Spirits

Christoph Keller’s Stählemühle Aqua Vitae.

When former art publisher Christoph Keller came across Stählemühle, an old out of service mill that had been converted to a schnapps distillery, he took upon the task of bringing it back to life.

The result of his labors is Aqua Vitae fruit brandies produced in small, high-quality batches. The brandies made at Stählemühle have won more than 170 international awards including “Brandy of the Year 2011.”

Stählemühle currently produces around 70 various spirits and liquors made from the most exotic and obscure fruits imaginable. From greengages, damsons, russet apples, to ribes, common medlars, and European mountain ash.Keller is helping to keep these semi-extinct fruits alive and is making sure that Stählemühle is a solid example of how a sustainable and organic operation can be achieved on a small farm with only a small amount of land, a lot of know-how and the work of four hands.

If you happen to be in Berlin on April 20th, for 100 Euro you can attend a special tasting event sponsored by Gestalten. If I were there I’d make sure I was going. (If I were lucky enough to be one of the 25 it is limited to that is)

It’s Happy Hour Friday with Kansas Clean Whiskey.

It’s Friday afternoon, and that mean the weekend starts for most of us within the hour. Since I live in Kansas City, Kansas (a state with some pretty crazy liquor laws) I thought I’d post a little something about a whiskey I really want to try.

Kansas Clean Whiskey is a column distilled whiskey. By using a column still, like the kind used in distilling high-end vodka, the whiskey is produced with very few congeners which produce a bitter taste or finish. When the distillation process is finished, the producers of Kansas Clean Whiskey marry the freshly distilled grain to their select artisanal whiskey for the finished product. Along with the vodka-esque distillation process, Kansas Clean Distilled Whiskey is made from steel roller milled amber winter wheat for a lighter taste than traditional whiskey.

Did I mention that it comes in a really nice bottle design featuring Aviano Sans Bold for the logo font? The main copy is a font that was designed, kerned and leaded by the font designer Jeremy Dooley of Insigne. If the bottle itself looks familiar, it takes its stylistic cues from the classic Chanel Number 5 perfume bottle.

The 12 Cocktails of Christmas 2010.

As the Christmas season got into full swing a few weeks back, one night while out at Happy Hour with friends Kristy coined the phrase “The Twelve Cocktails of Christmas”, and a new tradition was born.

At that point, using a couple of apps for the iPhone and my original drink menu from The Oak Bar, I decided to try twelve bourbon based drinks. One a day from December 12 to the 25th. (Yes I know that’s thirteen days.)

Below are the thirteen drinks I tried and recipes on how to make them. ( I went for a baker’s dozen ). With New Year’s Eve approaching, you can use this list as inspiration for your upcoming festivities.

 

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