1 oz Creme de Menthe [Short Path]
1 oz Americano Blanc [Short Path]
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Few dashes Garden Party Bitters [Black Cloud Bitters]
Combine ingredients and shake with ice, strain into an ice filled Collins glass. Top with ~3 oz club soda. Garnish with mint and thyme sprig.
It’s really no secret that I ride pretty hard for local spirits (#drinklocal). And not just because of the proximity, but because there plenty of distilleries in and around Boston that are turning out some great bottles. From Bully Boy to Grand Ten to Privateer, they are all bringing something different to the table. Recently though there is one that is taking things to the next level, venturing outside the usual gin/whiskey/rum/vodka world (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I’m talking about Short Path Distillery, based in Everett just north of Boston. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely nail the fundamentals. I’m particularly a big fan of their Amber Rum and Gin. What I really love is they explore the corners of the booze world. Their Pommeau is a barrel aged apple cordial, and their Rosid is a white rum infused with lemon and hibiscus. They even make their own triple sec. (Also, those bird labels though!)
But I’m really here to talk about my latest purchases from them. First is their Creme de Menthe, which I purchased from their CSA program, (Community Supported Alchohol -see what they did there). For CSA releases, they make small batches with limited supply, only available at the distillery. This allows them some room for experimentation, and some spirits even graduate to full on production. Forget what you know about creme de menthe from college. No sticky sweetness here, just punchy mint with a light botanical overtone in both the nose and sip.
Second is Americano Blanc. This amaro inspired spirit really straddles the line between amaro and dry vermouth. Made from a brandy base using vidal blanc wine, they then add a host of roots and botanicals. Chamomile, bitter orange, and star anise cover the high notes, while classic amaro additions like gentian and angelica cover the low notes. A perfect bottle that evokes the forests of New England.
Each of these bottles has bold flavors complimented by smooth, floral edges, so I decided to see what happened when they joined forces. I added in some Green Chartreuse to up the botanical ante even more, and then lemon juice for a citrusy kick.
The Santili Spritz (named for a road right near the distillery) really did justice to these unique offerings. Mint, herbs, citrus, blossoms all danced around on the nose. The sip was crisp and refreshing, the cooling mint a nice foil to the bracing bitterness. Some of the herbs in the Chartreuse even underscored earthy notes hiding in there. The finish was bright, bitter, zesty, and kept you coming back for more.
Exploring local spirits is always fun. Visiting the distilleries is even better. Here in Massachusetts, they are allowed to have a bar and serve cocktails. The catch is anything alcoholic has to be made on site, so they get pretty creative. I love seeing what Short Path, or any of the local distilleries, are doing with their bottles in different drinks. So get out there and see what your ‘hood has to offer. And take home some boozy souvenirs while you’re at it.