In the Spirit of Fall: Pumpkin Spirits from 2 Craft Distillers

All about two very uniquely flavored whiskies just released and some traditional drink recipes to go with them.

Corsair Artisan Distillers Pumpkin Spice Moonshine 85 proof
Moonshine is back in a big way and Corsair Artisan Distillers, a relatively new small distillery out of Kentucky, is making some of the best out there. So when they added ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and pumpkin to their pot still's vapor basket and redistilled the whole mess to pull all the flavors together, it was a safe bet that it'd be tasty stuff. The best paid off, with the white dog whiskey taking on savory-sweet pumpkin notes and all the sophisticated spice of a perfectly made pumpkin pie. One whiff reveals those spices and oddly, a distinct tint of nutty brown butter. The flavors last all day too, building and layering with each swallow. It seems a shame to mix it, but the rich warmth shines in almost any whiskey cocktail – making for a surprisingly tasty Sazerac or Manhattan– and saving a bottle for when the snow flies and eggnog starts sounding tasty is a distinctly good idea.

Great Lakes Distillery Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit 90 proof
Generic in name, but definitely not in flavor, Milwaukee's Great Lakes Distillery takes Lakefront Brewery's Pumpkin and Spice Lager beer and distills it into Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit. The bottle is a seriously limited edition and is decidedly hard to track down, but it's well worth the effort. Walking the savory side of the pumpkin line, this spirit is Fall personified. Musky, with that distinct pumpkin funk and a gentle dose of almost bourbon-like caramel – not surprising given that the spirit is aged in bourbon barrels. A lug of malty sweetness lingers from the lager it's made from, this is the stuff Autumn dreams are made of. Mellow and smooth enough to drink straight, but this is a bottle that will easily sneak its way in to plenty of morning coffees, not to mention more than a few Hot Toddys.  Raking leaves never ended so well.


Pumpkin Hot Toddy: 1 or 2 oz Great Lakes Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit, 1 Tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup boiling hot water
combine all ingredients in a 6 oz coffee mug, stir well to dissolve the honey and enjoy.

Pumpkin Manhattan: 1&1/2oz Corsair Pumpkin Spice Moonshine, 1/2 to 3/4oz sweet vermouth, dash of Angostura bitters, marashino cherry
stir Moonshine, vermouth & bitters over ice, strain into martini glass, garnish with cherry, serve straight up

Pumpkin Sazerac: 2 oz Corsair Pumpkin Spice Moonshine, 1 teaspoon simple syrup, 3 dashes Peychaud bitters, Absinthe (or Herbsaint), lemon peel, ice, 2 old fashioned glasses or simply good sized rocks glasses
Fill one glass with ice to chill it while in the other glass you; muddle the bitters and simple syrup then  add the Pumpkin Moonshine and stir
Dump out the ice from the first glass then swirl a splash of Absinthe (or Herbsaint) in the glass and dump out residue. Add moonshine-syrup-bitters mixture, rub rim and garnish with lemon peel. serve straight up

For more info or to buy online click Corsair Pumpkin Spice Moonshine or Great Lakes Distillery Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit

For more about the distilleries go to

Great Lakes Distillery http://www.greatlakesdistillery.com/

Corsair Artisan Distillery http://www.corsairartisan.com/spirits/

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