craft bar starter kit social media giveaway

Craft Bar Starter Kit – Giveaway!

**Giveaway has been completed, and the winner has been notified!**

We teamed up with Best Booze Denver for a unique giveaway for all of you Denver cocktail enthusiasts! We’re calling it a “Craft Bar Starter Kit” and it will help you make all of the classic cocktails: Moscow Mules, Kentucky Mules, gin or vodka martinis, gin or vodka tonics, and bloody marys. Plus the Strongwater Herbal Bitters kit will have you making Old Fashioned’s, Sazerac’s, Manhattan’s, Negroni’s and more.

craft bar starter kit social media giveaway

The Craft Bar Starter Kit includes:

  • (1) Deerhammer American Single Malt Whiskey
  • (1) St. George Botanivore Gin
  • (1) Blank and Booth Vodka (AKA “Booze”)
  • (1)Freshies 32oz Bloody Mary
  • (1)Fever tree Ginger Beer 4pack
  • (1)Fever tree Tonic Water 4pack
  • (1)Strongwater Herbal Bitters 5-piece Kit
  • (1) Real Dill Pickle Brine
  • (2) Copper Mugs
  • (1) 18oz Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker
  • (1) Stainless Steel Cocktail Stirrer
  • (1) Stainless Steel Cocktail Double Jigger
 Craft Bar Starter Kit Retail Value: $245
How to enter the Craft Bar Starter Kit Giveaway:
1.) Like the Instagram post on @bestboozedenver’s page
2.) Follow @mollysspirits, @bestboozedenver, @bloodymarytour on Instagram
3.) Tag a friend who you would make some cocktails with!
4.) Sign up for Molly’s newsletter (form below). Click the link in our bio and follow signup instructions.
5.) Must be 21+ and live in the greater Denver area

Giveaway ended 09/15/2017 and winner will be announced on this post and both Instagram accounts! Good luck!

Our winner: @all_denver_all_the_time

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Craft Bar Starter Kit Giveaway Entry Form

  • Example: @MollysSpirits
    Contest applicant must be 21+ to enter. Contest applicant must reside in Denver or a surrounding Colorado location.
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Labor Day Beers

Drink Ideas for Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend is a celebration of the achievement of American workers, and is often considered the last hurrah of summertime. This 3 day holiday weekend is the perfect time to party down with friends and family, get one last camping trip or mountain getaway in, take the boat out for a spin or hold a classic backyard BBQ. Whatever your Labor Day plans are, we’ve got the drinks covered. Coming straight from our in-house cicerone, sommelier and spirits specialist, here’s what we recommend drinking this labor day.

Wine:

Labor Day Weekend is a great time to sip on those summer whites like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, pop some bubbly, or opt for a little twist like sangria or a canned wine cocktail! It’s also peak pink drinking season, which means that rosé isn’t going to drink itself.  And cheers to canned and boxed wine – just think of all the places you can go!

Labor Day Weekend Rosé List

2016 Chateau Salettes Bandol Rosé
House Wine Canned Rosé
Infinite Monkey Theorem Canned Rosé
2016 Château Saint-Honoré Côtes de Provence La Londe Rosé
3L Box La Vieille Ferme Rosé
Underwood Canned Rosé
2016 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé
3L Box From the Tank Rosé
2016 Mordorée Côtes du Rhône Rosé

Labor Day Weekend Bubbly List

Scarpetta Frico Frizzante 187ML Cans
Casa de Valor Brut Cava
Graham Beck Brut
Caposaldo Prosecco
(All great options for your Aperol Spritz!)

Labor Day Weekend New Zealand Sauv Blanc List

Otto’s Constant Dream Sauvignon Blanc
Babich Sauvignon Blanc
The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Sea Pearl Sauvignon Blanc

Labor Day Weekend Canned & Bottled Fruity Wine Goodness List

Sangria for Labor Day

Shania Sangria
Blanc Limé
Ramona Canned Sparkling Wine with Pink Grapefruit 4 Packs
Begonia Canned Sangria 4 Packs
Mija White Sangira
Decadent Saint White Sangria
Mighty Swell Mango, Grapefruit, and Peach 4 Packs
Pampelonne Blood Orange Spritz, Rosé Lime, and French 75 4 Packs

Spirits:

While cocktail options are always endless, we’re focusing on a few easy, refreshing drinks for Labor Day. Such as the margarita, not only is this a party pleaser, but margaritas have short ingredient lists and even shorter preparation times. Check out our list of 7 margarita recipes you have to try here.

Labor Day Weekend Spirits List

Don Julio Blanco Tequila
Humboldt’s Finest Vodka – Check out the recipe for a Humboldt’s Finest Hemp Highball here!
CapRock Colorado Organic Vodka
Tanqueray Gin

Beer & Other:

This could be your last chance to drink up those summer seasonals such as Upslope Thai Style White IPA and Wibby Brewing Lightshine Radler. If you’re hitting I-70 and heading for the mountains, any of the 9 beers to take on a summer hike we posted about would be excellent choices. And we can’t leave out our love for hard seltzers. Read all about our hard seltzer obsession here.

Labor Day Weekend Beer List

Seasonal Beers for Labor Day

Three Barrel Brewing Seven Bees Honey Kolsch
Station 26 Lemondrop Wheat
Great Divide Roadie Grapefruit Radler
Denver Beer Co. Maui Express Coconut IPA
14er Brewing Sunshine Peak Coffee IPA
Upslope Craft Lager
Liquid Mechanics Hop Nectar
14er Brewing Double Mt Massive IPA
4 Noses Brewing Tart Mango Wheat
Wibby Brewing Lightshine Radler
Montucky Cold Snacks
Upslope Thai Style White IPA
Crystal Springs Brewing Summertime Anytime

Labor Day Weekend Hard Seltzer List

Truly Canned Variety 12 Packs – Includes 3 Grapefruit & Pomelo, 3, Colima Lime, 3 Lemon & Yuzu, and 3 Sicilian Blood Orange
White Claw Variety 12 Packs – Includes 3 Natural Lime, 3 Raspberry, 3 Ruby Grapefruit, and 3 Black Cherry

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rum picks for national rum day

Let’s Get Ready To Rum-ble!

In preparation for National Rum Day (Wednesday, August 16th), we asked our Assistant Liquor Manager, Andrew Kaczmarek, to narrow down our rum section to his top 5 picks. While these can be enjoyed neat, we’ve also included a few cocktail recipes (no tiki cocktails – although we do love those too) for those wanting to try something new this holiday.

5 picks for national rum day

 

1) Plantation O.F.T.D. (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) Overproof Rum

Why he picked it…
Master distiller Alexandre Gabriel joined forces with some of the world’s foremost rum experts and historians to create Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Rum. A blend of rums from Guyana, Jamaica and Barbado and clocking in at 69% ABV/138 proof, Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof is the group’s way of throwing it back to the Age of Sail when rum was rich, flavorful and strong.

How to enjoy…
With a flavor profile that includes notes of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla, we’re using Plantation O.F.T.D. for our rum and coffee (it’s also an overcast Thursday morning, and we could use another cup of coffee)! Proceed with caution – this is quite a boozy rum, so you’ll find a little bit goes a long way!

Simply fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 1 ounce of Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Rum, 2 ounces of cold brew coffee, and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled and the drink gets a bit frothy. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a few drops of Angostura bitters.

2) Parce Rum 12-Year Aged

Why he picked it…
This award winning rum produced and bottled in Colombia has flavors of crème brûlée, toffee, dried tropical fruits, and pipe tobacco. It has been considered to be a great rum to transition the whiskey lover to the category/brand. Also, with each bottle purchased, Parce plants a native species tree in Colombia to protect biodiversity and prevent deforestation.

How to enjoy…
We plan to sip this one neat or on the rocks with a lime if we feel like getting a little crazy. In Colombia, Parce (pronounced PAR-say) is casual for “good friend” so enjoy with a friend!

3)Lucky-Oh Horchata Specialty Spirit

Why he picked it…
Lucky-Oh Horchata Specialty Spirit is the result of a unique and quite tasty collaboration between Stoneyard Distillery of Dotsero, Colorado and Lucky-Oh, a Denver based start up that manufactures a liquid concentrate used to make instant Horchata. The two teamed up to give Horchata an adult makeover with a little kick of Stoneyard Distillery’s authentic Colorado Silver Rum. Fun fact – unlike traditional rum made with molasses and sugar cane, Stoneyard uses Colorado-grown beet sugar sourced from the Eastern plains of the state and Colorado spring water from the Eagle River filtered through ancient volcanic rock!

How to enjoy…
Oh we’re making an adult Lucky-Oh’s Horchata! Fill a glass of your choice with ice, add Lucky Oh Horchata Specialty Spirit, top with milk, and stir. Garnish with shaved nutmeg, cinnamon, or cardamom. Enjoy immediately. Lucky-Oh Tip: Tastes great with soy, rice, or almond milk.

4) Bear Creek Distillery Cask Strength Rum

Why he picked it…
Each batch of Bear Creek Distillery‘s Award Winning Cask Strength Rum is carefully distilled from a wash of evaporated cane juice one batch at a time using a copper hybrid pot still. It is then aged in once used American Oak bourbon barrels at 120 proof. Once matured and out of the cask, it is immediately bottled resulting in a drinkable high proof rum with bourbon character and a smooth finish. The hand-signed and batch numbered 750ML bottle in front of me is 61.15% ABV/122.3 Proof. Located in the heart of Denver, Bear Creek Distillery uses ingredients grown by local farmers and materials sourced from Colorado companies.

How to enjoy…
We’re going to enjoy this one neat too.

5) Ski Bum Rum Distillery Local Legend Spiced Rum

Why he picked it…
Made with yummy Colorado wildflower honey, cinnamon stick, allspice, black peppercorn, and other spices, Local Legend Spiced Rum won the Golden distillery the Silver Medal at the 2017 Denver International Spirits Competition.

How to enjoy…
Ski Bum suggests a Spicy Blackberry Bramble! You’ll need 2 ounces of Local Legend Spiced Rum, 5 blackberries, 1 ounce of lime juice, 6 ounces of sparkling water, 1.5 ounces sage syrup, and 5 ice cubes.

Start by making the sage syrup – simmer fresh sage in equal parts water and raw sugar.

Put blackberries in tall glass. Add syrup and muddle blackberries in it. Add rum and lime juice and stir. Fill glass with ice then add sparkling water. Stir again and enjoy!

 

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classic margarita recipe

7 Margarita Recipes You Need To Try

It’s summertime, and the sippin is easy! As the days grow longer and we make our way to the patio, there’s no better time to enjoy a cocktail synonymous with summer – the margarita. And while there’s nothing wrong with a classic margarita, we’ve gathered a few twists to spice (or sweeten) things up a bit. Having trouble choosing between a glass of bubbly and a margarita? We found a recipe that brings them both together! Vanilla bean ice in a margarita?! Yep, it’s a thing. Molly’s has an entire aisle dedicated to tequila and a growing mezcal section. Our team will be happy to help you find the perfect spirit for next batch of margaritas. If you’re new to the world of tequila and want to read up on the basics, check out our previous blog post Getting to know our friend, Tequila.

classic margarita

The Classic Margarita

1 1/2 oz tequila, silver or reposado
1 oz Cointreau (orange liqueur)
3/4 oz freshly-squeezed lime juice
Optional: 1/2 tsp agave nectar or simple syrup for sweetening, if desired
Ice
Optional: a wedge of lime for garnish and salt for the rim

Directions:
If you’d like a salt-rimmed glass, start by running the juicy part of a lime slice around the top rim of a glass. Fill a shallow bowl with salt and dip the rim in the salt until it’s covered with your desired amount of salt. Set aside.

Add tequila, lime juice and Cointreau to a cocktail shaker and shake or stir until combined. If you’d like you’re sips to be a bit sweeter, stir in half a teaspoon of agave or simple syrup until the mix reached your desired level of sweetness.

Fill glass with ice. Pour margarita mixture over the rocks. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.

coconut margarita

Coconut Margarita

1 1/2 oz reposado tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 oz coconut cream
1 oz coconut milk
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz half and half
Ice
Optional: a wedge of lime for garnish

Directions:
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a glass. Serve on the rocks and garnish with a lime wedge if desired. Find the original recipe here.

watermelon basil margarita

Watermelon & Basil Margarita

1 1/2 oz of tequila
1 oz lime juice
2 oz watermelon juice
1/2 oz basil simple syrup *Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves in a sauce pan. Heat mixture until sugar is dissolved. Cool mixture then strain into a jar, cover and refrigerate up to two weeks.*
Ice
Optional: a sprig of basil for garnish and salt for the rim

Directions:
Rim the glass with salt and set aside. Fill a shaker with tequila, lime juice, watermelon juice, basil simple syrup, and ice. Shake mixture and pour into a glass over ice. Garnish with a sprig of basil. Find the original recipe here.

cucumber mezcal margaritas

Cucumber Mezcal Margarita

1/2 cucumber
1 1/2 oz mezcal
1 oz Grand Marnier
Ice
Optional: a wedge of lime for garnish and salt for the rim

Directions:
Put cucumber through a juicer or puree in a blender and then strain out the juice. Rim glass with salt and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients, cucumber juice, and ice in a shaker. Shake and pour into a glass over ice.  Garnish with a lime wedge. Find the original recipe here.

pineapple mezcal margarita blog

Pineapple Mezcal Margarita with Vanilla Bean Ice (Optional)

2 oz mezcal
3 oz pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1 oz triple sec
Optional: a pineapple wedge for garnish

For the Vanilla Bean Ice (Optional)

1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
2 cups water

Vanilla Bean Ice Directions:
For the vanilla bean ice: slice a vanilla bean lengthwise and remove its beans with the back of a knife. Place the pod and beans into a jar or glass with 2 cups of water. Allow the vanilla and water to infuse at room temperature over night or at least 6 hours prior to freezing. Transfer the vanilla water to an ice cube tray and freeze.

Pineapple Mezcal Margarita Directions:
Combine the mezcal, pineapple juice, lime juice, triple sec into a cocktail shaker with vanilla bean ice. Shake and pour into glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge. Find the original recipe here.

raspberry lemonade champagne margarita blog

Raspberry Lemonade Champagne Margarita

1 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau (orange liqueur)
3 oz raspberry lemonade
Brut champagne
Ice
Optional: a lemon wedge for garnish and pink Himalayan salt for the rim

Directions:
Rim the glass with pink Himalayan salt and set aside. Fill a shaker with tequila, Cointreau, raspberry lemonade and ice. Shake mixture and pour into a glass over ice. Top off with bubbly. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Find the original recipe here (we swapped pink lemonade for raspberry lemonade).

grapefruit mezcal-rita

Grapefruit Mezcal-rita

2 oz mezcal
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz lime juice
3/4 oz agave syrup
Ice
Optional: a grapefruit wedge for garnish

Directions:
Combine mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave syrup in a shaker. Shake and strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge. Find the original recipe here.

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The big eat 2017

Craft Cocktail Recipes from The Big Eat 2017

Showcasing Denver’s top independent restaurants organized by neighborhood, The Big Eat marks the opening of Slow Food Nations weekend and a banner year for Denver’s dining scene. Guests enjoyed bites and sips from 65 of Denver’s best restaurants and bars under the canopy of The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and support EatDenver’s efforts to strengthen our independent restaurant community and continue elevating the dining scene through collaboration.

Molly’s participated in The Big Eat 2017 as the cocktail bar sponsor! Almost all of the ingredients featured in the six craft cocktails are available at Molly’s! Here are the recipes:

big eat 2017 cocktail card

 

*The only ingredient we don’t offer at Molly’s is the Cocktail Punk cherry bitters. We have alternative cherry bitters available.

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fathers day gift ideas

Father’s Day gift ideas that will make pops proud!

Not sure what to get dad this Father’s Day? Our Spirits Department has a few ideas! And you know what else – many of the items on the list are DEEPLY discounted! Hurry on in because (1) these discounts won’t last forever (2) Father’s Day is Sunday!

Scotch Whisky Gifts for Dad

Father's Day Gift_Scotch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Macallan Edition No. 2 750ML: On sale for $79.99 through 6/20 (reg. $129.99)
Glenmorangie 10 Year 750ML: On sale for $29.99 through 6/20 (reg. $41.99)
Glencairn Whisky Glasses: $15.99 each
Gift Bag: $1.99

Kentucky & Colorado Whisk(e)y Gifts for Dad

Father's Day Gift Whiskey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon 750ML: On sale for $29.99 through 6/20 (reg. $43.99)
E. H. Taylor Small Batch 750ML: On sale for $33.99 through 6/20 ($39.99)
Maker’s Mark 1.75L: On sale for $39.99 through 6/20 (reg. $55.99)
Crystal Tumblers (set of 2): $13.99
Stainless Steel Glacier Rocks: $21.99
Gift Bag: $1.99

Elkins Whiskey Father's Day Gift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elkins Colorado Whisky 750ML (Elkins Distilling is Estes Park’s first legal distillery): $30.99
American Flag Flask: $14.99
Gift Bag: $1.99

Father's Day Gift_A.D. Laws

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.D. Laws Secale Straight Rye Whiskey, Molly’s Single Barrel 750ML: $69.99
Stainless Steel Glacier Rocks: $21.99
Gift Bag: $1.99

Vodka Gifts for Dad

Father's Day_Absolute Vodka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolut Vodka (80 Proof) 1.75L: On Sale for $22.99 through 6/20 (reg. 32.99)
Host Martini Freeze Cooling Cups (set of 2): $18.99
Party Swords (50 count): $1.49

Ketel One Arnold Palmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ketel One Vodka, Arnold Palmer Collector’s Edition, 750ML: $22.99
Golf Ball Ice Mold: $6.99
Gift Bag: $1.99

Tequila Gifts for Dad

Casa Noble all 3 tequilas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casa Noble Crystal 750ML: On sale for $25.99 through 6/20 (reg. $35.99)
Casa Noble Reposado: On sale for $29.99 through 6/20 (reg. $49.99)
Casa Noble Anejo: On sale for $39.99 through 6/20 (reg. $59.99)
Gift Bag: $1.99

All prices limited to stock on hand. Molly’s Spirits reserves the right to limit quantities. Prices are subject to change.

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denver summer passport giveaway

Denver Summer Passport Giveaway

denver summer passport giveaway

 

The Denver Summer Passport is a boozy field guide aimed at helping you discover the city’s best bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries and more! This pocket-sized book features over sixty 2-for-1 craft beverage specials valid Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. This field guide is sure to become your go-to drinking buddy when it comes to navigating Denver’s food and beverage scene.

The Details:

  • 68 establishments
  • 2-for-1 drinks at every location
  • Over $350 in booze savings
  • Valid all summer (May 26—Sept 4)

Molly’s has TEN Summer Passports to giveaway to TEN lucky people!

Here are the rules to win:

  1. Like us on Facebook (although not required, bonus points if you follow us on Instagram too)
  2. Fill out the entry form below. One entry per person. (Update: Entry form has been removed because giveaway has ended.)
  3. That’s it! Giveaway ends at 9am on 6/8/17.

Winners will be announced 6/8/2017 on this blog post and will also be notified via email/phone.

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**6/8/17 Update! Winners announced!**

1. James (Eddie) M.
2. Jay N.
3. Bri C.
4. Erin U.
5. Robert H.
6. Daniel V.
7. Kelsey W.
8. Benjamin B.
9. Kaitlin H.
10. Amber R.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our Denver Passport giveaway!

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Laven-berry prosecco cocktail

Top 7 Easy Summer Wedding Cocktails

Summer wedding season is quickly approaching! For those with impending nuptials, are all your ducks in a row? If one of your last boxes to check is finalize your signature cocktail or your entire bar menu, then this blog post is for you. If you’re newly engaged or know someone tying the knot, the following cocktails are also perfect for bridal luncheons, engagement parties, or even a night of wedding planning.  But the most important takeaway is this – Molly’s delivers to special events!  Our event planning team has over 30 combined years of experience! We’ll help you accurately estimate how much alcohol you’ll need and assist you in picking out the right wines, spirits and beers for your event all while keeping you within your budget! We will also work directly with your venue (if you have one) to ensure a pain free delivery process for you! Click here to get started!

But now back to the cocktails. As always, we’re following the trends over here and floral, herb-inspired cocktails are in! Not only will they look pretty in pictures, but these refreshing cocktails will have your guests drinking like royalty! We’ve included a little something for everyone in our top 7 summer wedding cocktail list. We’ve got bubbly, tequila, bourbon, vodka, and more! And make sure to check out #7. It’s a Molly’s original that’s already made its way into 5280 Magazine!

Grapefruit and Sage Mimosa

Grapefruit and Sage Mimosa

2 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
A sweet sparkling wine (we used Martini & Rossi Sparkling Rosé)
A few fresh sage leaves
A wedge of grapefruit for garnish

Directions:
Tear a few sage leaves and place at the bottom of the glass. Add about 2 ounces of grapefruit juice and top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with additional sage leaves and grapefruit wedge.

Berry Happy together Sangria

Berry Elderflower Sangria

1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc or dry white wine
3/4 cup Elderflower liqueur
2 fresh peaches, sliced
5-6 fresh strawberries
6 fresh raspberries
1 small bunch of fresh white grapes

Directions:
Stir ingredients in a pitcher or carafe. Allow fruit to soak in mixture for 15 minutes– or longer if desired. Serve in an ice-filled glass. Garnish with micro marigolds.

Peach Basil Moscow Mule

Peach Basil Moscow Mule

A few pieces of fresh basil
1/4 lime
2 oz peach vodka
6 oz ginger beer

Directions:
Fill glasses with ice. If you have copper mugs that’s awesome, but any cocktail glass will work! Add 2 oz of peach vodka and 6 oz ginger beer. Squeeze in 1/4 of a lime and then add a couple pieces of fresh basil. Stir all of the ingredients together.

Bourbon Mint Lemonade

Bourbon Mint Lemonade

1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz limoncello
8 0z (1 cup) lemonade
4-5 fresh mint leaves

Directions:
Muddle mint leaves in glass and add a couple of ice cubes to release their flavor. Mix in bourbon, limoncello, lemonade and stir. Garnish with a few mint leaves.

Elderflower Mojito Cocktail

Elderflower Mojito Cocktail

1 oz Elderflower liqueur
1 oz rum, white
10 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz simple syrup

Directions:
Add the rum and mint leaves to a mixing glass. Muddle the mint leaves lightly. Pour the elderflower liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup into the mixing glass and stir. Pour into an ice-filled glass and garnish with edible flowers if desired.

Cucumber Margarita

Cucumber Margarita

4 slices of fresh cucumber
1 lime wedge
1 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz tequila
1 oz triple sec
Tajin seasoning to rim the glass – chile peppers, lime, and sea salt

Directions:
Place 3 cucumber slices (skin removed) in glassware and muddle. Add 1 ounce of lime juice, 1 1/2 ounces of tequila, and 1 ounce triple sec and stir. Add tajin to the rim and garish with a cucumber slice and lime wedge

Laven-berry prosecco cocktail

Molly’s Laven-berry Prosecco Cocktail

1 lemon slice
1 rosemary sprig
A few fresh blackberries
1 1/2 oz lavender gin (we used Colorado’s Lee Spirits Lavender Gin)
1 oz blackberry liqueur (we used Leopold Bros’ Rocky Mountain Blackberry Liqueur)
Prosecco to top off

Directions:
Combine lavender gin and blackberry liqueur and stir. Top off with prosecco. Garish with a lemon slice, blackberries, and a rosemary sprig.

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Irish whiskey blog St. Patrick's day

5 Irish Whiskeys for St. Patrick’s Day and Everyday

It’s St. Patrick’s Day – how are you celebrating?  If your plan is to get into the spirit with one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe, this blog post might help you (I sure learned a lot). Here we’re sharing our Assistant Spirits Manager’s top picks. Andrew’s list is composed of different varieties of Irish whiskey – a single pot still, two single malts (including the only Irish peated single malt whiskey), and two blended Irish whiskeys. These five Irish whiskeys are at various price points which is great if you’re a newbie or well practiced looking for something new to try.

Irish whiskey St. Patricks Day blog

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Price: $48.99

“Knappogue Castle 12 year old, our signature expression, is an exceptional single malt made exclusively from malted barley. Triple distilled one batch at a time in traditional, onion-shaped copper pot stills, the whiskey is then aged in bourbon oak casks for twelve years. The delicate distillation process, along with the moist and temperate climate, yields the distinctive flavor of this remarkable Irish single malt.” – Knappogue Castle

Tasting Notes

Nose: Rich and biscuity with notes of peppery spice
Taste: Mellow and well-balanced with a bright, elegant fruitiness and mild spice flavors
Finish: Medium, clean, and smooth

Irish single malt whiskey must be distilled from a mash of nothing other than malted barley at a single distillery. Malted means the barley has been moistened for a few days to fool the grain into germination and then had its growth halted by heat. I’ll use Knappogue’s process as our guide:

Ingredients
Knappogue Castle Single Malt is made with pure Irish spring water and malted barley. The malted barley is dried in ovens without the use of peat (unlike Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey – see below). This process enables the crisp, clean flavor of malted barley to come through without smoky overtones. The dried malt is then ground and mixed with hot water to extract the sugars. This liquid, called “wort”, is cooled to room temperature. Yeast is added, converting the sugars to alcohol and transforming the wort into a liquid called “wash,” with an alcohol level of 15-20 proof.

Distillation
The “wash” is distilled one batch at a time in onion-shaped copper pot stills – a centuries-old tradition. The first output of distillation is 40 proof. These “low wines” are distilled a second time to increase strength and purity with the center cut of the second distillation used to make single malt. The “heads” and “tails” are removed to enhance the quality. The center cut is then distilled a third and final time, ensuring unparalleled smoothness. After the final distillation process, the spirit is colorless and about 130 proof.

Aging
The spirit is then placed in bourbon oak casks, stored at a relatively consistent temperature, and in Knappogue Castle 12 Year’s case, aged for at least 12 years until the right balance of flavors and mellow appeal is achieved. An expert “noser” samples and selects casks of the finest quality and distinct flavor profile. The whiskey is then adjusted with pure Irish water to the desired proof (80 proof for Knappogue 12 Year).

Did you know? Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey is named after the 15th century castle in Ireland which inspired it, but the word itself has a meaning of its own. Knappogue (pronounced Nah’ Pogue) translates to ‘hill of the kiss’ in Gaelic.

Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Price: $87.99

“Inspired by the original Yellow Spot whiskey (last seen in Ireland in the mid to late ’60s) Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Whiskey has been matured for not less than 12 years in a combination of American bourbon, Spanish sherry and Spanish Malaga casks. Drawing from the Mitchell family tradition of importing fortified wines, full term maturation in ex Malaga casks contributes exotic sweet characteristics to the whiskey.” – Spot Whiskey 

Tasting Notes

Nose: Mown hay and cracked black pepper. Red bell peppers, nutmeg, clove oil and green tea. Sweet honey and peaches from the Malaga casks
Taste: Honey sweetness with pot still spices. Flavors of fresh coffee, creamy milk chocolate and Crème Brûlée. Notes of red apples and toasted oak
Finish: Sophisticated and complex. Sweetness throughout with a mix of red grape and dry barley upon exit

Single pot still whiskey is a style of Irish whiskey made by a single distillery from a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley then triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills. This inclusion of unmalted raw barley in the mash in addition to malt is what makes this style different than single malt whiskey. This unmalted component is said to give single pot whiskey a “spicier bristle” and “thicker texture” than single malt whiskeys. Small amounts of other cereals such as oats or rye may also be used if required. As of 2016, there are only a handful of single pot still whiskeys on the market.

Did you know?  When the Mitchell family entered the whiskey bonding business in 1887, it was at the peak of the Victorian whiskey boom and pot still Irish whiskey was at its summit. The ‘Spot’ brand name originated from the family’s practice of marking casks of different ages with a daub or spot of colored paint with each color representing a particular age.

Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Price: $41.99

“Unique among Irish whiskeys, Connemara is the only Irish peated single malt whiskey in existence today. Inspired by the 18th century art of drying malting barley over peat fires, Connemara possesses a distinct peaty flavor and aroma, instilling a delicate smokiness and smooth, sweet taste.” – Connemara

Tasting Notes

Nose: Smokey peatiness balanced by heather floralness with hints of honey and oak
Taste: Silky smooth with a honey sweet start, followed by more complex aromas of malt and fruit giving way to the intensifying full bodied peat. A well-balanced yet complex taste with vanilla oak notes
Finish: A long and glorious finish with golden honey notes and deep peat spreading across the mouth and palate. Hints of chocolate vanilla and oak leave a mouth-watering taste

While most Irish whiskeys are tripled distilled, Connemara is actually double distilled to maintain the peat characteristics.

Did you know? Connemara is named after the area in Ireland.

Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey Classic Blend

Price: $23.99

“Clontarf 1014 is a bold and smooth Irish whiskey, triple distilled, aged in bourbon barrels and blended to perfection.” – Clontarf 1014

Tasting Notes

Nose: Some grain notes and faint honey and lemon rind
Taste: Sweet, mildly grainy, and peppery; lemongrass and grain features
Finish: Nice citrus fruit notes

Irish blended whiskey is as a blend of two or more different whiskey types, and its production usually includes Irish grain whiskey. Grain whiskey in Ireland is distilled from one or more of the following: corn, wheat, rye and barley. Barley and corn are used to give Clontarf its aroma and flavor.

Did you know? Clontarf 1014 hails its name from the Battle of Clontarf. At the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, High King Brian Boru sent viking invaders tumbling back into the sea and gave his life to achieve a remarkable victory for the Irish over the fearsome vikings.

2 Gingers Irish Whiskey

Price: $18.99
“Smooth, malty, and slightly sweet to start, with a tingle of honey and citrus. 2 GINGERS is a blended Irish whiskey, distilled twice and aged four years in the mild climate at the Cooley Distillery.” – 2 Gingers

Tasting Notes

Nose: Lightly malty nose with some fruit
Taste: A touch of orange, some honey, vanilla, nuts and spice
Finish:  The charred oak of the bourbon barrel gives a smooth vanilla and caramel finish

In order to label a spirit “Irish whiskey”, it must be aged three years. 2 Gingers and Clontarf 1014 are aged just slightly past that at four years.

Did you know? The two redheads who grace the 2 Gingers bottle are the founder’s mother and aunt. 2 Gingers trademarked cocktail is called the BIG GINGER made up of two parts 2 GINGERS Irish whiskey, ginger ale, lemon wedge and lime wedge. We’ve used 2 Gingers in a few recipes of ourselves!

In conclusion…

Hopefully we’ve provided some insight into the world of Irish whiskey for the novices and for those unfamiliar with these brands. Molly’s has many Irish whiskeys to chose from. You can find them all in Spirits Lane #1. Our staff will gladly help you find the perfect Irish whiskey for you!

All prices limited to stock on hand. Molly’s Spirits reserves the right to limit quantities. Prices are subject to change.

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