News & Events

By in Blog Comments Off on Mad River Distillers Welcomes Moira Horan as On-Premise Sales Manager for Massachusetts

Mad River Distillers Welcomes Moira Horan as On-Premise Sales Manager for Massachusetts

Warren, VT – March 4, 2024 – Mad River Distillers, a leader in the craft distilling industry known for its commitment to quality and sustainability, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Moira Horan as On-Premise Sales Manager for Massachusetts and Connecticut. Horan, who previously worked with Mad River Distillers in 2017, returns to the team in a pivotal management role after gaining valuable experience and insights at Fever Tree and Tanteo Tequila.

Moira Horan is a seasoned professional with a proven track record of success in the beverage industry. During her time at Fever Tree and Tanteo Tequila, she developed a deep understanding of the market dynamics and established herself as a key player in driving growth and brand recognition. Her expertise in sales strategy, customer relations, and market penetration will be invaluable to Mad River Distillers as the company seeks to expand its presence and influence in the Massachusetts and Connecticut markets.

"We are incredibly excited to welcome Moira back to the Mad River Distillers family," said Maura Connolly, Co-founder of Mad River Distillers. "Her energy, expertise, and passion for the spirits industry are exactly what we need as we look to strengthen our position in the on-premise marketplace. Moira's unique ability to connect with customers and drive sales will be instrumental in achieving our growth objectives in these key regions."

In her new role, Horan will be responsible for leading sales initiatives, cultivating relationships with key accounts, and developing valuable partnerships that will enhance Mad River Distillers' visibility and market share. Her appointment marks a significant step forward in the company's strategic expansion efforts and underscores its commitment to bringing high-quality, artisanal spirits to a wider audience.

“I’m excited to return to the Mad River Distillers team which is a brand based on authenticity and sense of place,” said Moira Horan. “I look forward to being a part of the brand building in the on-premise in Massachusetts and Connecticut."

Mad River Distillers is confident that Horan's return and her leadership in the Massachusetts and Connecticut markets will usher in a new era of growth and innovation for the company.

About Mad River Distillers: Mad River Distillers is a craft distillery based in Warren, Vermont, dedicated to producing high-quality, small-batch spirits with a focus on sustainability and innovation. Founded in 2011, the distillery has garnered acclaim for its diverse portfolio of award-winning products, including whiskey, rum, and brandy. Committed to the craft and community, Mad River Distillers continues to push the boundaries of traditional distilling while honoring the rich heritage of Vermont's distilling legacy.

For further information, contact Mad River Distillers at info@madriverdistillers.com

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Mad River Rye Finished in Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Barrels.

Mad River Rye Finished in Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Barrels.

The Mad River Valley Meets Napa Valley

In the almost-famous Mad River Valley, five villages and two ski areas abut rolling farmland along the flank of Vermont's Green Mountains. And since 2014, the Mad River Valley has become known for whiskey, among other grain-based libations.

Mad River Distillers ferments, distills and bottles a variety of whiskeys at their Warren, VT-based farm for distribution in New England, New York and California. One of the perennial best sellers is Revolution Rye, a whiskey distilled with roasted 'chocolate' rye from the Northeast, which adds a complex and aromatic cocoa/mocha note to the spicy nature of the organic rye grains.

A collaboration between the distillery and Caskforce

In 2018, Nick O’Connell approached Mad River Distillers with the idea for a unique collaborative whiskey, and the distillery jumped at the opportunity. O’Connell is the founder of Caskforce, a Boston-based retailer that curates cask- finished whiskey. He had his eye on some Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and thought a potential pairing between the wine barrels and Mad River Distillers Revolution Rye would work well together. Silver Oak ages their Cabernet in toasted American oak barrels, which both complements and contrasts the charred American oak in which the whiskey is matured.

O'Connell sourced the barrels and shipped them to Vermont, where Mad River Distillers filled the previous red wine-filled casks with aged Revolution Rye, a unique style whiskey with a rare 100 percent rye mashbill. With only five barrels aged in the Mad River Distillers rickhouse, the new limited release showcases the strengths of both the wine and the whiskey.

“I THOUGHT THE DARK BERRY AND WHITE PEPPER NOTES OF THE SILVER OAK CABERNET CASKS WERE THE PERFECT COMPLEMENT TO THE RICH COCOA NOTES OF MAD RIVER’S RYE WHISKEY,” O'CONNELL NOTED.

Mad River Distillers head distiller Alex Hilton agreed; ”The Silver Oak Cellars barrels heightened the roasted notes of the chocolate rye in our mashbill, while adding a lush velvet smoothness to the mouthfeel of the whiskey.”

The Mad River Rye Whiskey Finished in Silver Oak Barrels is priced at $54.99 per bottle and available beginning Friday, November 20 in Massachusetts and Vermont.

In MA:

November 20 - Dec 3 Exclusive at at Post Road Liquors in Wayland, Mass., and Upper Falls Beverage in Needham, Mass.

December 4th Onward Post Road Liquors, Wayland, Upper Falls Beverage, Needham, Julio's Liquors, Westborough. Check back for more retailers.

In VT: November 20 Onward

Mad River Taste Place, 89 Mad River Green, Waitsfield, VT 05673. Open Mon-Sat 10 am-6 pm

Mad River Distillers, 137 St. Paul St. Burlington, VT 05401. Open Wed-Sun 2-6 pm

Better Bennington Harvest Fest 2024

Find us in downtown Bennington, VT on Saturday, October 19th from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (EDT) for the Better Bennington Harvest Festival. This free and all-ages event features over 75 vendors including artisans, craftspeople, specialty foods, distilled spirits, and more! There will be 4 stages with live music, activities, and a variety of food and beverage vendors. We’ll be there, showcasing our spirits (which will be available for purchase) and offering tastings. Be sure to stop by!

By in Blog Comments Off on Strawberry Season Cocktails

Strawberry Season Cocktails

During strawberry season, it’s hard to pass up on the opportunity to pick your very own farm-fresh strawberries. When you live in the Northeast, this is really the best time of year to enjoy them. Strawberry shortcake, strawberry cobbler, strawberry bars, strawberry mousse… There are so many delicious desserts that have strawberry as the shining ingredient. So, why shouldn’t that be true in the cocktail world, as well! They add great flavor to cocktails, and impart a beautiful color.

Here are ten cocktail recipes—daiquiris, highballs and more—that utilize strawberries as a key ingredient:

Strawberry Rhubarb Daiquiri

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB DAIQUIRI
Ingredients:
-2 oz. of Rum 44
-1 oz. of fresh lime juice
-1 oz. of Cocktail & Sons Fassionola Syrup
-4 dashes of Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters

Directions: 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a coupe glass. Add a dehydrated (or fresh) lime wheel as garnish.

STRAWBERRY HIBISCUS DAIQUIRI
Ingredients:
-2 oz. of Hibiscus-infused Rum 44
-1 oz. of fresh lime juice
-1 oz. of El Guapo Cajun Grenadine

Directions: 
To make the Hibiscus-infused Rum 44, add one gram of hibiscus flowers per ounce of Rum 44 (a full bottle of Rum 44 would need about 25 grams of hibiscus flowers). Let the rum infuse for about one hour before using.

To make the cocktail, add the hibiscus-infused Rum 44, lime juice and El Guapo Cajun Grenadine to a shaker with ice. Shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

STRAWBERRY MINT JULEP
Ingredients:
-2 oz. of Bourbon Whiskey
-1 tsp. of Vermont Maple Syrup
-2 lemon wedges
-6 mint leaves
-2 strawberries
-soda water

Directions: 
Muddle mint leaves, maple syrup, a strawberry, and lemon wedges. Shake muddled ingredients with bourbon and ice. Pour into a highball glass, and top off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with mint and a strawberry.

BITTER HEART
Ingredients:
-2 oz. of Vanilla Rum
-3/4 oz. of Galliano Aperitivo
-3/4 oz. of fresh lime juice
-3/4 oz. of simple syrup
-2 strawberries

Directions: 
Muddle strawberries with sugar in a shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients, and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with a fresh strawberry.

SPRING FLING
Ingredients:
-1 oz. of First Run Rum
-1 oz. of fresh lemon juice
-1 oz. of cinnamon and strawberry infused Aperol
-1 oz. of Amaro Nonino
-3-4 dashes of El Guapo Summer Berries Bitters
-Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit
-lemon twist

Directions:
To make the cinnamon and strawberry infused Aperol, add a cinnamon stick to one bottle of Aperol. Give it a shake, then let it sit for one day. After one day, remove the cinnamon. In a Mason jar, combine the cinnamon infused Aperol with a handful of rinsed strawberries. Shake once daily for one week. Strain out the strawberries using a cheesecloth, then store the cinnamon and strawberry infused Aperol until ready to use. 

To make the cocktail, in a shaker, combine one ounce each of the infused Aperol, First Run Rum, fresh lemon juice and Amaro Nonino. Add 4-6 dashes of El Guapo Summer Berries Bitters. Add ice to the shaker, then shake for 15-30 seconds. Double strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top the cocktail with Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit. Add a twist of lemon as garnish.

PERSEPHONE
Ingredients:

-1 oz. of RUM 44
-1 oz. of First Run Rum
-1 oz. of lemon juice
-1 oz. of simple syrup
-1 egg white
-3 dashes Lavender Bitters 
-3 strawberries

Directions: 
Muddle 2 strawberries in a shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients to the shaker (without ice). Shake for about 15-20 seconds vigorously. Add ice to the shaker, and shake for another 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with sliced strawberries.

STRAWBERRY SMASH
Ingredients:

-5 ripe and rinsed strawberries, leafy ends removed, chopped
-4 fresh basil leaves
-1.5 oz. of Rum 44
-1 oz. of fresh lemon juice
-1/4 oz. or a barspoon of Runamok Maple Grenadine
-Club soda

Directions:
In a shaker, combine all ingredients except for the club soda. Muddle the ingredients together. Add fresh ice to a shaker, and shake well. Double strain into a stemless glass over fresh ice. Top with club soda, and garnish with a fresh strawberry and basil.

BOURBON STREET
Ingredients:
-1.5 oz. of Straight Bourbon
-1/4 oz. of strawberry simple syrup or 1 sliced strawberry muddled with simple syrup
-3/4 oz. of lemon juice
-2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
-Fever Tree Ginger Beer

Directions:
Shake all ingredients. Strain over ice into a rocks glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a sliced strawberry.

LA LA LOVE YOU
Ingredients:
-2 oz. of Vanilla Rum
-1.5 oz. of ChocoLat Delux
-1/2 oz. of cane sugar syrup
-2 strawberries

Directions:
Add strawberries to a shaker, and muddle them with sugar syrup. Add remaining ingredients to the shaker with ice. Fine strain contents into a large coupe glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

RUMBERRY DAIQUIRI
Ingredients:
-2 oz. of Rum 44
-3/4 oz. of fresh lime juice
-3/4 oz. of Three Berry Syrup

Directions:
To make the Three Berry Syrup, combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a pan. Place it over high heat, stirring occasionally until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Once you have a uniform syrup, reduce to medium-low heat and add 10 blueberries, 5 raspberries and 2 large strawberries. Muddle the berries against the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. To remove all of the fruit seeds and skins, pour the syrup through a cheesecloth into a container. Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. 

To make the cocktail, combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake for 20-30 seconds and strain, straight up, into a coup. Garnish with a slice of strawberry.

Now that you have a list of ten cocktails you can make utilizing strawberries, the only question is, which one will you make first? A good tip when making cocktails with fresh fruit, especially fruit with seeds or pulp, is to double strain when pouring into your glass. Another way to strain out unwanted seeds or pulp is by using a cheesecloth, as noted in the Rumberry Daiquiri recipe above.

While you won’t be able to source farm-fresh strawberries from our Burlington Tasting Room, we do carry a lot of other ingredients noted above, in addition to our spirits. You can stock up on simple syrups, bitters, Grenadine, Fassionola syrup, ginger beer, and even an egg-free foamer option. If you mix up a fresh strawberry cocktail, we’d love to see it, so be sure to tag us on social!


Written and published by Brianne Lucas on June 11, 2024.

MRD Pre-Father's Day Tasting at Liquor Town in Hadley, MA

Join Mad River Distillers on Saturday, June 15th at the Liquor Town in Hadley, MA. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 1:30pm - 3:30pm. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

MRD Tasting at CBC Liquors in Westford, MA

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, June 21st at the CBC Liquors in Westford, MA. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00pm-6:00pm. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

MRD Tasting at Porter Square Wine & Spirits in Cambridge, MA

Join Mad River Distillers on Thursday, June 13th at the Porter Square Wine & Spirits in Cambridge, MA. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00pm-6:00pm. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

By in Cocktails, RUM 44 Comments Off on Elderflower 75

Elderflower 75

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Elderflower 75


  • Author: Mad River Distillers
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x

Description

A riff between a French 75 and a St. Germain, this Rum 44 cocktail is perfect for any celebration or brunch. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 oz. of Rum 44
  • 3/4 oz. of elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. of fresh lemon juice
  • Prosecco
  • Luxardo cherry

Instructions

  1. Add a Luxardo cherry to the bottom of a flute glass.
  2. Fill the glass halfway with Prosecco.
  3. In a shaker, combine Rum 44, elderflower liqueur and lemon juice.
  4. Add ice, then shake well.
  5. Double strain into the flute glass over the Prosecco, and enjoy!

Featured Spirit

The Taste of Woodstock

Join Mad River Distillers on Saturday, August, 10th from 10am – 6:00pm at The Taste of Woodstock in beautiful Woodstock, VT. Join over 2,000 attendees as they take over elm Street for a day of food, drink, music, and fun in the sun. There, instead of cars you’ll find the road lined with over 45 vendor tents offering local specialty foods, wine, beer, and spirit tastings, fun activities for kids and families, and live music throughout the day! We will be offering bottle sales and complimentary tastings from our line of spirits. Admission is free. We hope to see you there!

By in Blog Comments Off on Cocktail Recipes That Support Local Business

Cocktail Recipes That Support Local Business

At Mad River Distillers, we ferment, distill and bottle all of our spirits right in our home state of Vermont. Supporting other local businesses, and helping to grow our economy, is very important to us. There are so many amazing products made here that we are always excited to incorporate local ingredients in our cocktail recipes.

Below, we wanted to share some of our favorite cocktail recipes using other Vermont-made products:

Blueberry Smash Highball on a table

BLUEBERRY HIGHBALL SMASH

This refreshingly smooth sipper is made with a blueberry infused Rum 44, Fernet Vexia and Guinep sparkling water. The founder of Vermont’s Alice & The Magician created the non-alcoholic beverage Guinep, which has a unique, tropical and aromatic flavor. Fernet Vexia is Vermont’s version of a traditional Italian fernet, a highly aromatic and bittersweet amaro. If you like an aromatic highball in the summer, give this one a try!

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-1.5 oz. of Blueberry infused Rum 44
-1/2 oz. of fresh lemon juice
-1/2 oz. of simple syrup
-1/4 oz. of Fernet Vexia
-Guinep Flavored Sparkling Water
-Mint

Instructions:
In a shaker, add all ingredients except for the Guinep Sparkling Water. Shake ingredients, then double strain into a highball glass over ice. Top with Guinep flavored sparkling mineral water. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

VANILLA SAZERAC

If you’re a fan of Sazeracs, this cocktail will pleasantly surprise you, because instead of using a traditional rye whiskey, we use our Vanilla Rum. For the Absinthe in this recipe, we use Absinthe Arcana, which starts as a locally prepared herb kit you can find at our Burlington Tasting Room. To make it, you combine 13 oz. of a spirit (we recommend First Run Rum) with the herbs in the kit, set it aside in a closed container, then wait 10 hours. Afterwards, strain the herbs from the spirit and you have your very own locally-made absinthe.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-2 oz. of Vanilla Rum
-1/2 oz. of simple syrup (we use Demerara sugar simple syrup)
-4-6 dashes of Strongwater Creole Bitters
-Spritz of Absinthe (we used Absinthe Arcana)

Instructions:
In a mixing glass, add the rum, simple syrup and Creole Bitters. Spritz a rocks glass with Absinthe, or add a few drops and swirl until the glass is coated. Add ice to the mixing glass and stir until the mixing glass is cold to the touch. Strain into a rocks glass (with no ice). Add a twist of lemon for garnish.

STRAWBERRY SMASH

Another summer smash cocktail option, this bright and aromatic cocktail combines our Rum 44 with strawberries, basil and Vermont-made Runamok Maple Grenadine Syrup. This all natural grenadine syrup is made from pomegranate, lime juice and maple syrup, and is a delicious way to sweeten up a variety of cocktails.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-5 ripe strawberries, leafy ends removed
-5 fresh basil leaves
-1.5 oz. of Rum 44
-1 medium lemon, juiced
-Bar spoon of Runamok Maple Grenadine Syrup
-Club soda

Instructions:
Add strawberries and basil to a mixing glass, and muddle together well. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, and a bar spoon of Runamok Maple Grenadine. Add in the Rum 44, and stir all ingredients to incorporate. Add to a stemless wine glass over ice. Top with club soda, and garnish with a fresh strawberry and basil.

BIGLIETTO

If you like a Manhattan, the Biglietto is a delicious riff that combines our Revolution Rye with Bigallet China China, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and Linchpin Aperitivo. Linchpin Aperitivo is an expertly crafted Vermont-made aperitivo with tasting notes of candied grapefruit zest, rhubarb and subtle gentian, working great as a substitute for Triple-Sec or Aperol.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-1.5 oz. of Revolution Rye
-1.5 oz. of Linchpin Aperitivo (or Aperol)
-1/2 oz. of Bigallet China China
-1/4 oz. of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice, then stir for 15-30 seconds until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry.

Winter Maple Mojito and ingredients on a table

MAPLE MOJITO

This refreshing mint mojito combines our Rum 44 with mint simple syrup, a Vermont-made mint maple syrup, and mint bitters.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-
1.5 oz. of Rum 44
-3/4 oz. of fresh lime juice
-3/4 oz. of Mint Simple Syrup
-1/4 oz. of Baird Farm Mint Infused Vermont Maple Syrup
-2 dashes of Fee Brothers Mint Bitters
-Club soda or seltzer to top

Instructions:
To make a mint simple syrup, first combine 3 cups of simple syrup (a 1:1 ratio of sugar dissolved in hot water) with 1 cup of pressed mint leaves. Blanch the mint in boiling water for 15 seconds, then immediately remove the mint leaves and immerse them in ice water for 1 minute. Strain the leaves from the ice water. Blend the cooled simple syrup with the mint leaves for 1 minute, then strain well. You can store the cooled mint simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks. To make the mojito, combine all ingredients except for the club soda (or seltzer) in a tall glass filled with ice. Stir to incorporate ingredients, then top with the club soda or seltzer. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Cider Punch cocktail and ingredients on a table

CIDER PUNCH

Combining our Maple Cask Rum with a hard and dry cider made right in Vermont, this cocktail is both simple to mix and very flavorful.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-1.5 oz. of Maple Cask Rum
-2 oz. of Champlain Orchard’s Fresh Apple Cider
-1/4 oz. of Vermont maple syrup
-1/2 oz. of fresh lemon juice
-1/2 oz. of fresh orange juice
-5 dashes of Angostura Bitters
-Stowe Cider Dry & High (hard cider to top)

Instructions:
To make a single cocktail, combine all ingredients, except the hard cider, in a shaker with ice. Strain into a Collins glass, then top the glass with hard cider. (If you can’t find Stowe Cider Dry & High, another hard dry cider will work). Add an orange and lemon wedge for garnish.

MAPLE STOUT SOUR

This delicious twist on a sour is made using a stout simple syrup made from 14th Star Brewing's Maple Breakfast Stout. It takes a few hours of preparation, but it makes for a delicious and noteworthy cocktail using either our Straight Bourbon or Maple Cask Rum.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-2 - 16 oz. cans of 14th Star Brewing Maple Breakfast Stout
-2 to 2.5 cups of sugar
-2 oz. of Straight Bourbon or Maple Cask Rum
-1.5 oz. of stout simple syrup
-1 oz. of fresh lemon juice

Instructions:
To make the stout simple syrup, bring 2 - 16 oz. cans of the Maple Breakfast Stout to just below a rolling simmer in a saucepan. Heat for 2-3 hours, whisking every 1/2 hour. Remove the froth that forms at the top. Once you have reduced the stout to about half (16 oz.), add sugar and stir until it is fully dissolved. Set the simple syrup aside to cool. In a shaker, combine Straight Bourbon or Maple Cask Rum, the stout simple syrup and lemon juice. Add ice to the shaker, and shake hard for about 15 seconds. Strain contents into a chilled coupe, and enjoy!

FROZEN VERMONT & STORMY

A riff on a traditional Dark and Stormy recipe, our Frozen Vermont & Stormy features our First Run Rum along with a local Venetian Ginger Ale and a local Ginger Liqueur.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-2 oz. of First Run Rum
-2 oz. of Venetian Ginger Ale
-1.5 oz. of fresh Lime Juice
-1.5 oz. of Putney Mountain Winery & Spirits Ginger Liqueur

Instructions:
In a blender, add all ingredients and blend on a low setting until ice is finely crushed. Pour all contents into a copper mug. Add a lime wheel for garnish.

VERMONT PENICILLIN

Our version of a Penicillin cocktail combining our Burnt Rock Bourbon with a Vermont-made maple syrup and honey, and Alice & The Magician's Bonfire Smoke mist.

Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
-2 oz. of Burnt Rock Bourbon Whiskey
-1/2 oz. of Vermont Maple Syrup
-1/2 oz. of Vermont Honey
-1 oz. of fresh Lemon Juice
-4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
-1 spritz Alice & The Magician Bonfire Smoke Mist

Instructions:
Combine the Burnt Rock Bourbon, maple syrup, honey and lemon juice in a shaker over ice. Shake briefly. Strain contents into a Double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters, and 1 spray of Alice & The Magician Bonfire Smoke mist.

While some of these recipes will take a bit of preparation, each is tasty and unique, and definitely worth trying. Some of the recipes above utilize specific brands, but there are so many wonderful options when it comes to Vermont-made syrups, honeys, drinks and more, so we encourage you to experiment and see what you like best. Whichever products you choose, we’re glad to have you join us in supporting Vermont-made businesses and products. Cheers!


Written and published by Brianne Lucas on May 8, 2023. Updated on May 28, 2024.

Vermont Fresh Network Annual Forum Dinner at Shelburne Farms

Find us at Vermont Fresh Network’s (VFN) 26th Annual Forum Dinner at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms on Sunday, July 21st from 5:00-8:00 PM (EDT). This event celebrates the best of Vermont food and the connections between chefs and local farmers and producers. It also raises funds to support VFN’s work to strengthen the local food system. We’ll be there offering tastings, so be sure to stop by our table!

MRD Tasting at Littleton's One Stop Liquors in Littleton, MA

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, July 12th at Littleton's One Stop Liquors in Littleton, MA. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 3:00pm - 5:00pm. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

MRD Tasting at Dover Wine Company in Dover, MA

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, May 24th at the Dover Wine Company in Dover, MA. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00pm - 6:00pm. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

By in Blog Comments Off on Summer Rum Infusions With Vena’s Spirit Sippers

Summer Rum Infusions With Vena’s Spirit Sippers

While we’re firm believers that you can enjoy any spirit any time of the year, there’s just something special about rum in the summer season. Rum mixes incredibly well in a variety of warm weather cocktails, including highball drinks, fruity daiquiris, and tiki drinks. What adds to this variety is the use of different kinds of rums, and at Mad River Distillers, we offer several options including our silver Rum 44, First Run Rum, Maple Cask Rum, Vanilla Rum and PX Rum. Try combining one set of cocktail ingredients with our Vanilla Rum, and then combine those same cocktail ingredients with our Maple Cask Rum, and you’ll see how you can easily change up the flavor profile with your choice of base spirit.

When it comes to making infused cocktails, we often recommend our Rum 44. As a clean, silver rum, this easily takes on the flavor of any infusion you want to make. Be sure to read our Rum 44 Infusions blog post for more information on infusing spirits, along with a couple recipes. Our PX Rum is aged in a mixture of toasted and charred barrels, then finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, which imparts nutty and smoky aromas and flavors that lends itself to colder season cocktails. The rest of our rums work well across a variety of summer rum cocktails and could be used for infusions. 

Just like any good chef that experiments with ingredients to make a delicious meal, there’s always some trial that comes with combining ingredients together for an alcohol infusion. Vena’s Fizz House offers a simpler option with a variety of products that can be used for both mocktails or cocktails. Spirit Sippers are one of their main product lines, which is a glass jar filled with select fruits, herbs and spices. You simply combine the ingredients in the jar with the base spirit of your choosing via one of two methods:

  1. Add your chosen spirit directly to the jar, then let it sit for 2-3 days. Shake to combine the ingredients, then strain and enjoy.
  2. Combine the chosen spirit with the jar ingredients in a pot on the stove. Heat the ingredients together, but do not boil them. Then, carefully pour the drink mixture back into the jar, close the lid and shake well. Allow the liquid to cool before straining and serving over ice.

The beauty of Vena’s Spirit Sippers is the convenience and quality. Either method above offers a quick way to infuse your alcohol to create a tasty cocktail without being an expert bartender. If you want to have a cocktail while on-the-go, for example while camping with friends, you can easily serve a delicious pre-made cocktail without needing all your home bar supplies on hand. Each jar serves 5+ cocktails, and all of their products are made with clean, all-natural ingredients. Just like Mad River Distillers, their ingredients are locally sourced when possible.
If you’ve been to our Burlington Tasting Room, you know we carry a variety of barware and cocktail supplies in our retail section. This includes Vena’s Spirit Sippers and Spirit Nippers. While there are base spirit recommendations printed on the labels and on the Vena’s website for each of their products, we wanted to share our specific recommendations on what Mad River Distillers rum to pair with each Spirit Sipper to make a super tasty summer rum infusion.

Blackberry Stinger & Maple Cask Rum
The Blackberry Stinger Spirit Sipper ingredients include blackberries, orange, ginger, and a blend of organic cane sugar, cane syrup and honey. Maple Cask Rum is aged in maple-cured barrels, which results in a smooth and bright flavor with a nose of tropical fruits, great for combining with the blackberries.

Maine Margarita & Vanilla Rum
The Maine Margarita Spirit Sipper ingredients include blueberry, apple, lemon, lime powder, and a blend of organic cane sugar, cane syrup and honey. Our Vanilla Rum is a 100% demerara rum infused with chopped Tahitian vanilla beans for an aromatic rum that shines when combined with citrus like the lemon and lime here, as well as with fruits.

Cran Cherry & First Run Rum
The Cran Cherry Spirit Sipper ingredients include cranberry, cherry, lemon, clove, and a blend of organic cane sugar, cane syrup and honey. Our premium First Run Rum is also made with cane sugar and is aged in fresh charred American oak barrels (just like our bourbon and rye). The bourbon-like richness and distinctly rum-caramel finish pairs deliciously with the cranberry and cherries here.

Shipwreck & Rum 44
The Shipwreck Spirit Sipper is a totally tropical infusion, with ingredients that include pineapple, banana, lemon, spices, organic cane and/or coconut sugar. Our Rum 44 is made from 100% demerara sugar, and is charcoal filtered for a smooth and silky mouthfeel. As an ideal rum for infusions, this rum lets the tropical flavors of pineapple and banana take the spotlight.

Since we began carrying Vena’s products at our Burlington Tasting Room, they’ve been a popular gift item to pair along with a bottle of our spirits. We hope that the pairing suggestions above make your shopping, and cocktail-making process, an easier one. If you visit our retail section and have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Our team is always happy to make recommendations on what to pair with our spirits, and what ingredients are most useful to have in your home bar, depending on your tastes. And, if you just aren’t sure what kind of rum you’ll prefer, order a tasting at our bar. It’s a great way to try a variety of our spirits before you buy a bottle. See you soon!


Written and published by Brianne Lucas on May 14, 2024

By in Cocktails, Revolution Rye Comments Off on Malena

Malena

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Malena


  • Author: Mad River Distillers
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x

Description

A riff on a Boulevardier, substituting Vermouth with Ruby Port to create a new balance of bitter and sweet. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 oz. of Revolution Rye
  • 1 oz. of Campari
  • 1 oz. of Ruby Port
  • 1-2 dashes or Orange Blossom Water
  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
  • orange peel
  • grated cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until well chilled.
  3. Strain into a large rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel.
  5. Top with a little bit of ground cinnamon.

Featured Spirit

MRD Tasting at Cambridge Wine & Spirits in Cambridge, MA

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, June 14th at the Cambridge Wine & Spirits in Cambridge, MA. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00pm-6:00pm. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Pride of Woodstock "Made with Pride" Arts & Crafts Fair

Find us at the Pride of Woodstock “Made with Pride” Arts and Crafts Fair at the Town Green in Woodstock, VT on Saturday, June 1st from 10:00AM – 4:00PM. This colorful and inclusive event will showcase the talent and unique perspectives of the LGBTQ+ and allied community. This fair is a space where artists, crafters, and makers come together to share their creations and stories. We’ll be there, showcasing our spirits (which will be available for purchase) and offering tastings. Be sure to stop by!

Burlington Wine & Food Festival at Hula

Find us at the 2024 Burlington Wine & Food Festival at HULA Lakeside on Saturday, June 22nd. There will be two Grand Tasting sessions offered, from 12:30pm-3:30pm and from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Each session gives the eventgoer the opportunity to taste world-class wines and spirits served alongside samples from local artisan food producers, as well as a lineup of delectable creations by Vermont’s most talented chefs. The all-inclusive ticket also includes live jazz music throughout the event, enlightening and fun seminars, and amazing views of Lake Champlain! Visit www.burlingtonwineandfood.com for more details and the full schedule of events. We’ll be there offering tastings, so be sure to stop by our table!

By in Blog Comments Off on A Mad River Distillers Tour

A Mad River Distillers Tour

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how different spirits are made, and the ways in which they’re made, consider a visit to our distillery! All of our spirits are fermented, distilled and bottled in the Mad River Valley, which is just an hour from Stowe and Burlington. During a tour, we’ll walk you through our distillery space and explain our process, and how it differs between our rums and whiskey spirits. Of course, you can ask any and all questions along the way. 

Before you visit, here’s a simple rundown on the difference between our rums and whiskeys, and what makes our award-winning spirits a distinct offering within Vermont and nationally.

Mad River Distillers Rum
Most rum is distilled from molasses. Molasses can contain undesirable elements, such as sulfur, so rum made from molasses requires a very high proof to separate out those undesirable elements. Our rums are distilled from demerara sugar instead. This allows us to distill at a lower proof, which preserves more flavor and finish. The resulting rum has a subtle sweetness, smokiness and vegetal notes. From there, we can impart unique flavors through different aging and finishing techniques. This includes:

  • Rum 44 - our unaged silver rum, with no flavor or sweetening added.
  • Vanilla Rum - made with a maceration of Tahitian vanilla beans (not artificially flavored).
  • First Run Rum - our barrel aged rum.
  • Maple Cask Rum - our barrel aged rum finished in used maple barrels.
  • PX Rum - finished in used Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks.

Mad River Distillers Whiskey
Making whiskey is a bit more involved than making rum. There are six steps to our process, which includes mashing, fermenting, distilling, barrel aging, proofing and bottling. The mashbills and the barrel aging have a significant impact on the flavor and distinctiveness of the resulting spirit. 

The whiskey mashbills at Mad River Distillers all contain unique grains, including oats, chocolate rye and maple-wood smoked barley. To begin, we use only regionally-sourced, non-GMO grains, and we heat them in hot water, converting starch into fermentable sugars.  During fermentation, yeast is added to the mash, and sugars are converted to alcohol. That fermented mash then runs through a large still, which concentrates the alcohol by volume (ABV) to about 50%. Final distillation is done through a smaller still.

 At this stage, the alcohol distillate is ready to be aged. Our Straight Bourbon is aged for a minimum of 2 years in new charred American oak barrels. During the aging process, the distillate oxidizes and penetrates the wood of the barrels, picking up on both color and flavor from the barrel’s chosen toast and char. Using properly made barrels that retain the spirit, choosing a toast and char that imparts the desired flavor profiles, and storing the barrels in a location that benefits from temperature shifts are all critical to the finished product. In Vermont, we benefit from all four seasons, so the shifts in temperature here are another reason our whiskey spirits are distinctive. 

After, the aged spirit is removed from the barrel and filtered through a series of fine cartridge filters, then reduced to bottle strength with reverse osmosis water. Our whiskey spirits include:

  • Straight Bourbon - this mashbill of (predominantly) corn, along with malted barley, wheat and oats, results in a deep and rich aroma of corn, smokiness on the palate, and a smooth aromatic finish.
  • Burnt Rock Bourbon - a mashbill combination of 70% corn, 15% rye, and 15% maplewood smoked barley results in a bourbon that explodes with flavor and spice, with just a touch of smoke.
  • Revolution Rye Whiskey - using three distinct rye grain varietals, including chocolate malted rye, this spirit has a cocoa richness and finish. It is earthy and peppery with hints of walnut, berry and tropical spice.

Want to learn more about our whiskey making process, or our barrels? We share more about the whiskey making process in a previous blog post. You can learn more about our barrels, sourced from Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky, in our Source Spotlight blog post.

A couple years ago, we had the pleasure of interviewing and hosting Adam Krakowski at our Burlington Tasting Room. Author of Vermont Prohibition: Teetotalers, Bootleggers & Corruption, Adam shared his thoughts on what made Vermont spirits unique. “Most distillers learned the craft of distilling hands-on, within the Green Mountain state. This, in turn, translates to artistic interpretations and unique products. Between the craft of distilling and the use of local ingredients, the distilling industry in Vermont has laid a very strong foundation for future growth. The amount of awards the industry has received helps to further their cause.” 

As a small craft distillery in Vermont, each of our bottles are labeled by hand at our bottling facility, so you can be sure we carefully monitor the quality of our spirits from the moment we start our process, to the moment a bottle ships out.

Ready to see our distillery in person? Tours are scheduled by appointment and last 45-60 minutes on certain days of the week. Each tour includes a tasting. Visit our Distillery Tours page to make a reservation. Please note that we plan our distillation around our tours, so same day requests can seldom be accommodated. 

Another way you can experience our spirits is at our Tasting Rooms. At our Burlington Tasting Room, you can purchase our spirits and cocktails, learn about distilling, and shop in our retail section for a variety of cocktail accessories, including bitters, mixers, syrups, books and apparel. Our bitters selection is probably the most extensive selection in the state! You can also sample our spirits with a tasting. Our team is always happy to share information on our spirits and our process, or even to give you pointers on the perfect cocktails to make at home.

See you soon! Cheers!


Written and published by Brianne Lucas on April 29, 2024. 

By in Cocktails, Vanilla Rum Comments Off on Vanilla Rum Shrub Highball

Vanilla Rum Shrub Highball

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Vanilla Rum Shrub Highball


  • Author: Mad River Distillers
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x

Description

A refreshingly tart and sweet highball drink that combines our Vanilla Rum with a fruity shrub and club soda.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 oz. of Vanilla Rum
  • 1 oz. of a fruit or berry shrub (we used Tait Farm Raspberry Shrub)
  • club soda
  • lemon peel garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball or collins glass, add the Vanilla Rum and shrub.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Top with club soda.
  4. Express a lemon peel over the top, then add as a garnish.

Featured Spirit