Fall is hot apple cider season. Cozy up to this re-imagined version, spiked with cardamom bitters and a unique chicory vodka.
Weaving through early fall foliage, trees not yet blazing, their autumnal colors simmering beneath the faded greens and yellows of summer’s end, I made my way north. With a long weekend on my hands it was an easy last-minute decision, trading in the still-hot Philly streets for the cool relief of Vermont, then New Hampshire, and then, finally, the familiar embrace of home. Maine. Just a bag of clothes thrown in the backseat of my beat-up hatchback and a few maps loaded on to my phone…just in case service cut out, as it tends to do.
Autumn in New England is unlike anywhere else this time of year. The scent of earth and woodsmoke mingles with the inevitable smell of apples being pressed. Keep your eyes wide and you’ll likely even see a few wild apple trees heavy with fruit dotting the roadside, vestiges of the ancient farms and orchards that once populated the land (if you do, I urge you to pull over and pick some). As I always do, before arriving at my destination, I stopped off to see what my friends at Tamworth Distilling have been brewing, their seasonal crop of spirits forever shifting and adapting with what happens to be growing at the moment. And as usual, I discovered something new to tote home to my bar cart. Once solely used as a coffee replacement, Art in the Age’s Chicory spirit is dark and earthy, the epitome of fall. When combined with a fresh pressing of a close neighbor’s heirloom black baldwin apples and a dash of warming cardamom, this spirit transforms into a robust fall cocktail that heats from the inside out. Perfect for cold autumn nights.
For a taste of fall wherever you are, grab whatever variety of cider happens to be local to you and mix up this fresh take on a fall classic.
2 parts local apple cider
1 part Art in the Age Chicory Root
Cardamom bitters to taste
Cinnamon sticks (one per serving)
Combine the apple cider and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan on the stove and heat until just before boiling. Divide into mugs and add 1 part AITA Chicory spirit and a splash of cardamom bitters to taste. Squeeze in a little lemon and serve with a lemon wedge for garnish. Cozy up and enjoy!
+ Autumn at home – what is your favorite part? Please share!
ooooooooooh guys. I’ve been a very lucky lady. Art in the Age sent me a bottle of theirRHUBARB tea to create a recipe with and share with all you booze hounds out there. WOOT! I was so stoked for this one! After a few different concoctions, I found that citrus and hoppy flavors were the perfect compliment to the sweet and rooty RHUBARB. So….. I give you….. RHUBARB lemon shandy cocktail.
I’ve been a fan of Art in the Age for a while now. After trying their ROOT (think sarsaparilla) tea, I fell seriously head over heels. Remember that ROOT spiked root beer float? Where I begged Art in the Age to send me a bottle of RHUBARB? Well, they heard me. And now they are like, my all time favorite company.
Their collection of small batch infusions are not just flavored liquors. They are carefully crafted with organic ingredients from local farmers, and seasonally inspired.
RHUBARB LEMON SHANDY COCKTAIL
Crisp and refreshing RHUBARB lemon shandy cocktail is spiked with RHUBARB tea from Art in the Age, hoppy IPA, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. A true summer treat of a cocktail!
Serves: 1 cocktail
* RHUBARB tea is available through Art in the Age
** I used Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
Sooooooooo……. a little birdie told me (or I read on their blog), that Art in the Age has made SWEET POTATO for this coming Autumn. Let’s just say, I know what I’m purchasing the DAY after Labor Day!
Art in the Age cocktails are refreshing, delicious and so unique that once you try just one, you’re going to want to seek out as many as possible.
Looking to locate Art in the Age cocktails nearby? Bars and restaurants in Philadelphia that offer these one-of-a-kind sips include Zavino West Philly, Standard Tap, Stateside Philly, Race Street Café and Continental Old City.
See the full cocktail list on the Art in the Age website!
A DARLING RECAP: SUMMER EVENTS
Summers are for alfresco dining, exploring new restaurants, and rocking your favorite summer outfit. This summer, Darling has managed to do exactly just that. Check out these events that Darling has done to welcome in the season.
Embrace those tans lines and we’ll see you at our next event!
Stir Market Staff Dinner
Written by Darling Intern Monica Lyons:
In celebration of the release of our summer issue No. 12, the Darling staff went out for a dinner at Stir Market on Beverly Blvd. This neighborhood dining hall has the most darling market with an array of wines, artisan breads, and local produce. Stir Market also sells picnic sets decked out with flatware and silverware, perfect for those warm summer evenings outside.
With a modern California take on the European food hall experience, our staff enjoyed delicious food like their Frog Hollow Farms Apricot Summer Salad and Grilled Zucchini & Burrata Flatbread. It was a wonderful evening to celebrate the coming of summer and all their hard work for the release of Darling’s 12th issue!
Random House Off the Page Dinner
Written by Darling Intern Monica Lyons:
Our first East Coast Darling Dinner was a success with Random House’s Off The Page in Hudson, New York. After listening to our Editor in Chief, Sarah Dubbledam, and best-selling author, Gretchen Rubin of “The Happiness Project” and “Better Than Before,” guests enjoyed an alfresco dinner on long white picnic tables. With a game of corn hole and some impromptu photos in front of a kaleidoscope wall, everyone enjoyed the summer weather that New Yorkers hold so dear.
Each place setting included a Darling Magazine and Malvi Lemon Drop Marshmallow Squares for guests to enjoy. For dinner,Harvest Real Food Catering served mediterranean salmon, roasted shallot ricotta gnocchi, mixed beet salad, and a decadent cheese plate overflowing with berries, figs, grapes, and assorted cheeses. Each dish was locally sourced and served family style, a Darling Dinner tradition. Rhubarb Lemon Tea cocktails were provided by Art in the Age and Union Wine Companyprovided wine for the dinner. As the sun set behind the Random House warehouse, guests enjoyed an array of homemade pies garnished with fresh mint leaves for dessert.
Tory Rust captured beautiful moments of the day with her refined talent and eye for light. This dinner was curated by the lovely Kara Elise who also spoke at Off The Page about stress-free entertaining. Bundles of wild flowers and conversations about our favorite books completed the summer evening. This Darling Dinner was truly an event of literary inspiration.
Darling Issue No 12 Launch Party
Written by Darling Intern Monica Lyons:
The Darling Issue No. 12 launch party was one of summer cocktails and a heck of a light up dance floor. Hosted at Honeycutdown a quiet alley way in beautiful downtown LA, the night was filled with dreamers, makers, and intellects. Guests danced and mingled from one room to the other to explore not one, but two bars that were serving Summer Punch and Paramus Sage cocktails provided by Art in the Age.
The light up dance floor in the center of the room stole the show as it glowed and changed colors to the beat of DJitsyoungsteezie’s magnetic music. Sarah, our Editor in Chief, spoke about the summer issue and introduced the Darling team at the event. It was a special night for the Darling community to come together and celebrate the beauty of summer in Issue No. 12. Photos of the night were captured by the talented and ever so sweet, Emily Magers. The launch party was curated by the wonderful Kara from By Kara Elise.
Take a look here for more events that we have going on this summer!
The Village of Tamworth has a new visionary. Steven Grasse, a Don Draper-esque ad man from Pennsylvania, has come to town to distill the real thing — a spirit with integrity, a flavor born truly of its ingredients grown in the soils of the Granite State. The town fathers have given Grasse the green light, convinced his story is sound and his money is real. For Grasse, the Tamworth Distillery is truly a passion project that involved patience, persistence and the purchase of several properties on the bucolic town’s main street. It opened to the public in late May.
Grasse is the man behind the brand marketing of Sailor Jerry Rum and Hendrick’s Gin. Both spirits come with intriguing stories — stories woven simply to add personality and marketing prowess to the product. As the story goes, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was a hard-living tattoo artist in Honolulu during WW II. The story is true, but just attached to the product for its punch. Hendrick’s Gin is distilled in Scotland and the fanciful story is delightfully illustrated on the website. The stories are nice, but the products are better. Grasse believes a great liquor brand needs three ingredients — an interesting bottle, an interesting story and a great liquid. Hendrick’s resides on the top shelf of most respectable bars.
Grasse’s reckoning moment came when he saw birthday-cake-flavored vodkas at the liquor store. He was repelled by the cheap-shot marketing angle and even cheaper chemical mélange in the bottle. His “aha!” moment came as he thought to himself, “Why not get creative with real ingredients instead of industrial formulas. Maybe integrity is the new luxury.”
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction was Grasse’s first brand venture into artisanal spirits. That company name was a riff from the eponymous book by Walter Benjamin, who felt society lost something by mass reproduction of art. His liqueur products — Root, Rhubarb Tea, Sage and Snap are backed with historical footnotes linking the recipes to Lewis and Clark, Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania Dutch lore and his own mother. More stories and more sales. The unlikely, somewhat pricey, liqueurs are a featured ingredient in cocktails in enlightened bars across the country.
Now, after twisting his ad empire with clever licensing agreements, Grasse is ready for his next great spirit adventure in the Granite State. Why here? He claims, “Well, you can’t frack in granite.” While his home state of Pennsylvania is threatened by the potential of its energy reserves, the Ossipee Aquifer is one of the purest on the East Coast. You need good water to make good spirits.
Tamworth also offers a great story line. Thoreau, one of the New England Transcendentalists in the mid-1800s, gave Grasse his wellspring. The Swift River and other stops in Tamworth are mentioned in Thoreau’s contemplative journals. As Thoreau, Emerson and Whitman railed against industrialization and the passing of agrarian life, Grasse is also championing local agriculture. He asks, “Distilling spirits is an extension of agriculture, correct?”
The whole operation can be thought of as a DSA or Distiller Supported Agriculture when Grasse and team contract with local farmers to grow wheat and vegetables for fermenting and other flora to infuse flavors into gin and vodka. His first purchase in town was a farm, where vegetables, as possible spirit infusers and malt bases, are grown. Other ingredients come from local farmers when possible and even foragers searching the nearby woods for bark and moss. Grasse says, “The distillery will initiate a great circle: farm-to-bottle, then bottle-to-farm as spent grains are used for animal fodder, and then farm-to-table when the gastro pub focusing on local sourcing opens.” Even Walt Whitman might smile at the notion of bottling the essence of nature from a certain time and space since spirits don’t change flavors once they are bottled. Why not enjoy the leaves of grass in winter too?
The distillery is built on the site of the former Tamworth Inn, which Grasse bought several years ago. It took two years of town meetings to convince selectmen and townspeople that he was not an evil-doer — that the project, the distillery, the mission would be good for the village as a destination for eco-tourism and local employer.
The tower structure of the Tamworth Inn was salvaged for future use as a farm-to-table restaurant, while the distillery, a new structure, was designed to look like it had been there all along. Grasse intends for the distillery to be a “botanic test kitchen” for the next great spirit brand. He certainly has the chops to market a product to the world. Meanwhile, all production from the facility will only be available onsite.
Products ready to drink now include an Apiary Gin made with local honey, poplar buds and juniper; an eau de vie made with local apples; a White Mountain Vodka and, for now, a White Whiskey, as production has to age in the barrel house for a few more years before it mellows and takes on the colors of its casks. Art in the Age Garden Infusions from the last fall harvest captured the essence of sweet potatoes with clove while a roasted chicory with a touch of dandelion, cinnamon and maple syrup was developed into a Chicory Vodka. They seem to be having fun in the test kitchen.
An additional product, a 151-proof universal spirit, is a neutral base for customers to concoct their own botanical infusions. Tinctures, bitters and dried herbs will be on hand as potential ingredients.
Grasse does have a real story to tell. He summered in nearby Meredith as a boy and, when he returned to Tamworth, he marveled how it had not changed. He says, “It’s important not to ruin that.” Initially, he just wanted his children, ages 9 and 13, to enjoy summers in the country, like Dad did 40 years ago. Now he can be considered a major benefactor to the town. He also restored the general store, renaming it the Tamworth Lyceum and offering it up as a space for discussion and entertainment, in addition to wholesome grocery items and artful gifts.
The end of the story is not in sight. As Grasse says, he can afford to take it slowly. He came with a vision, but was resilient enough to let the town buffer and determine the final shape of his enterprise. He came for the pristine water, the historical lore and the natural beauty of the area, but the journey into New Hampshire heartland will put an indelible stamp on his products, be they small-batch infusions or the next great aged whiskey. Rest assured, the story on the label will sing the praises of its origin.
Recipe Provided by Zea Rotisserie & Grill
WHAT TO DO
1) Add all ingredients into a mixing glass
2) Completely fill the mixing glass with ice
3) Cap the glass with the metal shaker tin, then flip the shaker so the glass is on top
4) Shake vigorously for 5 seconds
5) Pour the drink from the mixing glass into the large pilsner glass
6) Garnish with blueberries and mint and serve
The multi talented folks over at Quaker City Mercantile just sent us word about this new bottle design from Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile, a new farm-to-bottle distillery from Steven Grasse, creator of Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum.
The Good Reverend’s Universal Spirit is a 151-proof, neutral spirit distilled in-house from organic New England corn. It is intended for a variety of uses — infusions with herbs, fruits and spices to create custom blends, or mixed and diluted to make household cleansers and aromatic sprays.
The label and bottle design for the Universal Spirit reflects its truly universal nature. To begin with, the bottle itself was custom molded to conform to the Golden Ratio (a mathematical expression of designs found in nature, adopted as a guiding principle in early art and architecture). Every inch of the label, both inside and out, is covered in symbols spanning centuries — from ancient Egyptian alphabets to tarot card symbols to Platonic solids. In particular, it plays with the way many of these traditions correspond numerically. For example:
4 – corners, directions, elements, seasons, evangelists, winds, and alchemical signs
7 – chakras, days of the week, alchemic symbols, and archangels
12 – months in the year, and signs of the zodiac
The bottle was designed and illustrated by the Good Reverend himself, Rev. Michael Alan. (His art may be familiar to you, as it also graces the labels of Art in the Age Craft Spirits, another Steven Grasse creation.)