News & Events

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

By in Blog Comments Off on Top Spirited Modifiers to Upgrade Your Cocktail Game

Top Spirited Modifiers to Upgrade Your Cocktail Game

A “Modifier” is a term used in the mixology world to refer to an ingredient that is added to a base spirit. Modifiers give a cocktail a desired flavor or add layers of flavor to a final product. An “alcohol-based” or “spirited” modifier contains alcohol. Examples include fortified wines and liqueurs, which soften or enhance the base spirit, and add body and depth of flavor to a cocktail.

At Mad River Distillers, we often experiment with different modifiers to create delicious cocktails using our spirits, so we wanted to share the best spirit mixers that will upgrade your cocktail game when using a Mad River bourbon, rye or rum. Before we begin, a brief background on spirit modifiers may be helpful. 

Pre-Prohibition cocktails are what we refer to as “Classic” cocktails, which typically used a variety of spirited modifiers. After Prohibition, a lot of modifiers became scarce as most of them were imported from Europe. The use of fruit juices, syrups, and sour mixes became the norm in cocktails, because not much else was available in the spirited modifier category. Unfortunately, this led to the overuse of prepackaged juices, sugary syrups, and powdered sugar mixes in poorly balanced, cloyingly sweet cocktails. 

It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that purists, historians, and craft cocktail bartenders started to uncover pre-prohibition cocktail recipes. Interest in the history, as well as a desire for better quality cocktails, led to an increase in demand for spirited modifiers in cocktails all over the United States. We refer to this time as the “Cocktail Renaissance or Revival.” 

The category of spirited modifiers in cocktail programs has exploded in recent years. With global access to thousands of imported, classic and new age modifiers, and with the emergence of more local craft distilleries, there is an almost limitless number of new and classic cocktails you can mix up.

In this article, we’ll focus on the top modifiers—the ones we consider to be the most versatile and widely used within both “classic” and “new classic” cocktails. 

VERMOUTH

Wine Enthusiast offers a great description of vermouths in their Bartender Basics: Why Is Vermouth in So Many Cocktails? article (Garret, 2020), but essentially, Vermouth is fortified, aromatized wine. Fortified means they add a strong neutral grain spirit to the wine. They are aromatized with ingredients such as herbs, spices, citrus peels, roots, and wormwood (a bittering agent) to add a complex balance of different flavors.

There are many different styles of vermouths produced. As you begin exploring new cocktails at home, you’ll notice that a large number of recipes call for one of the two most popular styles of vermouth, either sweet (red) or dry (white) vermouth. 

Here are our top choices when it comes to vermouth modifiers in Mad River Distillers cocktails:

Dolin Dry
For a dry white vermouth, this is great in the Perfect Manhattan cocktail and is only slightly sweet with a bitter citrus base, bark, menthol and balsamic notes, along with almond and stone fruit fragrances (Dolin, 2019). 

Carpano Antica
This sweet vermouth is used in the all-time classic stirred whiskey cocktail, the Manhattan, and in our favorite new class riff off of the Manhattan, the Greenpoint. Carpano has a vanilla taste with various notes of spice, citrus and dried fruits (Fratelli Branca Distillerie, 2017). It has a unique flavor that’s made it one of our favorite modifiers at Mad River Distillers.  

Punt E Mes
Great in cocktails like the Red Hook, this sweet vermouth has an herbal aroma with a touch of bitter, and it works very well paired with sweeter base spirits, liqueurs and orange flavors (Fratelli Branca Distillerie, 2017b).

HERBAL/SPICED LIQUEURS

Herbal and spiced liqueurs are produced by distilling alcoholic extracts from a wide variety of herbs, spices or essential oils. The taste of the resulting liqueur, which can be quite unique, adds new flavors and depth to your base spirit. 

Here are our top choices when it comes to herbal/spiced modifiers in Mad River Distillers cocktails:

Green Chartreuse
Otherwise known as Chartreuse Verte, this is a French liqueur made by Carthusian Monks since 1840. The recipe was passed down from an ancient herbal elixir recipe dating back to 1605. Made from 130 plants, flowers, bark, roots and spices, it is highly aromatic with a distinctive green color. The nose is herbal and peppery, and it has minty, pine and citrus flavors, with a bitter tea finish (Chartreuse, n.d.). It’s a flavorful and high proof liqueur used in some new classics like the Final Ward.

Yellow Chartreuse
Otherwise known as Chartreuse Jaune, this herbal liqueur is also made from 130 plants, flowers, bark, roots and spices. Yellow Chartreuse is a softer, lower proof version of Green Chartreuse, with a spicy nose of turmeric, citrus, anise, and floral notes. It has a distinct aroma and flavor of heather, yellow flowers and herbs, like (but paired down from) the intensity of Green Chartreuse. It’s a delicate modifier for its subtlety and softness used in a new classic cocktail, the Greenpoint (Chartreuse, n.d.-b). 

Benedictine
This popular liqueur is made from a proprietary blend of 27 plants and spices. It is herbal and spicy on the nose, with the flavors of citrus, light honey, warm spices and almonds (Dom Liqueur, n.d.). Benedictine is a great modifier for cocktails like La Lousiane and the Vieux Carre. 

Absinthe
Made by many different producers now, Absinthe originated in Switzerland, and has, up until recent years, been banned in most Western countries. This herbal liqueur has a distinct black licorice flavor, resulting from one of its primary ingredients—wormwood—along with anise and fennel. For some, it’s an acquired taste, but we think it is essential for cocktails like La Louisiane and the famous Sazerac as a modifier that plays a balancing act with sweet liqueurs and other cocktail ingredients. It is also very popular in Tiki style cocktails, too. A little goes a long way! 

AMARO

Bittersweet in flavor, infused, and aromatized, Amaro liqueur typically has a brandy base. Originating in Italy, Amari (plural for Amaro) were traditionally made by families who produced wine, using the leftovers from the winemaking process to make their Amaro base of Grappa (Italian brandy). They were historically consumed to wake up the palate, aid in digestion, or simply as an afternoon “pick me up.” Like the herbal and spiced liqueurs above, Amari have flavors of herbs, spices and botanicals. However, they are usually sweetened with beet sugar and aged, and they also tend to have strong bitter components from the different barks and roots used to flavor it (such as Gentian, Quinine, and wormwood). With many different styles and brands of Amaro, the flavor of each one can vary greatly. Check out this article by Difford’s Guide (n.d.), which provides a great overview on the category.

Here are Mad River’s top recommendations for Amaro modifiers in cocktails:

Aperol
Known as an aperitif, meaning it is an alcoholic drink intended to stimulate your appetite, Aperol has a distinct bright orange and pinkish color and a bittersweet taste derived from the proprietary blend of oranges, herbs and roots (APEROL, 2021). The sweet flavors of vanilla and orange, blended with tart and bitter rhubarb and grapefruit notes, make it perfect in cocktails like the Paper Plane. 

Campari
Another aperitif, Campari offers a similar appearance to Aperol, but with a darker red hue. The distinct flavor is the result of the bitters, herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit used to infuse the liqueur, the exact specifications of which are a tightly kept secret. The bitter orange taste of Campari makes it excellent in cocktails like a Kingston Negroni or Boulevardier (all riffs of the Negroni cocktail). 

Amaro Nonino
Made with a proprietary blend of herbs in Northern Italy, Amaro Nonino offers a delicate balance of sweet and bitter. With the scent of orange and the taste of pepper, licorice, and cocoa (Amaro Nonino, 2022), it makes a great addition to a Paper Plane cocktail, and it is a deeper, bitter substitute for Campari or sweet vermouth in cocktail variations like the Black Manhattan (swapping a dark Amaro for a sweet vermouth). For an alternative that may be easier to find than Amaro Nonino, try Amaro Montenegro, another one of our favorites.  

BITTERS

Similar to the elongated version, Amaro, Bitters are only used in small quantities such as a “dash” or “drop” in a cocktail. They are flavored with sharp, pungent flavors, usually very dry and bitter in flavor, and were historically used as a medicine to help aid digestion or to promote appetite. They are the “dash of seasoning” in many cocktails—most famously, the Old Fashioned cocktail, which ties together the flavors of a strong spirit like whiskey and sweet sugar.

Here are Mad River’s top recommendations for bitters to add to your cocktails:

Angostura Bitters
A popular addition to cocktails, these bitters are a staple item for any home bar. With a taste of herbs, fruits and spices that enhance the flavor of your cocktail, just a couple dashes of Angostura bitters work like a digestif to help settle the stomach while imbibing (ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, 2018).

Peychaud’s Bitters
These bitters are a must-have for making a Sazerac (the cocktail named after Sazerac Whiskey, which was used in the original recipe). The zesty grapefruit and anise flavor of Peychaud’s is created from distilled spirits infused with botanicals (Sazerac, n.d.). You’ll also use these bitters in other classics like the La Louisiane cocktails. 

Regans Orange Bitters
Made with a base of alcohol, bitter orange extract and various herbs, Regans is a famous herbal orange bitter that was developed by Gary Regan, a cocktail authority well-known in the U.S.. It’s one of the more bitter of the orange bitters options, and it works quite well in a Greenpoint cocktail. There are many different styles and brands of orange bitters, and all are unique in their own way. Trying different brands is a fun way to experiment with new flavors!

FRUIT & INFUSED LIQUEURS

Mixing up a great cocktail involves a balance of flavors. Too bitter or too sweet, and the cocktail flavor will be hard to enjoy. Fruit and infused liqueurs are great at softening or enhancing your base spirit. Made from alcohol, fruit and added sugars, there are a wide variety of these typically sweet liqueurs to choose from. 

Here are two fruit / infused liqueurs that Mad River Distillers recommends using as a modifier for cocktails:

Luxardo Maraschino
This is a clear liqueur made from marasca cherries. While it smells like marasca cherry with a roasted nuttiness, the flavor has hints of chocolate, vanilla and orange marmalade (Luxardo, 2021). Luxardo Maraschino is a great modifier that made two popular cocktail variations famous—the Hemingway Daiquiri and the Red Hook cocktail

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
The recipe for this classic, sweet orange liqueur is considered a traditional French triple sec. Distilled from spices and peels of Curacao oranges, which are blended with brandy and Ferrand Cognac, this liqueur smells like candied orange and tastes of orange rind, vanilla and oak (Maison Ferrand, n.d.). It is a popular modifier in cocktails such as the Mai Tai and Margarita!

If you’re just starting to build your home bar, purchase one bottle recommendation within each of these basic modifier categories—Vermouth, Herbal/Spiced Liqueurs, Amaro, Bitters and Fruit & Infused Liqueurs. These recommendations will absolutely upgrade your cocktail game! 

Stay tuned for our next article, which will include recipes for new and classic cocktails you can make using modifiers.


Written by Maeghan Phillips and Brianne Lucas. Published on January 17, 2022

REFERENCES
Garret, D. (2020, October 30). Bartender Basics: Why Is Vermouth in So Many Cocktails? Wine Enthusiast. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.winemag.com/2020/10/30/best-vermouth-cocktails-bartender/

Dolin. (2019, October 30). Discover the Vermouth Dry for your cocktails & drinks. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.dolin.fr/en/products/vermouth-dry/

Fratelli Branca Distillerie. (2017, February 10). Antica Formula: THE ONLY ANTIQUE JEWEL “ON THE ROCKS” | Carpano.com. Carpano. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.carpano.com/en/prodotto/antica-formula-2/?age-verified=78279094e3

Fratelli Branca Distillerie. (2017b, February 16). Punt e Mes: ONE POINT OF SWEETNESS AND HALF A POINT OF BITTERNESS. Carpano. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.carpano.com/en/prodotto/punt-e-mes-2/

Chartreuse. (n.d.). Green Chartreuse. Chartreuse Diffusion. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.chartreuse.fr/en/produit/green-chartreuse/

Chartreuse. (n.d.-b). Yellow Chartreuse. Chartreuse Diffusion. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.chartreuse.fr/en/produit/yellow-chartreuse/

Dom Liqueur. (n.d.). Dom Liqueur | Dom 1510 Liqueur. Benedictine. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.benedictinedom.com/our-liqueurs/benedictine-dom-liqueur/

Difford’s Guide. (n.d.). Amari. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.diffordsguide.com/beer-wine-spirits/category/1202/amari

A. (2021, July 23). Meet. Aperol. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.aperol.com/meet-aperol/

Amaro Nonino. (2022, January 10). Amaro Nonino Quintessentia®- the all natural Italian Amaro. Grappa Nonino. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.grappanonino.it/en/amaro-and-liqueurs/amaro-nonino-quintessentia/

Montenegro, A. (n.d.). The Revelation. Unearthing Pure Essence. Amaro Montenegro. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.amaromontenegro.com/en?nolangred=1#SecretRecipe

ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters. (2018, March 21). Home. Angostura. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://angosturabitters.com

Sazerac. (n.d.). Peychaud’s. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.sazerac.com/our-brands/sazerac-brands/peychauds.html

Luxardo. (2021, May 12). Maraschino Originale. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.luxardo.it/liqueurs-and-distillates/maraschino-originale/

Maison Ferrand. (n.d.). Maison Ferrand | Ferrand Dry Curaçao. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from http://maisonferrand.com/en/content/pf-dry-curacao-1/

By in Cooking & Baking Comments Off on PX Rum Balls

PX Rum Balls

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PX Rum Balls on a plate with a bottle of PX Rum behind it

PX Rum Balls


  • Author: Mad River Distillers
  • Yield: approximately 30 balls 1x
PX Rum Balls on a plate with a bottle of PX Rum behind it

Description

Our demerara-based PX Rum—which is finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks—adds some unexpected but complementary flavor to this rum ball recipe, an adaptation of Cafe Delites Rum Balls. The PX Rum adds a slightly nutty flavor to the chocolate and coconut. If you prefer, our Vanilla Rum (with it’s vanilla cupcake nose) also makes a great choice!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 9 oz vanilla wafers, cookies or tea biscuits (we used Kedem Vanilla Tea Biscuits)
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons PX Rum (or Vanilla Rum)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup finely shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Remove the vanilla tea biscuits (or wafers/cookies) from their package and seal them in a quart size ziplock bag. Using a mallet or rolling pin, crush the biscuits in the sealed ziplock to make fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can use a food processor. 
  2. Once you have fine crumbs, pour them into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, cocoa powder, condensed milk, PX Rum, vanilla extract and salt to the crumbs. Mix all of the ingredients together until completely combined. (The mixture should be thick as it will be rolled into balls.) 
  3. In a smaller bowl, add 3/4 cup shredded coconut. 
  4. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the rum ball mixture. Use your hand to roll the mixture into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into the bowl with shredded coconut, so that the ball is completely covered in coconut. 
  5. Place the coconut covered rum balls on a tray covered with parchment paper. When all of the balls are on the tray, refrigerate them.

Notes

  • Recipe adapted from Cafe Delites.
  • This recipe is for adults only. Alcohol is retained in the dessert.
  • If the balls begin to flatten, try refrigerating them for 10 minutes, then rolling them in more shredded coconut. You may need to do this more than once if you’re looking for a perfect circle.

Featured Spirit

Keywords: PX Rum Balls, vanilla tea biscuits, sweetened condensed milk, PX Rum, Vanilla Rum, pure vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, finely shredded coconut, salt

By in Cocktails, PX Rum Comments Off on Spanish Manhattan

Spanish Manhattan

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Spanish Manhattan


  • Author: Mad River Distillers

Description

The traditional Manhattan cocktail gets a makeover with our award-winning demerara sugar based PX Rum.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 dashes orange bitters
  • 1/2 oz Nocino Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Fino Sherry
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1 oz PX Rum
  • orange peel

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the orange bitters, Nocino Liqueur, Fino Sherry, Carpano Antica, and PX Rum.
  2. Add ice to the mixing glass, and stir for 30-6o seconds, depending on the size of the ice.
  3. Strain contents into the coupe glass.
  4. Express an orange peel over the top of the cocktail, then rub the peel around the edge of the glass.
  5. Discard the peel, and enjoy!

Featured Spirit

Keywords: orange bitters, Nocino Liqueur, Fino Sherry, Carpano Antica, PX Rum, orange peel

By in Blog Comments Off on Rum in the Cold Seasons? You Bet!

Rum in the Cold Seasons? You Bet!

You might assume that rum is only used in tropical drinks while on warm, sandy beaches. Although there is no denying that the tropics are an idyllic setting to enjoy a delicious adult beverage, the fact is, rum can be enjoyed during any season. Yes, even in the winter! 

Here are some of our favorite rum recipes to make during the cold season:

Espresso Martini
This Espresso Martini is like a caffeinated dessert in a glass, combining our Vanilla Rum with maple syrup, maple creme liqueur, and cold brew coffee.

Dirty Chai Martini
Get fancy with this chai and coffee martini, combining our Rum 44 with chai tea, maple syrup, cold brew coffee, milk and star anise.

Trickster cocktail on a table

Trickster
This cocktail will give you all the fall and winter season vibes, combining our First Run Rum, Orange Curaçao, a honey and ginger syrup, lemon juice, and bitters.

PX Palmetto
This recipe features our PX Rum, which adds unique flavor when paired with Carpano Antica, Amaro Averna and Cocchi di Torino. We offer two variations to this recipe, one a bit more sweet than the other.

Maple Cask Rum Hot Toddy
Like a hot tea, but better. This simple cold weather warmer combines the flavors of allspice, honey, lemon and our Maple Cask Rum with hot water.

Boozy Hot Chocolate
This boozy adult winter beverage is super easy to make (and also super tasty), combining our Vanilla Rum with Hot Chocolate, and topped with whipped cream.

Russell Warren Old Fashioned
We think an Old Fashioned is a good choice any time of year, and this delightful cocktail is no exception, blending the flavors of our Maple Cask Rum with honey syrup, walnut bitters and club soda.

Winter Daiquiri
First Run Rum, citrus, simple syrup and Allspice Dram—with it’s flavors of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg—combine to make an excellent daiquiri for the cold weather season.

Winter Tropics Daiquiri
Not to be confused with our Winter Daiquiri, this warm and spiced recipe combines our First Run Rum with fresh squeezed lime juice, cream of coconut, Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters and cinnamon.

Goodbye to Winter
As the cold season comes to a close, say Goodbye to Winter with a cocktail that's a little sweet and a little spicy, combining our Maple Cask Rum with Nocino Liqueur, cinnamon syrup and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters.

If you prefer to keep things simple, you can always try our PX Rum in a snifter. It’s a great sipper while sitting by a cozy fire. 

Need some more ideas? Visit our Cocktail Recipes page to find more cocktail inspiration. If you need ingredients, stop by our Burlington Tasting Room to pick up some bottles or bitters. Cheers!


Written by Brianne Lucas and published on December 30, 2021

By in Cocktails, First Run Rum Comments Off on Winter Tropics Daiquiri

Winter Tropics Daiquiri

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Winter Tropics Daiquiri


  • Author: Maeghan Phillips for Mad River Distillers

Description

A warm and spicy tropical daiquiri that is perfect for the winter season.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 oz First Run Rum
  • 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz cream of coconut
  • 3-5 dashes Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters
  • lime wheel garnish
  • fresh grated cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Pour the rum into a shaker. Add the cream of coconut and Blackstrap bitters.
  2. Add ice to the shaker, and shake for 8-10 seconds.
  3. Strain the contents over a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Add a lime wheel garnish.
  5. Grate a cinnamon stick over the coupe, and enjoy!

Featured Spirit

Keywords: First Run Rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, cream of coconut, Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters, lime wheel, cinnamon stick

Tasting at Lanesborough Wines & Spirits

Join Mad River Distillers on Thursday, December 23rd at Lanesborough Wines & Spirits. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 3:00-6:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Whiskey & Wine

Join Mad River Distillers on Wednesday, December 22nd at Whiskey & Wine. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-7:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Liquor Junction in Reading

Join Mad River Distillers on Wednesday, December 22nd at Liquor Junction. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-6:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

By in Blog Comments Off on 4 Cocktails to Ring in the New Year

4 Cocktails to Ring in the New Year

It’s that time of year when folks break out their finest duds and pop the traditional bottle of bubbly to celebrate the New Year with friends and loved ones. While pouring a bubbly drink in a flute or tulip glass might be the obvious choice, let's be honest, Champagne isn’t for everyone.

At Mad River Distillers, we have more than 100 cocktail recipes on our website, but we’ve picked 4 recipes that would make excellent options for toasting as the clock strikes 12. Here are our top 4 cocktail picks for ringing in the New Year:

Bourbon Spritz
This drink checks some important boxes. First, it has a lovely presentation, with a bright orange color and orange slice garnish. Second, you combine our Bourbon with Aperol and your choice of Prosecco, a sparkling wine or club soda to give it those traditional New Year's bubbles. 

Fancy Pants
This may not be an obvious choice when it comes to toasting, but with a name like this on one of the biggest party nights of the year, it had to be on our list. If bubbles just aren’t your thing at all, but you love a good whiskey drink, mix up a Fancy Pants with our Bourbon, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, orange and Angostura bitters, and an orange twist.

Mad Capri
If you really want to use your champagne flute, consider this citrus and herb flavored cocktail featuring our Revolution Rye whiskey. The Rye, Cynar Liqueur, Casoni 1814 Apertivo Liqueur (or Aperol), and lemon juice all mix together and are topped with Prosecco for a bright and bubbly drink that’s unlike any other.

Mad Celebration
With a presentation that most closely resembles Champagne, our Mad Celebration cocktail was made for just such an occasion. You start with a sugar cube in a flute, add a couple dashes of bitters, pour the Mad Apple Brandy over the sugar cube, and top with a chilled sparkling wine. It’s the sparkling cocktail to raise as you wish a loud “Happy New Years!”

While 2021 has been a year unlike any other, there is much to look forward to in 2022. We hope you enjoy our top New Year’s cocktail picks, and that you celebrate safely this year.

From the entire Mad River team, we wish you a fantastic 2022! Cheers!!


Written by Brianne Lucas and published on December 20, 2021

By in Cocktails, Vanilla Rum Comments Off on Boozy Hot Chocolate

Boozy Hot Chocolate

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Boozy Hot Chocolate


  • Author: Mad River Distillers

Description

This boozy adult winter beverage is super easy to make, and also super tasty. Just don’t forget the whipped cream!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 oz Vanilla Rum (or Revolution Rye)
  • 6 oz (or less) prepared Hot Chocolate
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Measure and pour 1.5 oz of Vanilla Rum into an Irish coffee mug glass (or similar).
  2. Using your favorite hot chocolate mix, prepare up to 6 oz of hot chocolate.
  3. Pour the hot chocolate onto the Vanilla Rum, and stir.
  4. Top with whipped cream, and enjoy!

Notes

You can make this cocktail using either Vanilla Rum or Revolution Rye.


Featured Spirit

Keywords: Vanilla Rum, Revolution Rye, Hot Chocolate, Whipped Cream

Tasting at Westfield Spirit Shop

Join Mad River Distillers on Saturday, December 18th at Westfield Spirit Shop. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-6:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Main Street Wine & Gourmet

Join Mad River Distillers on Saturday, December 18th at Main Street Wine & Gourmet. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-6:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Cape Cod Package Store

Join Mad River Distillers on Saturday, December 18th at Cape Cod Package Store. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 1:00-3:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Kappy's in Falmouth

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, December 17th at Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Falmouth. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-7:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Whole Foods, South End

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, December 17th at Whole Foods, South End. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-7:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Bertelli's Liquor Mart

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, December 17th at Bertelli’s Liquor Mart. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-6:00 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at Kappy's in Peabody

Join Mad River Distillers on Friday, December 17th at Kappy’s in Peabody. There will be complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 3:30-5:30 PM. Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

By in Cooking & Baking Comments Off on Bourbon Chicken and Couscous

Bourbon Chicken and Couscous

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Bourbon Chicken and Couscous


  • Author: Mad River Distillers

Description

This Bourbon Chicken and Couscous dinner recipe is adapted from Platter Talk’s Whiskey Chicken, using Mad River Distiller’s Bourbon Whiskey and boneless chicken breasts. There is no mistaking the Bourbon flavor in this simple sauce, drizzled over chicken and a bed of pearl couscous.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp & 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Mad River Distillers Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

  1. To prepare the couscous: In a small pan, bring 1 & 1/2 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add a tsp of butter, then stir in the pearl couscous. Cover the pan with a lid, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until fully cooked. 
  2. While the couscous is cooking, season the uncooked chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, warm 1 tbsp of butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, place the chicken breast in the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, then remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside. 
  4. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet, along with the onions. Stir the onions until softened, for about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic. Saute the garlic with the onions for about 1 minute.
  5. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet, along with the Bourbon Whiskey. Stir to mix, then reduce heat to a simmer. 
  6. Optional: If you like a thicker sauce, mix the cornstarch with a little water so it becomes a liquid, then slowly stir it into the sauce. 
  7. Return the chicken to the skillet, and continue to cook on simmer for about 5 minutes on each side. (More or less cooking time may be needed, depending on the thickness of the cut. To be fully cooked, chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165F).
  8. Before removing the chicken, add the peas into the skillet and mix them into the Bourbon sauce, cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Layer the chicken and peas over a bed of prepared couscous. Then drizzle some of the Bourbon sauce over the chicken.

Notes

  • Just a drizzle of the Bourbon sauce is recommended, as a little goes a long way. You can always add more to your liking.
  • For food safety, be sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  • This recipe is for adults only. Alcohol is retained in the meal.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2

Featured Spirit

Keywords: Bourbon Chicken and Couscous, Bourbon Chicken, boneless chicken breasts, salt, pepper, unsalted butter, olive oil, onion, crushed garlic, chicken broth, Mad River Distillers Bourbon Whiskey, pearl couscous, peas, cornstarch