Hooray for the return of the cocktail!

Catoctin Creek spirits are excellent neat, but also very nice in cocktails. Many classic American cocktails call for rye, and Roundstone Rye is a faithful reproduction of 19th century rye whisky that would have been common in old classics like the Manhattan, Sazerac, and Old Fashioned. With Watershed Gin, you have a great cocktail for Gimlets, Martinis, French 75's, and much, much more.

Don't forget, you don't need to page through all the cocktails below, searching for the one you want. Use our convenient SEARCH feature to find a favorite ingredient or cocktail name.

For example, try searching for "manhattan", "watershed", "amaro", "sidecar", "lemon", or "orange"... just to name a few.

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Patowmack Peach Water Rye

Founder's Julep

Founder's Julep

This cocktail was the second of two created for the History of Drinking lectures at the National Archives.

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
½ Smith & Cross Jamaica Rum
¾ oz Henriques & Henriques Finest Dry Madeira
½ Rich simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
5 sprigs fresh mint

Gently muddle the leaves of 3 mint sprigs with the simple syrup in a julep cup. Drag leaves around the cup to coat the inside, then discard leaves. Add other ingredients and fill halfway with crushed ice, jiggle. Finish by heaping crushed ice into a rounded cone sticking out of the top of the cup. Garnish with 2 fulsome sprigs of mint sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Courtesy JP Fetherston, bartender at Southern Efficiency.

Founding Bramble

Founding Bramble

This cocktail was one of two created for the History of Drinking lectures at the National Archives.  

1 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
¾ oz Blackberry-cardamom cordial
¼ oz Senior Curaçao
¾ oz Lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a lemon peel.

Courtesy Jon Arroyo, bartender at Farmers Fishers Bakers.

The Devil and His Wife

The Devil and His Wife

"The devil's beating his wife" is a Southern saying to describe the weather when it is simultaneously raining and the sun is shining.  Figuring that the cocktail is a derivative of the New Orleans classic rum drink, the hurricane, we kept with the weather theme, but added a bit of a Virginia twist.  (Pawpaws are native to Virginia.)

This is the Catoctin Creek feature cocktail of the RAMMYS 2015 gala in Washington DC.

Pawpaw1 oz Roundstone Rye
1 oz Mosby's Spirit
1½ oz pawpaw syrup*
½ oz orange juice
½ oz lime juice
½ oz grenadine*
Orange wedge for garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the cocktail for about 30 seconds. Pour into a hurricane glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Pawpaw syrup - Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2 cups of paw paw pulp in a saucepan. Stir constantly to keep the pawpaw from scorching on the bottom of the pan. Once all the sugar is dissolved, strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve to strain out more of the solids. Add a ½ oz of Mosby's Spirit to help preserve the syrup. Store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Grenadine - Mix equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan. Turn the heat on low and stir to combine until all the sugar is dissolved. Store for two weeks in the refrigerator. You may also buy it in the store but isn't it more fun to make your own? Alternative recipes call for pomegranate molasses, vanilla extract and other additives, but I prefer to KISS it. (Keep it simple, stupid)

Cocktail recipe courtesy of Chad Robinson.  Pawpaw photo copyright Clarknova on Wikipedia; unrestricted use permitted.

June Cocktails

June Cocktails 1

June is a new month, and as we turn our eyes to summer, we've revamped our cocktail menu in the tasting room with an eye to cooling down with a refreshing cocktail during those hot Virginia afternoons!

The Front Porch Sipper

Think Arnold Palmer, but with hooch!

Mosby's Spirit
13 tea bags
8 cups of water
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup of fresh lemon juice
Lemon garnish

Steep the tea in the hot water, and then mix in the honey, sugar and lemon juice.  This will create a batch of mixer, which can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.  When ready to drink, fill a tall glass with ice, pour in 1-2 oz of Mosby's Spirit, and top with the mixer.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.  Serves about 20.



Originally, we were going to call this the Fifth Dimension, but then one of our employees thought Leeloo (Daryl Hannah's character from the same movie) was a much better name.

Watershed Gin
¾ cups simple syrup
½ cups Element Lm (Lemon Mint) shrub
Mint for garnish

Combine the syrup and shrub in a pitcher.  This will create a batch of mixer, which can be stored in a squeeze bottle for up to one month.  When ready to drink, fill a rocks glass with ice, and pour in 1-2 oz of Watershed Gin plus about 1 oz of the mixer.  Top with seltzer, stir to combine, and top with a mint leaf.


Orange You Glad?

Knock knock.  Who's there?  Banana...  Banana, who?  Knock knock...

Roundstone Rye
2 cups of orange juice
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
¼ cup of chocolate syrup (make your own, or use Hershey's in a pinch)

Combine the juices and syrup, then transfer to a jar or pitcher.  This will create a batch of mixer, which can be stored in a squeeze bottle for up to one month.  When ready to drink, fill a cocktail shaker with 2 oz of the mixer plus 1 oz of Roundstone Rye.  Stir to combine, then pour into a martini glass rimmed with cocoa powder. 


Hibiscus Colada

Do you like piña coladas?  Gettin' caught in the rain? (Dear God, help us!)

Mosby's Spirit
2 cups coconut milk
¼ cups Strong™ Hibiscus tonic
¼ cups simple syrup
Pineapple chunk garnish

Combine the coconut milk, tonic syrup, and simple together into a pitcher.  This will create a batch of mixer, which can be stored in a squeeze bottle for up to one month.  When ready to drink, add 2 oz of Mosby's Spirit to 2 oz of mixer, and pour in a tall glass over ice.  Or you can blend it and make a frozen concoction.  Top with a pineapple chunk speared with a toothpick.


Gin Refresher

Nothing is quite so refreshing on a hot summer day as cool, crisp citrus.  The rosemary brings in a cool evergreen note, which is most welcome.

Watershed Gin
2 cups grapefruit juice
½ cups fresh lime juice
1 cup rosemary simple syrup*
Rosemary sprig for garnish

Combine the juices and the rosemary simple and pour into a pitcher.  This will create a batch of mixer, which can be stored in a squeeze bottle for up to one month.  When ready to drink, add 2 oz of mixer to 1-2 oz of gin and combine.  Pour over ice in a tall glass.  Add seltzer to top, and garnish with a spring of rosemary.

*Rosemary Simple Syrup

To make the rosemary simple syrup, combine ½ cup of sugar with ½ cup of water, and 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary over heat.  When all the sugar is dissolved, discard rosemary, then cool and store in a squeeze bottle.

June Cocktails 2

The Coda

The Coda 

This cocktail marries three DC-area products in perfect harmony:  Don Ciccio liqueur, Embitterment bitters, and Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye!  Gay marriage may be controversial in DC, but this three-way will always please!

2 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky
¼ oz Don Ciccio Concerto espresso liqueur
Several dashes Embitterment orange bitters

Combine, shake over ice, and serve over ice or straight up in a martini glass.

Courtesy Embitterment bitters, and used with permission.

Sybill's Cellar

Sybill's Cellar

This cocktail came to us from Meredith Whitfield (on Instagram as @hashtagmsw), who created it to accompany her watching the last episode of Mad Med on AMC.  This is another great cocktail with the new shrubs from Element Shrubs in DC.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky
½ oz Element Chai-pear shrub
½ oz fresh lemon juice
Several dashes DC Embitterment orange bitters
Lemon peel garnish

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with "big ol' hunk of ice" and serve with a nice long piece of lemon peel.

Photo and recipe courtesy Meredith Whitfield, and used with permission.

Tim Gunn Cocktail

Tim Gunn Cocktail

It's a curious name, the "Tim Gunn Cocktail"...

Why did we name this cocktail after Tim Gunn?  Because we can think of no better role-model than Mr. Gunn. He is the perfect example of poise, character, and sophistication wrapped with warmth and humility.  He's handsome and oh, so classy without being a snob.

We like Mr. Gunn, and we hope he'd enjoy this namesake cocktail.

1-2 oz Roundstone Rye whisky
½ oz Maple Syrup
½ oz Chai Pear shrub (make your own, or use Element Shrub from DC)
Splash of soda
Lemon peel garnish
Dash of cherry bitters

Mix the rye, maple and shrub in a cocktail shaker of ice. Strain into a rocks glass with a nice big ice cube. Splash in a little soda water, garnish with lemon, and add a dash or two of cherry bitters on top.

The General Mayhem

The General MayhemThis cocktail is a delightful twist on the Colonel Langdon, which is a very popular perennial favorite in our tasting room.  In the General Mayhem, we switch out the Langdon Wood Maple Syrup for a house made beer syrup using one of our favorite local brewers, Adroit Theory Brewing Company in Purcellville, Virginia.  Here, we've chosen to use a Belgian Ale as a base for making the syrup base.  The Belgian Ale on its own is not too overpowering (especially when reduced), and will blend well with the lemon and rye in the drink.

1 oz Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit™
¾ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ oz beer syrup (equal parts beer + sugar in the raw, heated until dissolved)
2-3 oz seltzer
Lemon peel

In a shaker with ice, combine juice, syrup and Mosby's. Shake. Pour over ice in a rocks glass. Top with seltzer, garnish with lemon peel.

Elemental Rye Julep

Element Rye Julep

We are very excited about the newest product available in our tasting room, a fine collection of hand-crafted shrubs from Element.  What is a shrub, you ask? We're so glad you asked!

Whereas a syrup (aka simple syrup) is a mixture of sugar and water with optional fruit and herbs, and bitters are concentrated tinctures of alcohol and herbs, fruit, and other flavorings, a shrub uses a base of vinegar to achieve acidity, and is then a mixture of herb and fruit flavors.  A shrub allows the cocktail to skip the ubiquitous citrus used to provide acidity, and gives a whole new range of flavors.

This is a traditional mint julep, but we've substituted the shrub for the mint simple syrup.

3 oz of Roundstone Rye whisky
½ oz of Element lemon mint shrub, more or less to taste, but remember, a little bit goes a long way!
6-10 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Add mint to a rocks glass with crushed ice, and middle the mint to the ice.  Add the rye and shrub and stir to combine, then garnish with more mint.

Element Shrubs

What You Talkin' 'bout, Willis?

The lemon and pepper in this cocktail balance nicely with the honeyed sweetness and the rich vanilla mouthfeel of the Mosby's Spirit. A refreshing aperetif.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz peppercorn infused honey syrup
3 oz club soda
lemon twist

Shake all together, garnish with lemon twist, and serve on ice in a rocks glass.

Rise 'n Shine

A lovely milk-based cocktail from Chad Robinson.

1½ oz Mosby's Spirit
½ oz 1757 Virginia Brandy
½ oz 2:1 turbinado sugar syrup
1-2 dashes of vanilla extract
2 oz half & half
Nutmeg for garnish

Combine Mosby's Spirit, Virginia Brandy, syrup, half & half and vanilla extract in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 30 secs. Strain to an old fashioned glass and grate nutmeg over top for garnish.

Photo and recipe courtesy Chad Robinson.

Rise 'n Shine

The Ole Virginia Accent

This was a featured cocktail of the Columbia Room pop-up at PX in Alexandria.  Of the featured cocktails, was this one, which debuted our Apple Brandy on the menu, a recipe created by J.P. Featherston.  Word from the customers that night was that it was amazing!

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 oz Catoctin Creek Quarter Branch Apple Brandy
½ oz Fallen Bark Hickory Syrup
Aromatic and Blackstrap Molasses Bitters

Combine the rye and brandy in equal portions, add about half as much hickory syrup and a dash or two of the bitters.  Stir on ice and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.

Photo courtesy Christopher Wescott.  Recipe courtesy J.P. Featherston.  Both used with permission.


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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404

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Latest Events

Battle of the Bartenders!

  NOV 4   Battle of the Bartenders!  Northern Virginia's Ultimate Cocktail Competition! 6:00pm—9:00pm Back for it's second year!!  One night only!  Local bartenders will compete for the title of Northern Virginia's BEST bartender.  This a...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  NOV 16   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct one of our famous Bottling Workshops!  Here's your chance to volunteer and learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get...

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Jim Malcolm 2019 Tour

  NOV 17   From Scotland for his third visit - Jim Malcolm in Concert! 7:00pm—9:00pm We are delighted for the third visit from Jim Malcolm to Catoctin Creek! Jim Malcolm is the ultimate Scots troubadour...

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