Belle Isle Moonshine

Replace your vodka with something better.

What's Your 'Shine? // Libra

What's Your 'Shine?Stephanie StantonComment
Don’t tip the scales.   Photos by  Joey Wharton .

Don’t tip the scales.

Photos by Joey Wharton.

Let the stars and Belle Isle Moonshine be your guides to cosmic cocktailling. Each month, our resident amateur astrologer (and Director of Marketing) Brandon Day gives you the transcendental tea based on your zodiac sign. We’ll also share a Sun sign-inspired cocktail recipe that will get you through your birthday season in one piece–no matter what retrogrades come your way.


LIBRA

The Scales of Justice // september 23 - october 23

“Hello, my beautiful Libras! Here’s the tea: Libra is ruled by the planet Venus. So Libra season brings about a period of deep love, contemplation, and pleasure. With Mercury transitioning from Virgo to Libra in the middle of the month, any drama you’ve had recently will be mended. Libra is a tactile and charismatic communicator, which will loosen up any tension you may have experienced this past month. The start of this season is highlighted by the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night are nearly balanced. Sexy, right? With the last of summer’s wind beneath your wings, now is the perfect time to start a project or to tweak our existing routines to flow a bit smoother. Use this fruitful and versatile energy to start the ground work for some larger goals.

While Libras are known for their astute sense of justice, it is important to avoid being overly critical during this time. There are many paths that lead to the same result, so don’t try to arbitrate what works best for others. Libra season also encourages us to revisit our calendars and assess our priorities. Use the theme of balance this season to gain a greater appreciation of our time and efforts. Take some time to appreciate the healing powers of art and beauty, even in our everyday surroundings. Make your bed. Buy yourself flowers. Wear bright colors. Okay, bye!”


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Brandon Day is the Director of Marketing at Belle Isle Moonshine. He has no actual astrology credentials, but he checks his Co-Star religiously.




Tip the Scales

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Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit

  • 1 oz. Lillet Blanc

  • 1 oz. Suze

  • Grapefruit twist garnish


    Preparation:

    Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled, then strain into a rocks glass over a big ice cube. Garnish with a grapefruit twist. 






Still thirsty?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Fall in Love with these Four New Autumn Cocktails

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
Get cozy with some ‘shine.    All photos by   Joey Wharton.

Get cozy with some ‘shine.

All photos by Joey Wharton.

It’s almost here! Monday, September 23rd marks the first day of fall, and we’re still over here in 90° temps waiting impatiently for sweater weather to kick in. Either way, fall doesn’t just mean hoodies, boots, and PSLs. It also means it’s time to swap those margaritas and daquiris for stiff, hearty cocktails that’ll keep you warm when those temps drop. Up your fall cocktail game with these four new favorites from your friends at Belle Isle Moonshine–guaranteed to make the transition to autumn’s cooler temps as painless (and delicious!) as possible.


happy fall solstice!

Looking for more Fall Cocktails?

Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Behind the Bar: Jackie Haynes // Bay Local

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
All photos by   Joey Wharton  .

All photos by Joey Wharton.

Although Bay Local is located along busy Laskin Road, just a few blocks from Virginia Beach’s tourist-laden oceanfront, its warm, eclectic interior and smiling staff make it a welcoming oasis for tourists and beach vistors alike. The cozy restaurant caters to a loyal breakfast and lunch crowd during the week, only opening its doors for dinner service Thursday through Saturday. While you might think such a brunch-centric establishment wouldn’t attract a huge bar crowd, Bar Manager Jackie Haynes welcomes this mix of hungry regulars and beach tourists alike with a warm smile and a strong bloody mary.

We recently chatted with Jackie about getting her start behind the bar, the joys of a chilled tequila shot, and the importance of getting to know your bar guests. Jackie also shared her the recipe (although she kept the housemade mix a secret!) for Bay Local’s Bloody Bay–a Honey Habanero bloody mary that’s sure to make your boozy brunch a little spicier..


First thing’s first, who are you?

My name is Jackie, and I’m bar manager at Bay Local on Laskin Road. I’ve been the bar manager here for almost two years now.


How long have you been bartending?

I just celebrated my birthday last week, which took me up one, so I’ve officially been bartending for 10 years now.

What first got you behind the bar?

I was originally a Hooters girl, and my managers there saw my interactions with customers and said, “as soon as you turn 21, we’re throwing you behind the bar.” I went out of town for my 21st birthday, and, I kid you not, the day I got back I was in bar training.

Any pro-tips for someone starting out behind the bar?

Fake it ‘til you make it. Nobody knows that you’re doing anything wrong back there except you. If you feel confused or if you’re going down in the weeds, just remember it’s not going to last all night. You’ll get out of it, and you’ll get by.

Favorite drink made by someone else?

I’m totally a beer and shot girl when I go out. I did go to this bar in Fort Lauderdale called The Rooftop, and I thought it was super cool that they had a “Make Your Own Old Fashioned” menu. You pick your whiskey, pick your bitters, then pick if you wanted it smoked or unsmoked at the end. I had never seen that anywhere before.


Favorite drink that you make?

I make a really good extra-dirty martini. For some reason, people dig it when I make it.

Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

Every time I go out, it’s a chilled shot of blanco tequila with a big, fat lime.


If you had to pick one cocktail ingredient to use for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

We make a homemade lavender sour mix here, and I’ve made a handful of cocktails with that. I know it’s probably not going into every drink, but it’s really good. I’d like to see it in every cocktail it can go into.

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What’s your favorite part about working at your bar?

It’s just the vibe. It’s such a small place, but we get a ton of tourists in here–plus the locals love us, too. It’s a really good mix of people, and I think that’s what I like most about it here.


Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

I live, like, a 30-minute drive from here, so I never get to do the “stop for a drink after work” thing. The place we go to the most down here after a crazy Sunday brunch is Shuckers by the Ocean Front. It’s a little local bar. I’ll run in there with the girls and drink a beer or whatever, then I’m on the way.

What makes Virginia Beach’s food & drink scene unique?

There are so many options for local seafood. Basically, any restaurant you walk into is serving you local food.

Give us your golden rule when it comes to bar etiquette.

I like to tell the bartenders to always interact with the guests when they’re sitting at your bar. When somebody sits at a bar, they’re expecting interaction. They know they’re going to have one-on-one time with the bartender, so don’t ever just take a food and drink order then leave. Get to know your customers, because that what creates your regulars and puts more money in your pocket.

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

I have truly become obsessed with the Belle Isle Blood Orange. I’ve started to put it in my crushes, and I’ll also chill some at home and sip on it.


bloody bay

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Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero

  • 4 oz. top-secret housemade Bay Local bloody mary mix (or your mix of choice)

  • garnish with bacon strips, olive, pepperoncini, gherkin pickle, and housemade spicy pickled green bean

Preparation:

Shake lightly and pour into Old Bay-rimmed pint glass.

want more behind the bar action?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Behind the Bar: Shane Morrison // Acacia

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
All photos by  Alyssa Allworth .

All photos by Alyssa Allworth.

You might miss Acacia if you weren’t paying attention. Located on Pittsburgh’s busy East Carson street, the cozy cocktail bar keeps a low profile with boarded-up windows and a small, nearly imperceptible sign. This hidden storefront may bring to mind an air of exclusivity or snobbery, much like the craze of fancy speakeasies that rose in popularity a few years back. Instead, Acacia manages to be welcoming and unpretentious while still serving some of the most best cocktails in the city.

Bar Manager Shane Morrison helps cultivate that approachable, “neighborhood haunt” atmosphere while creating cocktails that would impress any craft aficionado. With an expansive spirits selection (especially that mezcal shelf!), a variety of housemade potions and tinctures, warm welcomes, and a super intimate interior, Acacia takes all pretense out of the craft cocktail bar.

We recently spoke with Shane about his beginnings in the industry, his guilty pleasure drinks (hello, PBR Hard Coffee), and the burgeoning cocktail scene in Pittsburgh. He also shared two fantastic cocktail recipes using our Honey Habanero and 100 Proof moonshines.


First thing’s first, who are you?

My name is Shane Morrison, and I’m the bar manager at Acacia in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

How long have you been bartending?

I’ve been bartending for about 15 years.


What first got you behind the bar?

I liked the creativity aspect of it. I was serving at a place, and they offered me a job behind the bar. I had the opportunity to make more money–and money’s good–so I took the opportunity to get behind the bar and start making drinks.

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Any pro-tips for someone starting out behind the bar?

Absolutely. Be a sponge, and learn as much as you can. Get in with someone good who really knows what they’re doing. Walk before you run, and before you walk, crawl. Don’t overextend yourself by trying to get too fancy with things. Understand the fundamentals, the basics, the classics, and why they’re done a certain way, and why they’ve been done that way for 150, 200 years.

Favorite drink made by someone else?

My buddy Sean Enright has a tiki-style drink on the menu at Spork . It’s called Galeophobia–it’s Maggie’s Farm 50/50 dark rum, which is a local distillery, a little orgeat, citrus blend, and a toasted macadamia liqueur. It’s just absolutely fantastic. He serves it in a big shark glass. It’s a lot of fun to drink, and it’s really well put together.

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Favorite drink that you make?

That’s a loaded question. I think bartenders, in general, hate that question. People say all the time, “Make me what you drink.” Well, why would you want what I drink? My favorite drink is going to be the one that keeps you coming back. Whether it’s something rum-based, mezcal-based, moonshine-based, bourbon-based–I want you to have the experience. It’s not about me, behind the bar, what I drink. It’s more about what the guest wants at that particular time.


Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

I didn’t want to love it, but the PBR Hard Coffee is so delicious.

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If you had to pick one cocktail ingredient to use for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

It would have to be mezcal. I love mezcal. I love the diversity of it. The single village stuff and the boutique stuff–it’s all really unique, and it’s all really different. Every time I taste something new it gives me a new perspective on the spirit.

What’s your favorite part about working at your bar?

Honestly, the people who work here. I know that sounds cliché, but we have some really good people. We have a lot of fun here. The guests, definitely, as well. We have really great support from our regulars, as well as the local community.


What makes your bar unique?

I think it it’s approachable. We serve a high-end product in a comfortable atmosphere. We don’t compromise our standards, but we do it in a way that’s not pretentious.

Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

It depends on the night. Wednesdays I’ll definitely go to Tiki Lounge and have a guilty pleasure piña colada. Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill–Max is doing some really amazing tiki stuff up there. That guy is super talented. I love going to Spork to see Sean. Lorelei is doing some really great work here. Cecil is absolutely fantastic there as well.

What’s your take on today’s cocktail culture in your city?

It’s definitely exploded over the last decade. It’s hard because Pittsburgh is a small market. I think some people are getting a little ahead of themselves. There’s only so many people to work. Again, it’s the “walk before you run” thing. But all in all, Pittsburgh is really doing some great work. There are some really talented people here. We have a tight-knit community, and everybody is really supportive of each other. I think that’s the best aspect of it.

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Give us your golden rule when it comes to bar etiquette.

One thing I tell everyone here on staff is to greet the guest as soon as they come in the door. Say hi, and give them a warm greeting, because A) it makes them feel welcome and B) when you’re in the weeds and making eight or nine cocktails at the time, the fact that you’ve acknowledged the guest’s presence can buy you some time. They’ll be a little bit more patient with you that way.


What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

Coffee in my coffee. I also like the Honey Habanero, equal parts with some grapefruit and a pinch of salt. It’s like a spicy Salty Dog.


Zig-A-Zig Ah

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Roll (don’t strain) into a rocks glass and garnish with a mint sprig.




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Steal My Moonshine

StealMyMoonshine.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Belle Isle 100 Proof

  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice

  • ½ oz. rosemary syrup

  • 3 drops homemade black pepper tincture**

  • 6 drops homemade charred rosemary tincture

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Shake and double-strain into a coupe glass and garnish with 2 drops of charred rosemary tincture.


**Click here for tips on creating your own tinctures!

Want more Behind the Bar action?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Six Simple Cookout Cocktails for Labor Day Weekend

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
A solid “cheers” should be the most work you do all weekend.  All photos by     Kate Magee  .

A solid “cheers” should be the most work you do all weekend.

All photos by Kate Magee.

What makes the perfect Labor Day weekend cookout? Hot Dogs, sunshine, and having to do as little work as humanly possible. Your grill-centric cookout menu is packed with easy classics–and your beverage lineup should follow suit! Here at Belle Isle Moonshine, we fully believe that Labor Day Weekend means not having to lift a finger–or at least cocktail shaker. That’s why, from pour-out bottle cocktails to big batch crowd pleasers, we’re bringing you six low- maintenance refreshers perfect for your LDW backyard cookout. Or couch. Or whatever.


CHEERS TO LABOR DAY!


Want more stupid-easy cocktail recipes?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

What's Your 'Shine? // Virgo

What's Your 'Shine?Stephanie StantonComment
Sometimes Virgos need to be reminded to have some fun.   Photos by  Joey Wharton .

Sometimes Virgos need to be reminded to have some fun.

Photos by Joey Wharton.

Let the stars and Belle Isle Moonshine be your guides to cosmic cocktailling. Each month, our resident amateur astrologer (and Director of Marketing) Brandon Day gives you the transcendental tea based on your zodiac sign. We’ll also share a Sun sign-inspired cocktail recipe that will get you through your birthday season in one piece–no matter what retrogrades come your way.


virgo

The virgin // august 23 - september 22

“Hey Virgos - how are you feeling? As we move past the carefree days of summer, the transition into Virgo season revitalizes us in a new way. New opportunities are arising, and we rely on the power of Virgo to lead us to success. During this period, Mercury also transitions into Virgo, making our thoughts and style of communication much more analytical and detail-oriented. Most of the time, that’s a good thing. However, Virgos tend to get lost in the sauce, so try to keep some perspective and not get wound up so tight. Drink a smoothie. Eat a bagel. Live a little!

Virgo season also brings with it the end of Saturn retrograde, meaning an end to a period of karmic retribution. Although we’re all still stuck inside a simulation (obviously), things will start to feel back on track as the planet that rules boundaries, responsibilities, and authority takes its rightful seat in the sky. You need to trust that the universe will fall back into place. Refocus your energy and time towards nurturing yourself and your loved ones. They’ve both been missing you.”


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Brandon Day is the Director of Marketing at Belle Isle Moonshine. He has no actual astrology credentials, but he checks his Co-Star religiously. As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t listen to his advice–except about eating bagels.




run the world

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Ingredients:

 

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Shake and double-strain into a hurricane glass over fresh ice–or a cored pineapple if you’re feelin’ fancy!





Still thirsty?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Replace Your Vodka With These Five 'Shiny Substitutions

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
Vodka doesn’t stand a chance.

Vodka doesn’t stand a chance.

You’ve probably heard us tell you (perhaps sometimes a little too forcefully) to replace your vodka with Belle Isle Moonshine–but what does that actually mean? When we talk to customers at events or on Instagram, the top question we get is, “What exactly is moonshine?” We’ve met a lot of people who are initially hesitant to try our spirit, as it’s easy to envision a burly, bearded man offering up mason jars full of peach-flavored rocket fuel. Despite its cultural mythology, moonshine is actually just an un-aged corn spirit that’s distilled to a lower alcohol point than vodka or whiskey. While vodka and moonshine end up around the same 40% ABV mark, our spirit requires less added water to cut the alcohol content down. The result? Less burn, more flavor, and a cleaner finish.

Now that you have some base-level ‘shine knowledge, we’ll move on to another big question we get asked: “How do I use this stuff?” While we totally condone getting as creative as possible with your cocktail experiments, the key to creating a delicious moonshine drink is as simple as just replacing your vodka. Whether your go-to drink is a martini or a mule, here are five of our favorite recipes that show just how easy it is to swap ‘shine in your favorite vodka cocktails.


Martini

Whether you like it dirty or with a twist, a moonshine martini is always a good idea.

Whether you like it dirty or with a twist, a moonshine martini is always a good idea.

A classic martini is the perfect cocktail to showcase the differences between our spirit and a traditional vodka. Made up of only two or three ingredients, the martini can’t mask vodka’s burn. Our OG Black Label moonshine makes a killer martini, but try subbing 100 Proof for a little extra oomph!

Black Label Martini

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with olives, lemon twist, or any other garnish you'd like. Feel free to customize this recipe to make your ideal martini!


MOSCOW MULE

One mule to rule them all.

One mule to rule them all.

It’s no secret that a mule is one of our favorite drinks. Instead of pairing vodka with ginger beer, try your next mule with the sweet heat of our Honey Habanero ‘shine.

Spicy Mule

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a glass over ice, and garnish with a lime wedge


cosmopolitan

Your old standby gets a citrusy update.

Your old standby gets a citrusy update.

Ditch your old vodka-crans for something a little more elevated. Our bright, bold Blood Orange moonshine is a perfect spirit to revamp that tired Cosmopolitan.

BLOOD ORANGE COSMO

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. cranberry juice

  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist, or a dehydrated blood orange.


vodka soda

‘Shine + soda = as simple and tasty as you can get.

‘Shine + soda = as simple and tasty as you can get.

Our moonshine is so smooth and flavorful it shines (no pun intended) on its own or with the simple fizz of some soda water. While all of our products are great with soda, we’re partial to this version with Ruby Red Grapefruit.

ruby Spritz

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a glass over ice.


Bloody Mary

Our Spicy Moonshine Mary is the cure for whatever ails you.

Our Spicy Moonshine Mary is the cure for whatever ails you.

What makes your favorite hangover-relieving brunch drink even better? A jolt of sweet heat from our Honey Habanero moonshine, of course.

Spicy Moonshine Mary

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to glass with ice, tumble back and forth in mixing tin a few times. Garnish with peppers, olives, lemon, celery, and whatever else strikes your fancy. Add a few extra drops of hot sauce if you're feeling truly spicy! 

Want More Cocktail Ideas?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Behind the Bar: Mika Takahashi // High Note

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
All photos by   Andrew Thomas Lee   .

All photos by Andrew Thomas Lee.

Atlanta’s bustling bar scene is jam-packed with every type of watering hole one can imagine. From tiki bars to speakeasies to ritzy steakhouses, there’s no shortage of talented bartenders shaking up amazing cocktails in the ATL. This amount of stiff competition can make standing out in the crowd a tough task.

High Note Rooftop Bar, along with its bubbly bartender Mika Takahashi, stands above its peers–both literally and metaphorically. Located atop the trendy Moxy Hotel in Midtown Atlanta, High Note’s quirky interior and complex-yet-accessible cocktails make the cozy rooftop bar the perfect spot to enjoy Happy Hour high above the busy city streets.

We recently chatted with Mika about getting her foot in the industry’s door, the beauty of a stiff whisky cocktail, and the importance of service with a smile. Mika also shared the recipe for her mind-blowing Blood Orange cocktail, Revenge of Fortunato.


First thing’s first, who are you?

My name is Mika, and I’m a bartender at High Note Rooftop Bar. 


How long have you been bartending?

I’ve been bartending for about eight years now.


What first got you behind the bar?

I got a bartending school brochure, like, 10 years ago. I went for a week, and it was kind of fun. I’d always been in the industry, but I never thought of myself as being a bartender, so that class kind of changed everything. 


Any pro-tips for someone starting out behind the bar?

Be comfortable with jiggers. Oftentimes people think that using jiggers is kind of old school, but precise measurements to bartenders are really important. 

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Favorite drink made by someone else?

There’s a cocktail called Mudcrutch that was made by Jacob, the beverage manager here. It has a rye whiskey base, absinthe, banana liqueur, and Carpano vermouth. It was a very complex, tasty cocktail.


Favorite drink that you make?

I enjoy everything, but I like making Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Vieux Carres–the classics. 

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Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

I have a guilty pleasure for–do you remember Tequila Rose? Yeah, I love it. It tastes like a strawberry Yoo-hoo. 


If you had to pick one cocktail ingredient to use for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

It would be absinthe, for sure. I like that anise smell of it, and I like the history of it. If you add one or two drops to a cocktail, it changes completely. 


What’s your favorite part about working at your bar?

Since it’s on a rooftop, it feels like you’re in the fresh air. I like the open feeling of it. Plus, I’m surrounded by great coworkers. It’s an awesome group.

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Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

Right now, we go across the street to Foxtrot after work. It’s a great bar. The bartenders are amazing, and they do a lot of classic cocktails. And Tiki Tango next door is amazing, too. 

What’s your take on today’s cocktail culture in your city?

I think now it’s evolving. More and more restaurants are opening every month or so. Prohibition used to be the style, then Tiki was back, and now it’s kind of more versatile. It’s not just one style. Hopefully it will just get better and better. 

Give us your golden rule when it comes to bar etiquette.

I want to treat guests as I’d like to be treated. A warm welcome will melt the ice. 

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

I like the Blood Orange, but I love the Cold Brew!


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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Muddle one mint sprig in a shaker tin, then add all other ingredients except bitters to the tin with ice. Shake and strain into rocks glass. Pack with crushed ice, then top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Recipe courtesy of Mika Takahashi at High Note in Atlanta.

Photos by Andrew Thomas Lee.

Want more Behind the Bar?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

What's Your 'Shine? // Leo

What's Your 'Shine?Stephanie StantonComment
Roar, y’all.   Photos by  Joey Wharton .

Roar, y’all.

Photos by Joey Wharton.

Let the stars and Belle Isle Moonshine be your guides to cosmic cocktailling. Each month, our resident amateur astrologer (and Director of Marketing) Brandon Day gives you the transcendental tea based on your zodiac sign. We’ll also share a Sun sign-inspired cocktail recipe that will get you through your birthday season in one piece–no matter what retrogrades come your way.


LEO

The Lion // July 23 - August 22

Hewwo, fellow Leos! This season is about experiencing every passion to the fullest extent. Prepare yourself to take advantage of any opportunities for growth that come your way. With Mercury entering Leo, we become better storytellers and persuasive speakers, making it an ideal time to put yourself out there. So go kill it in that job interview! Pop off at karaoke night! Try out stand-up for the first time! Make your presence known!

This Leo season, your purpose is to teach people to embrace their inner strangeness without fear of rejection. As you continue to manifest positive energies over the next month, keep in mind how you disperse that energy out to other people. Consider the force you are in someone else’s life. Are you a bolt of lightning - beautiful, but dangerous and fleeting? Or are you the Sun - a constant source of warmth and life? Choose wisely. Your actions are ephemeral, but your impact is eternal.


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Brandon Day is the Director of Marketing at Belle Isle Moonshine. He has no actual astrology credentials, but he checks his Co-Star religiously. As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t listen to his advice–except about karaoke.




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I Ain’t Lion

Ingredients:

 

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a Collins glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.





Still thirsty?


Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Cool Your Summer Down with These Five Frozen Drinks

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
Make your vibe chill this summer–no matter how much you’re actually sweating.   All photos by  Joey Wharton.

Make your vibe chill this summer–no matter how much you’re actually sweating.

All photos by Joey Wharton.

In the wise words of Rob Thomas: “Man, it’s a hot one.” Now that it’s officially summer, things are getting pretty balmy here in Richmond. We like to think our everyday Go-To Drinks are pretty refreshing, but 90°+ weather calls for something extra chilly. We’re rounding up some of our new favorite frozen bevvies to help you beat those triple-digit temps and catch a decent buzz in the meantime. From a Honey Habanero-injected frosé to a frosty version of our Blood Orange Mule, let these tried-and-true chillers cool you down and turn you up.


Still thirsty?

Belle Isle Moonshine is a premium, handcrafted spirit proudly hailing from Richmond, Virginia.

We take the name Belle Isle from a small, 540-acre island located smack dab in the middle of the James River where Civil War soldiers used surplus corn rations to make moonshine in copper kettles.

Belle Isle Moonshine is distilled from 100% organic corn, grown by three family farms and responsibly sourced. Once triple-distilled, we charcoal filter Belle Isle four times over. Then, we cut it with purified water right from the James River. Our infusions are made with 100% real ingredients, never artificial flavors or color. We use real grapefruits sourced from Texas and California, local honey from the Shenandoah Valley, organic habaneros grown an hour away, and freshly roasted coffee beans from the most socially conscious roastery in Richmond, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.

From there, each bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine is filled, corked, labeled, and packed by hand by our Production team, who check each bottle and batch for quality assurance. Since Belle Isle is made in small batches, you can find the batch number handwritten in the bottom right corner of each bottle.

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.