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7 Spirits Made with Hops

7 Spirits Made with Hops


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An unlikely but trendy match

Recently, hopmania has seeped into the spirits market.

Darling ingredient of the craft beer movement, hops are actually flowers of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. Best known for the bold, bitter, and fruity flavors they impart to pale ales and IPAs, hops have a long history of cultivation, dating back to China and spreading to Europe in the eighth century. Originally, hops were used as a sleep aid and a relaxant, but as they moved west, they entered the brewing process to help reduce beer spoilage; they are a natural antibiotic. Brewers then discovered the happy side effect — that hops’ natural bitterness helped balance the sweetness of malts in the final beer.

Anyone who has been to a decent bar lately knows hoppy beers have become wildly popular, and numbers say IPAs are the best-selling style of craft beer in the country. Hops are so trendy that you can buy hops bumper stickers, novelty T-shirts, and even hops-scented soaps. However, the use of hops outside of the beer industry had so far been very small, limited mostly to obscure soft drinks in Sweden and Latin America, and occasionally in some varieties of kvass, which is a fermented beverage made from rye bread.

Recently, though, hopmania has seeped into the spirits market. A number of American distillers have started playing with hops’ distinctive flavor in their spirits. These liquors generally have what most would consider "hoppy characteristics," including a slightly bitter taste. From there, the whiskeys, vodkas, and gins can run the gamut of aromas and flavors, from floral and somewhat soapy to citrusy and spicy. And because of the proximity of hops to cannabis biologically (they are both from the Cannabacuae genus), some of the spirits even have a distinct marijuana flavor. Overall, this diversity of flavor through the addition of hops makes for a very exciting group of new booze to try.

Click through the slide show to check out seven hopped spirits worthy of buzz.

— Jen Kilius, The Drink Nation

More From The Drink Nation:

From Goats to Grains: An Interview with Golia Vodka's David Solomon
Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time
7 Spirits Made with Hops: An Unlikely but Trendy Match


13 Non-Alcoholic Spirits That'll Lift Your Mood&mdashWithout The Hangover

The beverage industry is making it easier than ever to pour a not-so-stiff one. Today, you can find a booze-free version of pretty much any spirit&mdashgin, whiskey, rum&mdashplus elixirs meant to lift your mood without the hangover that tends to follow. Whatever your reasons for not imbibing, drink in your options below.

Curious Elixir's drinks are made to be sipped right out of the bottle. The brand makes four blends&mdashall a mix of carbonated water, various juices, and some herbs and adaptogens. No. 1 has a bitter pomegranate taste (mixed with a little citrus) inspired by the Negroni. It's packed with golden root extract&mdashor rhodiola&mdashtoo, which is said to fight fatigue and boost your energy.

Want to try Nos. 2, 3, and 4? Curious Elixir offers a variety pack that can be delivered to you monthly (and canceled at any point).

Seedlip is on a mission to become "what to drink when you're not drinking." This bottle is a blend of distilled botanicals and extracts, all citrus-forward. You'll taste mandarin peel, blood orange, ginger, and lemongrass. Top it with tonic and an orange peel twist and you're set.

To make this Seedlip blend, the brand's founder took inspiration from a 1651 book called The Art of Distillation. It's a little cozier than the citrus bottle, with Jamaican allspice, cardamom, and earthy oak and cascarilla barks. There's a touch of bright citrus, too. Pair with any mixer that strikes your fancy.

Rounding out Seedlip's trio is this herbal concoction, which is what you'll reach for if you're a gin lover. It's a "floral celebration of the English countryside," with notes of sweet peas and hay. The herbs you'll taste are spearmint, rosemary, thyme, and hops. Mix it up to your liking, and bottom's up.


San Juan Island Distillery

We are three business partners: Rich Anderson and Suzy and Hawk Pingree. We all work together to make wonderful small batch ciders and spirits here on San Juan Island. We make 14 different gins (really!), several delicious liqueurs and flavored brandies, and our premium award-winning apple brandy, which won gold and best in class from the American Craft Spirits Association, as well as best in class from the American Distilling Institute in 2014.

We hope that you will join us for a tasting at the Distillery and Ciderworks, it’s a lot of fun and actually educational. We have a beautiful all-copper Adrian still that we are usually running during tastings. We are just under a mile from Roche Harbor Resort .

Our beautiful Adolf Adrian pot still is hand made in Germany, all hammered copper inside and out, and it is a joy to keep polished. We put 50 gallons of our Westcott Bay Cider into the still and heat it up very slowly to get the best quality apple eau de vie (fresh fruit distillate) we can. A typical 4 to 6 hour run produces about a couple of gallons of 78% ethanol (hearts). Most of this goes into old 59 gallon French Limousin oak barrels for aging.

Our dream is to make apple brandy and exceptional gins with Washington apples, many of which we grow and harvest in our orchard at Westcott Bay Cider.

The climate in the San Juan Islands is very similar to the climate in Normandy, where fine ciders, pommeaus (a barrel-aged mix of cider and Apple Eau de Vie)and Calvados are made. We are using techniques that those French farmers use for our production – distilling cider into eau de vie with a beautiful copper still and aging it in old French Limousin oak barrels, reconditioned with pommeau from our ciderworks.

Our micro batch, limited quantity spirits give us the ability to experiment and play with our flavors to maximize quality. We distribute our spirits locally to island stores, but they are not available outside the San Juan Islands, with a few exceptions (we distribute Spy Hop Gin and Harvest Select Gin to Esquin in Sodo, Total Wine in Bellevue, Northgate, Interbay and Lynnwood and Capco in West Seattle).

Come to San Juan Island to experience our tasting room, gorgeous views, exceptional climate, and the delicious spirits and ciders we produce.

We are doing limited tastings on Saturdays from 1 to 4. Come see us!

If you can’t make our regular open time, contact us to see if we are around working during the week. We can usually spend a few minutes with you and show you what we have. Best contact is text at 360 472 1532.


Makers Mark

This Recipe includes a blend of Bourbon Whiskey Essence and American Barrel Oak plus instructions. Simply add 40% spirit and oak age for 2 weeks. A brilliant clone of the Maker's Mark original.

Jack Daniels

We have spent months blending finessing and aging on barrel oak our superb Jack Daniels Bourbon Clone. we love it and so do our customers.

Ingredients……it’s a secret but let’s just say it contains charred American barrel oak, a mix of bourbon and whiskey plus a secret ingredient at the end to guarantee smoothness….plus instructions.

Wild Turkey

Our Wild Turkey recipe was not really developed by us although we would love to lay claim to it. One of our best and most enthusiastic distillers invented this one and when we tasted it for the first time …we were like…WOW. that tastes so good..…so it is just too good not to share.


The Best Non-Alcoholic Base Spirits

Monday’s elegant, bracing bitter and herbal balance make for a surprisingly capable gin substitute.

Subtle aromatics greet you first, with cucumber and juniper somewhere in the mix, but the long, semi-bitter finish is one of the best approximations for a London Dry gin you’ll find.

The beautiful, embossed, Art Deco-inspired label looks alluring on the shelf, too. Monday Zero works especially well in a NAgroni.

Ritual’s tequila alternative (like its gin and whiskey) has more heat than it does bitterness, a peppercorn finish that in the right cocktail perfectly mimics the burn of boozy tequilas.

The botanicals are still subtle, but Ritual is anything but subtle when it comes to that heat.

Try Ritual in a NA Mexican Mule, a bright, spicy sipper with a decent kick.


4. Rice: Kikori Whiskey ($50)

As a whiskey drinker, Kikori founder Ann Soh Woods started searching for “a more subtle and brighter tasting whiskey.” Unable to find something that satisfied her, she decided to create her own. Rice was a logical choice for her. While still technically a grain, it has a softer profile than cereal grains like wheat, rye and barley. “Rice is a staple of Japan and Asia, and I knew it could offer the aromatic flavor profile I was looking for,” says Woods. “I was seeking floral notes on the nose and a crisp, clean taste on the palate that would lend itself to being a base for a variety of cocktails.”

While rice whiskey is essentially aged shochu, no one in the U.S. is clamoring for shochu. Japanese whisky, on the other hand, is in high demand, and Kikori, made from Japanese-sourced rice, has made a solid showing.


Rushmore IPA (All-Grain)

Rushmore IPA is one of three Big Brew 2017 official recipes. To view all official recipes, or to find a Big Brew event near you, visit the Big Brew for National Homebrew Day webpage. You can also view the extract version of this homebrew recipe.

The following is an excerpt from John Palmer's newly updated book How to Brew:

"American IPA is all about hops typically American 'C' hops such as, Chinook, Centennial and Cascade, but also the new Pacific varieties from New Zealand and Australia with their tropical fruit aromas. The Rushmore IPA recipe below is a West Coast IPA with just enough caramel and Munich malt to add complexity."

Yield: 5 gallons (18.93 L)

Rushmore IPA is one of three Big Brew 2017 official recipes. To view all official recipes, or to find a Big Brew event near you, visit the Big Brew for National Homebrew Day webpage. You can also view the extract version of this homebrew recipe.

The following is an excerpt from John Palmer's newly updated book How to Brew:

"American IPA is all about hops typically American 'C' hops such as, Chinook, Centennial and Cascade, but also the new Pacific varieties from New Zealand and Australia with their tropical fruit aromas. The Rushmore IPA recipe below is a West Coast IPA with just enough caramel and Munich malt to add complexity."


Best Cherry: Woodford Reserve Spiced Cherry Bitters

Complements dark spirits of all kinds

Works best with dark spirits

Not only does Woodford Reserve make great bourbon, but it also makes incredible bitters. In particular, the spice cherry flavor is quite the hit. Inspired by the Woodford Reserve distillery and aged in real bourbon oak barrels, this premium bitters bottle complements dark spirits of all sorts. Add a couple of drops to your Manhattan, old-fashioned, or any other essential whiskey cocktail for first-rate spiced cherry flavor.

Size: 2 ounces | ABV: 45% | Ingredients: Alcohol, water, natural flavors (gentian root, cherry, spices)


SPIRITS

FREELAND GIN

Freeland Spirits Gin is small batch crafted using a unique blend of traditional heat distillation along with vacuum distillation, which allows us to use fresh, Pacific Northwest ingredients. Fresh herbal essences of rosemary, mint and crisp cucumber lift the nose. Grapefruit and lemon peel brighten the brisk juniper and bold spice. Pink peppercorn, coriander and star anise mingle with 10 additional dried botanicals in the copper pot still.

Finish: lingers with complexity

Taste: Layered spice balanced by freshness, strikingly smooth texture, rounded body

Aroma: Garden herbs, vibrant spice, citrus bursts, floral hints, spruce undertones

FREELAND BOURBON

Freeland Bourbon pays homage to the South, and to Grandma Freeland, the namesake of Freeland Spirits. Soft caramel, vanilla and spice dance into the whiskey from charred American oak barrels. A final rest in Oregon’s Elk Cove Pinot Noir barrels adds an element of Pacific Northwest terroir. Blended with precision by our Master Distiller, Molly Troupe, to achieve balanced texture and harmony of flavors.

Finish: long and velvety

Mash Bill: 70% corn, 20% rye, 10% malted barley

Taste: Rounded and smooth, soft caramel and baked berries layered with vanilla bean, cocoa and spice

Aroma: Toffee, marmalade, smoked pecan and clove

FREELAND GENEVA

Inspired by genever, the Dutch grandmother of gin, Freeland’s Geneva showcases Oregon grown rye with an array of sultry and savory botanicals. A rich grain backbone heightened by peaks of alluring spice and hints of Willamette Valley hazelnuts. Enjoy neat or stirred into a classic whiskey cocktail. Geneva is hand-crafted grain to glass in Portland, Oregon.

Aroma: fresh baked bread, grain forward with botanical lift

Taste: rich layered rye and buckwheat with undertones of hazelnut, juniper and spice


10 Award-Winning Home Brew Recipes

We asked the members of the New York City Homebrewers Guild, one of the nation's oldest home-brew clubs, to share some of the recipes that have been successful in competitions. We got back 10 killer concoctions representing a wide variety of beer styles and brewing methods. (Note: For definitions of some of the specialty jargon, check the glossary and tips at the end.)

Brewer: Phil Clarke Jr.
Style: Scottish wee-heavy
Competition results: Won first place in the strong ales category in the Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews (2001)

Extract recipe, 5-gallon batch size
Original gravity: 1.120
Final gravity: 1.030
Bitterness: 32 IBU
Alcohol by volume: 9.5 percent

15 pounds light dry malt extract
16 ounces 55-degree Lovibond crystal malt
4 ounces chocolate malt
4 ounces peat-smoked malt
2.25 ounces black malt
1 ounce Northern Brewer hops (10 percent AA), 60 minutes

Steep the grains in 1 gallon of 150-degree F water for 30 minutes. Sparge with 1 gallon of 150 F water. Add 1 gallon water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and the Dry Malt Extract. Bring to boil, stirring regularly. Add 1 ounce Northern Brewer hop pellets.

Boil for 60 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and cool. Add to fermenting bucket/carboy and top off to 5 gallons with cold water.

Fermentation: Aerate well and pitch two activator packs of Wyeast 1728 Scottish ale yeast. Aerate again 12 hours later. Let ferment at 60 F for two weeks. Let it sit at 60 F four more weeks. Prime with 1/2 cup of honey, dissolved in 1 cup of warm water. Bottle and sample after six weeks.

Judges' notes: "Ridiculously over the top and too big for style. More please!"

Brewer: Phil Clarke Jr.
Style: Extra special bitter
Competition results: Placed second in a combined category of English pale ales, German wheat and rye ales, and sour ales at the 2006 Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews

All-grain recipe, 5-gallon batch size
Original gravity: 1.052
Final gravity: 1.013
Bitterness: 44 IBU
Alcohol by volume: 5.1 percent

7.75 pounds British two-row pale malt
.45 pounds Carahell malt
.68 pounds Victory malt
.45 pounds flaked barley
.83 pounds 40-degree Lovibond caramel malt
1 ounce Northern Brewer hops (4.8 percent AA), 60 minutes
1 ounce Fuggle hops (4.8 percent AA), 10 minutes
1 ounce Fuggle hops (4.8 percent AA), 1 minute

Mash the grain (cracked) in 16 quarts of water at 150 degrees F for 60 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon gypsum to water. Sparge until wort reaches a gravity of 1.010 (about 6.5 to 7 gallons). Boil wort, stirring occasionally, until batch reaches a volume of 5.75 gallons. Add 1 ounce of Northern Brewer hop pellets and boil for 60 minutes, adding 1 ounce of Fuggle hops with 10 minutes left in the boil, and another with 1 minute left in the boil. Remove from heat and cool to 70 F.

Fermentation: Aerate well and pitch one activator pack of Wyeast 1084 Irish ale yeast. Let ferment at 70 F for one week. Rack to secondary and let sit at 70 F two more weeks. Prime with 7/8 cup of honey, dissolved in 1 cup of warm water. Bottle. Sample after six weeks.

Judges' notes: Strong malty backbone makes this beer stand out.

Brewers: Ray Girard and Lee Jacobson
Style: American pale ale
Competition results: First place in the American ale category at the 2010 Hudson Valley Homebrew Competition

All-grain recipe, 6-gallon batch size
Original gravity: 1.053
Final gravity: 1.013
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Alcohol by volume: 5.3 percent

9 pounds American two-row malt
1 pound wheat malt
1 pound crystal 40L malt
1 pound Munich malt
0.5 pound Victory malt

1 ounce Columbus hops (14 percent AA), 20 minutes
.5 ounces Amarillo hops (8.5 percent AA), 10 minutes
.5 ounces Centennial hops (10 percent AA), 10 minutes
1 ounce Columbus hops (14 percent AA), 5 minutes
1 ounce Centennial hops, 0 minutes (meaning add this at the same time the flame under the boiling wort is turned off)
1 ounce Amarillo hops, 0 minutes

Mash at 152 degrees F. Boil 60 minutes

Fermentation: Ferment at 68 F with Wyeast 1056. Let it drop clear, because the beer will be harsh until it does, as a lot of resins bind the yeast. Carbonate to 2.5 volumes. Drink while fresh.

Brewer's notes: This scored something ridiculous like 45 points (out of 50). It has a lot of hop flavor without a lot of bitterness it balances big hop flavor with big maltiness. No traditional bittering hops, all hop-bursted (large amounts of hops added late in the boil). It's probably more aggressive than a classic example, but very drinkable (if you like hops).

Brewers: Jacques Alcabes and Mathias Willner
Style: Rye saison with brettanomyces
Competition results: Third place in the Belgian specialty ale category of Homebrew Alley 6 (2012)

Partial-mash recipe, 5-gallon batch size
Original gravity: 1.065
Final gravity: 1.015
Bitterness: 31.5 IBU
Alcohol by volume: 6.7 percent

3 pounds rye malt
2.5 pounds Belgian pilsner malt
1 pound brown Belgian candi sugar
0.5 pounds CaraWheat Malt
3.5 pounds extra-light dry malt extract
0.75 ounces Chinook hops (14.1 percent AA), 50 minutes
1 ounce East Kent Golding hops (5.7 percent AA), 15 minutes
.5 ounces Chinook hops (14.1 percent AA), 2 minutes

2 vials of White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison I Ale
1 vial of White Labs WLP650 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis
2 packs (WLP565) in primary fermentation but no yeast starter. Rocked carboy. Yeast nutrient and whirlfloc tablet for last 10 minutes of the boil.
1 pack of WLP650 in secondary

Mash grains for 60 minutes at 150 degree F, and boil wort for 90 minutes.

Fermentation: Pitch two vials of White Labs WLP565 yeast, rock the fermenter to aerate, and ferment for 3 weeks before racking to secondary and adding Brettanomyces and 2 ounces of oak that have been soaking in rye whiskey for about a week. (Also dump in the rye.) Allow eight weeks for secondary fermentation before kegging or bottling.

Brewer's notes: The idea was to try to get something spicy and funky, as if you had licked the side of a horse stable for some reason, but it turned out to be cleaner than expected. The yeasts worked well together, and with the rye and oak no single flavor was too overpowering. Adding the brettanomyces after primary fermentation limited the funk to a more modest level. To me, this type of experimental beer is about two things. One, starting with a unique idea and an interesting flavor profile to develop. And two, balance&mdashmany of my beers that start as odd experiments come out way too strong in one aspect or another I don't really know any formula for this, though it's some combination of experience and luck.

Brewer: Zack Kinney
Style: American IPA with habañero
Competition results: First place in the spice, herb, or vegetable beer category of Hudson Valley Homebrewers 22nd Annual Competition (2012)

All-grain recipe, 5.25-gallon batch size
Original gravity: 1.068
Final gravity: 1.010
Bitterness: 82.3 IBU
Alcohol by volume: 7.7 percent

11 pounds Briess two-row malt
1 pound Briess White Wheat
1 pound Munich malt
1 pound Vienna malt
11 ounces Gambrinus Honey Malt
5 ounces Crystal 20L
.5 ounces Warrior hop pellets (17.2 percent AA)&mdashfirst wort, 60-plus minutes
1 ounce Centennial hop pellets (8.7 percent AA), 60 minutes
.5 ounces Warrior hop pellets (17.2 percent AA), 15 minutes
1 ounce Citra Hop pellets (13.4 percent AA), 5 minutes
1 ounce Warrior hop pellets (17.2 percent AA), 5 minutes
1 ounce Citra Hop pellets (13.4 percent AA), flameout
1 ounce Citra Hop pellets&mdashdry-hop, seven days
1 ounce Cascade hop pellets&mdashdry-hop, seven days
1 habañero chili pepper (Roast pepper for approximately 3 minutes over an open flame, just enough to get a bit of char on the outer skin. Then cut in half and soak in 46 ounces of vodka for 48 hours to sterilize. Add entire chili to secondary for seven days and reserve the vodka to blend back into the finished beer.)
3 vials of WLP001 California Ale

Mash for 60 minutes at 151 degrees F and mash out for 10 minutes at 168 F. Boil for 60 minutes. When yeasting, use a rocked carboy for about 5 minutes to oxygenate. Add 3 vials of yeast (no starter).

Fermentation: Primary fermentation for three weeks at 68 F. Cold-crash for two days. Rack to secondary and dry-hop/dry-habañero with 1 ounce Citra, 1 ounce Cascade, and 1 habañero chili pepper (pith, seeds, and all) for seven days. Cold-crash again for two days rack to keg and force-carbonate.

Water profile: NYC tap water and added 2 teaspoons gypsum (calcium sulfate) to mash.

Brewer's notes: I've brewed this recipe a few times (another version of this recipe placed first in the same category at the 6th Annual New England Regional Homebrew Competition) and am still tweaking certain elements of the base IPA, but the overall concept seems to be working: a solid malt backbone plus firm bitterness plus fresh American citrus/tropical hops plus habañero chili pepper flavor/heat. Dry hopping with the habañero didn't quite give me enough flavor or heat, which is why I added a measured amount of the infused vodka as well. However, it's important to taste the beer after secondary and while adding the vodka to make sure you don't overdo the heat. This beer goes great with BBQ or Mexican food.

Judges' notes: "Great American IPA with a good hops-to-pepper balance very good beer great heat on pepper can only drink a snifter at a time!!" "This is an awesome beer! Solid IPA backbone with the American hops, and the added unique citrus quality is beautiful. The balanced chili addition is exceptional. Please send me some!"


Watch the video: Τροπικά φρούτα στα Τέρτσα Βιάννου, Κρήτη (November 2022).