz blue agave tequila
2 t blue agave syrup
Stir down. Strain into cocktail glass.

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YOWZA, that jalapeño is hot

YOWZA, that jalapeño is hot

Music, Love, Laughter and Charity in a Barn

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Take a 95 degree day, a cool concrete floor, sawdust, music gear, great friends and live music, and what do you get? A fantastic show.

Gary McGraw having a blast

Gary McGraw having a blast

A magical evening supplied by Peggy Duvall and Where’s Aubrey. Thanks you guys!

Not only did we all have a great time, we also raised $553 for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

The stage before the show.

The stage before the show.

Feet

Feet

A song about a cocktail.

Rhine SIngleton

Rhine SIngleton

Where's Aubrey on a sultry summer night

Where’s Aubrey on a sultry summer night

This xylophone is not stolen property

This xylophone is not stolen property

Gary McGraw of Where's Aubrey on mandolin

Gary McGraw of Where’s Aubrey on mandolin

Gary McGraw of Where's Aubrey on violin

Gary McGraw of Where’s Aubrey on violin

Special thanks to Michael Hobert and Emily Shepardson for the pictures and videos.

Music at the Shed: A Double Whammy Day

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First there was video and droning.

And then there was music and recording. These pics from a Marcus eye view (mostly)

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Mr Rossie on the console (and composing)

Mr Rossie on the console (and composing)

Dr McGraw on the fiddle

Dr McGraw on the fiddle

Old 48

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Mr Ranum in da shed.

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2016: The Bar

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Catoctin Creek Distillery: Purcellville, VA

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Less than two handfulls of miles from the apothecary shed itself is a home grown distillery called Catoctin Creek. Since 2009, Catoctin Creek has been distilling Rye into various award-winning products. We’re partial to the Watershed Gin ourselves.

Catoctin Creek in the old Case building

Catoctin Creek in the old Case building

Baker Bob set up a long talked about distillery tour on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The tour was fantastic, carried out by Scott Harris himself. Excellent.

In between leading questions, Scott taught us some things.

In between leading questions, Scott taught us some things.

Scott talked us through the process to make Rye, Gin (in run 2), and Brandy.

Step one: Cook the Rye (soon to be more local)

Step one: Cook the Rye (soon to be more local)

Step two is brewing a rye beer to about 10%.

Step three: transfer beer to still and a 6 hour run.

Step three: transfer beer to still and a 6 hour run.

Gin takes a second distillation plus an infusion.

Gin takes a second distillation plus an infusion.

The bottling machine which caused a pizza party insurrection.

The bottling machine which caused a pizza party insurrection.

Shipment for Australia

Shipment for Australia

Yeah

Yeah

Catoctin Creek Tasting Room

Catoctin Creek Tasting Room

Pouring flights

Pouring flights

Custom flight: Gin and Two Ryes

Custom flight: Gin and Two Ryes

The Catoctin product set is certainly made with love. I remain a big fan of the Watershed Gin. The Roundstone Rye is rough and thin at 80 proof. The 92 proof has more body (and less water) and is a better product. I guess around here we’re used to a sweeter mash bill with some corn and wheat and a higher proof. The Catoctin Creek mash is 100% rye.

What does Sammy think of the Brandy?

What does Sammy think of the Brandy?

Aftermath

Aftermath

All told, the afternoon was very well spent with a gracious and committed host doing excellent work. Keep it up Catoctin Creek. We’re damn proud to have you here just over the river.

The fellers say, "Thanks Scott and Becky!"

The fellers say, “Thanks Scott and Becky!”

Back home again with some new stuff to add to the bar.

Watershed Gin always in stock here

Watershed Gin always in stock here

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