Bourbon

America's Spirit

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In case you missed it, we’ve posted all of our Summer cooking dates and menus and you may have noticed that we are taking some time off this Summer. One week in each June, July, August we are not offering meals. One of those weeks is this coming week, although we will still be fulfilling all Gift Meal orders without interruption. This time we intend to spend with our families, celebrating milestones and making precious memories.

So, you may be wondering why there is a picture of a bottle of bourbon for this post...or maybe if you’re from Virginia you’re just wondering why there is a Kroger® sticker on a bottle of liquor. 😉 I know I talk about bourbon a lot. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I might have a drinking problem...I do but I don’t if you know what I mean. Because to me bourbon is more than just a super tasty beverage, it’s a tradition steeped in heritage and history with so many amazing stories to tell. Frankly, you just don’t get that from a bottle of SKYY® vodka, which is (fun fact) bottled at the Wild Turkey Bourbon® distillery we recently visited in Kentucky.

My husband and I have been fortunate enough to learn about the history of bourbon during our family visits to Kentucky, but if you don’t have a chance to do that, I highly recommend you take a relaxing evening to rent and watch the documentary Neat: The Story of Bourbon. We know several people involved with the film and it is truly a work of art. 

One person they follow in the film is a third-generation employee from Buffalo Trace Distillery®. Near the end of the film, he tells a story of how he and his father received a very rare and special bottle of Pappy®. He, his father, and his brother share a drink together and he puts the lid back on the bottle when his father stops him and asks him what he’s doing. He explains to his father that this was a very special bottle of bourbon and that they should save it. His father disagrees and tells him that that bottle was made to share and be enjoyed. They spend the rest of the night finishing the bottle, sharing stories they never knew and making lasting memories. Within a year both his father and brother had passed away and the memories he made that night he’d cherish forever.

When my husband and I recently celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary, my mother-in-law traveled from Kentucky to watch the kids. With Summer ahead and my stock of my favorite bourbon, Buffalo Trace®, running low I asked her to pick up a bottle for us. When they arrived, I threw the bottle in our suitcase without even looking at it. It wasn’t until I unpacked at the hotel that I noticed the label. It was a special “Honey Barrel” single barrel run of my favorite bourbon. So rare and special that, just like the story above, I likely would have stashed it away and saved it for some distant special occasion. But it was all that I had and for goodness sake, it was a special occasion. A 10 year wedding anniversary and the first time my husband and I had ever spent a night away from the kids. We spent the weekend eating, drinking, relaxing and exploring the quiet towns around the Rappahannock River. We finished over half that bottle and I don’t regret it.

The art, time and care put into making a bottle of bourbon is unmatched. Some of the most special bottles are aged so many years that the distillers that make them never get a chance to taste the finished product. Just like the love and relationships we form with others we encounter in our lifetime, each bottle has a story to tell and many will be shared while making lasting memories and celebrating special occasions. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love while also giving me the flexibility to spend time with my loved ones. We look forward to helping you Support one another this Summer. Cheers!

Growing Like Weeds

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Since this weekend was the first Spring-like weekend here in Richmond, I took a stroll to the back corner of our yard to assess the status of our backyard garden. It was a mess, as expected, but scattered throughout were healthy, delicious little mint sprigs laying their claim to various spots all over the garden like they always do.

I know mint can be a bit of a nuisance. I know people that try their hardest to kill and contain mint because it always seems takes over the other plants. But, I’ve decided I’m not going to fight the mint in my garden. I love mint, I use the mint that grows back there, and when life hands you enough mint after a long Spring Break trip to Kentucky...you make mint juleps!

Mint Julep with Fresh Mint Simple Syrup Recipe

I made the tastiest mint flavored simple syrup in minutes by bringing a cup of granulated sugar and 2 cups of cold water to a low boil with about 3 sprigs of roughly chopped mint. Once all of the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has started to boil, strain out the mint and let the syrup cool. Store the syrup in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. To make a mint julep fill a tall glass with crushed ice to nearly the top, pour equal parts bourbon and mint flavored simple syrup over the ice, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, relax and enjoy.

We have a lovely Spring lineup this week...until Thursday, that is, when the real party starts! Also, be sure to tune in to Virginia This Morning on CBS 6 this Friday as we help the Richmond Moms Blog promote their upcoming BLOOM event for Moms, by sharing some of our go-to baby shower recipes. Happy Spring everyone and thank you for your Support.