With Woody Creek Distillers' (WCD) in the midst of its annual harvest season, which began on September 23 and ends in early November, there’s no better time to sip its spirits. With vodka and gin handcrafted from fresh potatoes grown on the Scanlan family farm in Woody Creek, as well as at other farms in the Roaring Fork Valley, WCD is the the only craft distillery in the United States to have control over every element of production—from farm to bottle.
We stopped by the Basalt-based operation for a tour with head distiller David Matthews and a tasting with head bartender Molly Briggs—who gave a sneak peek of what’s on the menu for the season ahead. Here, she shares three of her favorite recipes to try at home—perfect to play mixologist with during the downtime of off-season.
For when you're feeling up for an afternoon or early evening out, WCD's tasting room is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 2-8 p.m., with tours offered by appointment (and distillery operations permitting). Plus, get a jump on your holiday list in the on-site shop, which is filled with the complete line of spirits and swag. WCD will also serve up specialty craft cocktails at the 21st Annual Taste of Basalt on Saturday, November 5. 60 Sunset Dr., Basalt, 970-279-5110, woodycreekdistillers.com
2 oz. Woody Creek vodka
3/4 oz. chai simple syrup
1/2 oz. Simply Apple Juice
1/4 oz. cherry liqueur
2 dashes lime bitters
1. Add all ingredients to shaker with ice and shake.
2. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
Garnish: cinnamon-dusted apple slice
2 oz. Woody Creek rye
.5 oz. blackberry syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
cherry wood chips
Smoking Gun hand-held food smoker ($99.95)
1. Add rye, blackberry syrup, orange bitters, and fresh ice into a mixing glass.
2. Stir ingredients with a bar spoon until ice begins to melt.
3. Double strain into a mason jar and smoke with table-top smoker.
4. Pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
Garnish: rosemary sprig–stabbed blackberry
2 oz. Woody Creek gin
1 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
4 cardamom pods
8-10 black peppercorns
2 dashes lavender bitters
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1. Muddle cardamom and peppercorns in a mixing glass.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus ice, and shake.
3. Double strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
Garnish: rim the glass with crushed black peppercorns