Belle Isle Moonshine

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

The Field Guide: Carytown, Richmond

ConversationStephanie StantonComment

Every neighborhood has its own unique landscape, and the Belle Isle Moonshine team wants to help you navigate each of them. In our new Field Guide series, we're diving a little deeper into some of our favorite neighborhoods, showcasing a few of the businesses that help to make them unique with the help of some local influencers.

Our host in Richmond will be Shanna Battle, thrifting-maven and Content Creator-in-Chief of the style blog me and Minnie. With Shanna's help, we'll explore a few of Richmond's most notable 'hoods and the stores, bars, and restaurants that make them tick. First up: Carytown

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Richmond has so many little pockets that will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to someplace else, and Carytown is one of those places. It’s as if a small, quaint little town popped up in the middle of the city. No matter how many times you visit, you always manage to get lost in the charm it has to offer. It’s one of those really dope Instagram pictures that pops up when you’re searching hashtags for places to explore in a new town come to life. The streets are lined with cute little shops, small cafes to pop into for a slow cup of coffee and a croissant, local musicians playing live music on the street, and tasty places to eat or have a cocktail. This is the place you visit when you’re looking for a bit of a slower pace and want to get away from the hustle of your week. Carytown is the place where you re-discover old loves and stumble upon new ones.

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One of my oldest loves is Ashby. She and I met years ago, and I can never leave Carytown without stopping by to say "hi." I love getting lost searching the racks, looking for someone’s trash to make my treasure. In a matter of minutes, I find a dress and some sunglasses that will be coming home with me and a pair of shoes that I plan on coming back for later. I go to purchase my items, and not wanting to feel like I’ve missed any hidden gems, I still walk the store from end to end before leaving; stopping to smell the candles and soaps made by local artisans, admiring hand crafted jewelry, and slowly doing a final once over the racks.

As I leave my old love, I go in search of a new one. After walking half a block, I stumble upon Can Can Brasserie, a little touch of Paris in the middle of Carytown. When you walk through the glass doors, your eyes jump from the little mahogany booths to the Parisian tables next to an open window (a perfect spot for people-watching) to stained glass pillars, and then to the bar that seems as if it were carefully decorated with spirit bottles from all over the world.

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I take a seat at the bar, admiring the wall of spirits, and after a few moments Caleb asks me what I would like to drink. I asked him to recommend something, and he quickly whipped up a Suspended License or as he called it “The Ticket”!

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Caleb and I spark up a great conversation about this and that, and he gave me the recipe to the drink he made; which reminds me, I must get a bottle of Belle Isle Honey Habanero before my first party of the summer! The conversation was so great that before I knew it thirty minutes had passed. I realized I had to make my way back to reality, but I promised I would be back soon!

When out-of-towners ask me where they should visit, Carytown is always last on my list. You may be wondering why, especially after I’ve spoken nothing but amazing things about it. I want this to be the final impression on a visitor to ensure they keep coming back for more.


Post by Shanna Battle, founder of me and Minnie. Follow her on Instagram at @meeandminnie to get awesome thrifting, styling, and lifestyle tips!

All photos by Sandy Swagger Jones. She also has an awesome Instagram feed, which you should follow @sandyswaggerjones

Check back soon for more installments of The Field Guide!


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.

Wanna hear more of our story?

Behind the Bar: Marvin Allen // Carousel Bar & Lounge

Behind the BarBICS AdminComment
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Though every bar that we feature in our "Behind the Bar" series is amazing and special in its own way, it's rare that we come across an establishment that is truly one of a kind. It's also rare that we get to chat with a bartender who has more than two decades of expertise and has authored his own cocktail book, but we checked both off our list in America's Cocktail Capital -- New Orleans. Nestled in the heart of the beautiful, frenetic French Quarter, the historic Carousel Bar & Lounge at the Hotel Monteleone and its bar manager, Marvin Allen, provide patrons with excellent cocktails, award-winning service, and exceptional ambiance   -- all while slowly spinning. We spoke with Marvin about his time in the industry, his top bartending tips, and his deceptively boozy creation, the Belle Isle Refresher

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF…

I'm Marvin Allen, Head Bartender of Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. I have been bartending for about 25 years, and have been at the Carousel for 16 of those years.

What first got you Behind the Bar?

My original career choice was restaurant management, but after my last management position I was burned out.  I then made the choice to bartend temporarily and return to management after about a year. Once I discovered how much fun I was having bartending, I decided to make it a career. This was also around the time that the modern cocktail revolution was beginning. I developed a passion for bartending and creating cocktails.

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

Keep a positive attitude at all times.  Don't let the little things get to you. Keep on educating yourself.  Keep up on new trends and products.

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What's your favorite drink made by someone else?

My favorite cocktail made by someone else is the Sazerac.  Even though I make a great one, it's fun to have one made by someone else.

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Favorite drink that you make?

The Pisco Sour is the national cocktail of Peru, and Pisco itself is a spirit distilled from grapes that almost became extinct due to political unrest in Peru and the lack of knowledge in the United States.  The Pisco Sour was created by Victor Vaughen Morris in the early 1920's in Lima, Peru. It is made with fresh lime juice, egg white, simple syrup, and Pisco. It's a very light and refreshing cocktail.

Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

A frozen ice cream cocktail.

 

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

The one cocktail ingredient that is could not live without is good Scotch whisky.

What’s your favorite part about working at Carousel Bar?

My favorite part of working in the Carousel would be the interacting of the different types of people, their cultures, and where they come from.  The Carousel has become a destination bar, and it's great fun to educate our guests on the different cocktails of the city and have them experience a cocktail they may not get in their hometown. They also want the recipes so they can return home and recreate the cocktails.

Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

I like to stop for a cocktail anywhere I can sit outside and enjoy the peace and quiet.

What’s your take on today’s cocktail culture in New Orleans?

It's great, as we have everything from well-made cocktails to Hand Grenades, Hurricanes and Frozen Daiquiris. The return of the classic cocktails has been great, especially since the beginning of Tales of the Cocktail* which brought the classics back to life.

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

Always use a jigger when preparing cocktails, because it will make a great cocktail and will always be consistent.  One other thing to remember is the guest that comes in and orders a beer may come back and order one of the classics. Or, if you talk to that guest you may be able to suggest a cocktail, as he may not be educated or have the confidence to order something unknown to him.

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

Favorite way to drink Belle Isle is on the rocks.


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BELLE ISLE REFRESHER

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ oz. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee
  • ¼ oz. Frangelico
  • 3-4 drops   Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
  • ¼ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 3-4 oz. Half and Half
  • Garnish with coffee beans and chocolate syrup

Preparation:

Drizzle the chocolate syrup in a chilled martini glass. Combine the rest of the ingredients in an ice-filled Boston Shaker and shake until well chilled and frothy.  Strain into the chocolate syrup lined glass and top with three coffee beans and a dash of fresh grated nutmeg. Sit back and enjoy.  Tastes like a piece of the Italian pick me up, Tiramisou Cake!

Recipe by Marvin Allen.

All photos by Joey Wharton

 

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*The Belle Isle Team is so excited to be a part of this year's Tales of the Cocktail!

Join us for Distillé des Bons Temps - a poolside moonshine tasting and cocktail party at the Hotel Monteleone on Tuesday, July 17th! Bring your swimmies!


Cocktails on the brain?


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.

wanna hear more of our story?

Behind the Bar: Kimber Weissert // Butcher and the Rye

Behind the BarBICS AdminComment
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Smack dab in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh, Butcher and the Rye is serving up some of the best food Steel City has to offer.  Its two-time James Beard Semifinalist bar program (and its mind-boggling wall of nearly 700 whiskeys) is just as outstanding. We chatted with Kimber Weissert, the restaurant's Beverage Director, about her bartending philosophy, her drinking habits, and Pittsburgh's burgeoning cocktail scene. She'll also share her recipe for the dangerously delicious Pomelo en Fuego

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF…

I'm Kimber Weissert, Beverage Director for Butcher and the Rye, täkō, and Pork & Beans in Pittsburgh. 

How long have you been bartending?

I have been at Butcher and the Rye for a bit over a year and a half, and I have been bartending a little over 10 years.

What first got you Behind the Bar?

I was working in Cleveland, Ohio, as a talent buyer for a concert venue called Peabody’s. I’d always been interested in learning to bartend and told them I would love to help out sometime. My first night behind the bar happened quickly. About an hour before a sold out show, they taught me to make a Long Island, a Lake Erie (house shot), and a Washington Apple…and told me good luck. It was an insane night that somehow made me fall in love with the bar business.  I’ve come a long way since then.

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

Keep your eyes and ears open.  Learn from your fellow bartenders, and read! If you want to be a career bartender, continued learning is key. I learned so much on the job from other bartenders I worked with over the years, and some of them truly helped make me the bartender I am today.

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What's your favorite drink made by someone else?

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This is such a hard one! I’ll have to say a well-made Manhattan is one of my favorite drinks to get from a fellow bartender. It shows me their chops!

Favorite drink that you make?

I don’t have a favorite drink to make. I like making any drink that is going to make someone smile and enjoy.

 

Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

No guilty pleasures…I drink what I drink with no shame. Give me a PBR and a shot of Old Grand-Dad and I am a happy woman.

 

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

Whiskey – because there are so many options!

 

What’s your favorite part about working at Butcher and the Rye?

My favorite thing about working at Butcher and the Rye is my coworkers – they kick ass, plain and simple. We work hard, we have fun, we get mad at each other, but at the end of the night these are the people I see more than my family…and really are my second family. I love them!

Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

One of my favorite places to go to is Hidden Harbor. I am a sucker for an awesome Tiki drink, and they do it so well!

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

I think Pittsburgh has an amazing cocktail culture. There are many great mainstay bars and many more opening. We have great talent and an awesome, supportive community. We have a lot of creative bartenders that are starting to get some recognition in the cocktail world and I think you’re going to hear a lot more about the cocktail scene here in Pittsburgh over the next few years.

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

The golden rule for bartenders is to treat every guest like they are a guest in your home.

My philosophy behind the bar is simple. Make it fun! Guests should always feel welcome and never intimidated at the bar. When you work in front of a wall of almost 700 whiskies, which I do, the choices in front of someone new can be overwhelming. My goal is to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable to order what they enjoy, whether it be an awesome whiskey, a cosmo, or maybe even a Pomelo En Fuego. A night out for drinks should be fun!

 

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

A shot of the Cold Brew Coffee moonshine all by itself…it’s so good!


 

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Pomelo En Fuego

Ingredients:

  •  1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit
  •  ½  oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero
  •  ½  oz. Agave
  •  ¾ oz. Lime Juice
  •  4 dashes Bittermen’s Hellfire Shrub
  •  1 inch piece of cucumber cut into smaller pieces to muddle

Preparation:

Add agave, lime, and cucumber to shaker.  Muddle Cucumber. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and double strain into prepared rocks glass with a ribbon of cucumber spiraled along inside of glass and ice.  Garnish with pickled habanero.

 

Recipe by Kimber Weissert.

All photos by Joey Wharton


Need more cocktail inspo?


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.

Wanna hear more of our story?

Big Batch Cocktails that will take you through Memorial Day and Beyond

CocktailsBICS AdminComment
  Step 1: Prep the cocktails ahead of time. Step 2: Jump in pool.   Photo by Joey Wharton.

Step 1: Prep the cocktails ahead of time. Step 2: Jump in pool. Photo by Joey Wharton.

Memorial Day is right around the corner, which means a few things: 

  1. Pool season is almost here!
  2. Get ready to be outside, like, 90% of the time. 
  3. Our "work" to "play" ratio is about to skew way towards the latter. 

One way to harsh your summertime party vibes is to get stuck playing bartender all day. The Good Times Professionals here at Belle Isle Moonshine are here to help. We've compiled our favorite big batch party cocktails that you can make ahead of time, set out, and enjoy. These drinks really pack a punch (pun very intended), and they'll keep your guests happily satiated with minimal effort from you. Because, as we all know, good drinks, good friends, and relaxation is what summer is all about. 

 

Now that you have the tools you need to host the perfect outdoor party, get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Want more 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.

Want to hear more about our story?

Behind the Bar: Caitlin Patterson // Wahoo! Grill

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment

Throughout Belle Isle's three years of taking you Behind the Bar, we've showcased some of the best cocktail crafters, shot slingers, and bar personalities Virginia has to offer. Now that we're expanding our reach, we wanted to offer a glimpse into the bar scenes of our new markets. First up - Atlanta!

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Tucked away in Decatur, Georgia, right outside the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, is Wahoo! Grill, a beautiful neighborhood bistro surrounded by its own private garden and outdoor dining space. But beyond the amazing ambience and tasty food, Wahoo! Grill also offers an exquisite cocktail program that has something for every kind of drinker. Last month, we sat down with Caitlin Patterson, a bartender over at Wahoo! to learn more about the magic she mixes up behind the bar and taste her new, extremely refreshing Belle Isle cocktail.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF…

I'm Caitlin Patterson, a bartender at Wahoo! Grill.  

How long have you been bartending? What first got you behind the bar?

2 ½ years. I have always glamorized bartenders, so when the bar management team at Wahoo! offered to train me for an open position, I was all for it. I thought even if it didn't work out, I would gain drink and wine knowledge. I had been serving at the restaurant for a year, so I had the basics steps of service and food knowledge down.

I love people, drinks, and doing multiple things at once! After a handful of terrible shifts, it all clicked. I took a mental step back, looked at the entire bar and restaurant, as well as everyone's needs as a whole. Then I wanted to educate myself on cocktail history, winemaking, and how to better my bar service. The two bar managers had totally different styles of bartending, which really made me realize my strengths and weaknesses and how to make the shift my own.

What's one pro-tip for someone starting out behind the bar?

Come in with a good attitude, and be mindful of your guests. Learn to read them. Realize not everyone is at the bar for the same purpose, and you need to provide for those needs. Be one step ahead, and set yourself up to succeed confidently. And bring the hustle!

 

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What's your favorite drink made by someone else?

My bar manager, Reggie, made a drink called "Monkey Bite" after she was literally bitten by a monkey on a vacation. It was muddled sage, blueberries, lime, agave and juniper berry-infused mezcal! So delicious. 

Favorite drink that you make?

Definitely a tie between a few. Most of my drinks are created from one thought - sometimes not even a drink ingredient, but a name or a theme. This past October I came up with a drink based on edible glitter. "Black Magic" became a Halloween cocktail with black vodka, raspberry liquor, sour, edible glitter and apple syrup. After shaking and straining the glitter whirled around in the glass and was so fun.

My second favorite would be "Ray Kinsella," a drink that made our winter drink list, made with gin, lemon, cardamom, rosemary-infused agave, and aquafaba. Aquafaba is the juice and water from a can of chickpeas. It has the same foam effect as egg whites, but is so much easier to work with.

Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

I love bringing layered Jell-O shots to parties, holidays, and friends' houses on that random Tuesday. I don't care how old you are - they are fun and festive!

 Caitlin's creation: Tropic Thunder. 

Caitlin's creation: Tropic Thunder. 

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

Honey, as is and infused.

Tell us about Wahoo! Grill.

The guests that come to Wahoo! really make the bar. We have so many regulars that the bar team knows on such an elevated level. It's amazing. But Wahoo! is also a wedding venue and large party event space, so we are constantly having people from all over the country gather here for weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, and business meetings. I have gotten to meet so many different people from all walks of life.

Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

Poor Hendrix is a new neighborhood bar that is beautiful inside and out -  and there are so many cute dogs on the patio all the time! My favorite drink they created is called "Cowboy Butts Drive Me Nuts" - it's hazelnut liqueur, Cynar, High West Double Rye, and a few secrets.

What’s your take on today’s cocktail culture? What about the Atlanta scene makes it special?

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Some people do not think this is a respected professional occupation, which can be frustrating when you have a passion and drive for it. There are also so many types of bars, bartenders, and visions of the same drink, and none of them are right or wrong.

In 2012, I took a break from college and worked in four different National Parks in four years. I got to experience all corners and crevasses of the United States, as well as the bars. From saloon to tavern, pub or club, a sense of community and history is what ATL brings to the bar scene. 

 

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

Please, please, please have a good attitude! I know we have a hard job, but you are the one setting the mood for yourself, the shift, and the experience your guests have.

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

Honey Habanero Mule with lime! Any day, any season.

 


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Tropic Thunder

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine and shake all ingredients over shaved ice in stemless goblet.

 

All Photos by Kate Magee.

 

Want to go behind more bars?


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.

Wanna learn more about us?

Curated Wedding cocktails with Roberts and Co. Events // Part 1

Conversation, Belle Isle Explore Series, CocktailsBICS AdminComment

Want the bar at your wedding to offer something more interesting than light beer and watered-down rum and cokes? Your cocktail menu should make you feel as special as everything else on your wedding day, and Bryce Carson from Roberts and Co. Events is here to show you how to make that happen! With some help from the Good Times Experts here at Belle Isle Moonshine, you and your significant other can choose personalized cocktails that really say something about yourselves and your love. 

  Cocktails make the heart grow fonder.  All photos by   Alyse Michelle Images . 

Cocktails make the heart grow fonder. All photos by Alyse Michelle Images

In the seven years since I started planning weddings, they have become more lavish, more expensive, and more competitive. As couples jump into the planning process, they look to Pinterest, magazines, and past weddings they have been to for inspiration. This is where, as a wedding planner and designer, I step in and say, "stop"! I love these sources for inspiration, but if my couples cannot tell me how we can relate this to their personal story, then maybe we shouldn't do it.

  Belle Isle's cocktail curators, Erica and Von. 

Belle Isle's cocktail curators, Erica and Von. 

I believe in creating and designing a personalized experience for my clients. Your groom is from Western Pennsylvania? Awesome! Have a cookie table. Your bride spent her childhood in Scotland? Work some thistle into her bouquet. Weddings are about telling the story of your past and giving a hint to your future.

I am so happy I have been able to partner with Belle Isle Moonshine on creating one of a kind experiences for my clients. So often the bar menu at a wedding is overlooked. In the final months of planning, clients will run to the liquor store to buy a mix of spirits and hope they have enough. Well, now Belle Isle Moonshine is offering a program that lets clients personalize their bar menu with the same level of detail that went into designing their wedding cake and floral arrangements. 

Belle Isle Moonshine partners with wedding planners to bring in their clients for a private cocktail tasting. I brought in Adrian and Brian for a tasting for their upcoming Spring 2018 wedding. Erica and Von created six craft cocktails based on a survey of my clients' preferences, wedding theme, and unique requests (beer cocktails). The results were nothing short of perfection, and luckily the talented Alyse Michelle Images was there to capture the experience. 

 

  One of the big winners, the Pipeline Painkiller. 

One of the big winners, the Pipeline Painkiller. 

Adrian and Brian are fun, quirky, and looking to throw a wedding to be remembered. With funky centerpieces containing citrus fruits and a family-style BBQ and taco bar, they are looking to seamlessly blend their signature style across their entire wedding day. Adrian fell in love with the Pipeline Painkiller, a mix of Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee, pineapple, and citrus. This drink packs enough punch to liven up the dance floor, but also look stunning on her tables. Brian's choice, the Belle's Eye, will be the perfect compliment to the tacos and BBQ, mixing Belle Isle Black Label, Coors Light and ginger beer. 

 

The tasting process is so fun and easy. Adrian and Brian were able to start off by tasting each moonshine on its own and then moved to their six signature cocktail choices. Von showed us exactly how to present each cocktail, from the proper glassware to the perfect garnish. Erica provided us with a cocktail calculator to make the trip to grocery and liquor stores a breeze after getting final guest counts. 

 

With their signature cocktails selected, Adrian and Brian were able to check one more task off their wedding to-do list. Not only did they leave feeling accomplished, but they know they are going to have something their guests have never experienced before.

Stay tuned for Part ii in May to see it all come together, with another cocktail surprise for the couple's guests!  


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Bryce Carson is a Washington D.C. and Richmond-based wedding planner with Roberts & Co. Events.  He specializes in creating unique and personalized events tailored to each couple. Follow him on Instagram @brycetcarson, and follow Roberts and Co. @robertsandco


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.


Wanna learn more about us?

Erica's Easter Brunch Mimosa Bar

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Wanna host a killer brunch but not get stuck playing bartender all day? Celebrate Easter (or anything, really) with a tasty homemade meal and a Belle Isle Mimosa Bar! We called on our good friend and hostess with the mostest Erica Key, of the award-winning blog Eating with Erica, to show us how it's done!

 Don't forget to reward yourself with a mimosa, you party ninja!

Don't forget to reward yourself with a mimosa, you party ninja!

Can you believe Easter is less than two weeks away? The year is flying by, and I am over the moon to welcome Spring. If you are hosting Easter this year (or any spring gathering for that matter) and are looking for an eye-catching cocktail to keep your guests entertained with minimal work, this Belle Isle Mimosa Bar is for you. I absolutely LOVE mimosa bars. They are so simple to create, they are so tasty, and they leave your guests self-sufficient. Which means you can keep hosting without making cocktails every five minutes.

 

This year, my mimosas are stronger since I will be dealing with my family.  We're taking it to the next level with a shot of Belle Isle Black Label! To create the ultimate Belle Isle Mimosa, I added orange juice, champagne, and a shot of Belle Isle Black Label served in a Champagne flute with a strawberry. 

 Belle Isle + Cute Bunnies = WIN

Belle Isle + Cute Bunnies = WIN

When creating your mimosa bar, location is key. I chose a spot for my bar that wasn't in the way of where I was cooking and wouldn't make anyone else feel like they were in the way either. I set up about 8-10 glasses and added adorable bunny straws (purchased at the Dollar Store). I then purchased carafes for the juice. Typically orange is the standard for mimosas, but it's always okay to think outside the box. I wanted to give my guests some options, so I used pineapple juice and cranberry juice in addition to the orange juice.  You can also use raspberry lemonade or pomegranate juice. 

 

 Pro tip #1: Don't forget to pour one for yourself. 

Pro tip #1: Don't forget to pour one for yourself. 

I made sure to provide a Belle Isle ice bucket, since I wanted to make sure the champagne and Belle Isle Black Label were chilled at all times. I then purchased clear containers to place the fruit in. I used wine glasses, but you can also use clear glass bowls. I am a fanatic for berries, so the more berries the better. Berries are awesome garnishes, and who doesn't love a pretty mimosa?  I used strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  You can get really creative with garnishes! Other garnishes that would be great here are mint, different sugar rims, and oranges. To give my mimosa bar the full pizazz, I added Easter decor: egg baskets with eggs, egg-shaped candies, really cute napkins, and the bunny straws. 

No matter what your plans are this Easter make sure you have fun, enjoy your loved ones, and have a mimosa.

Cheers, friends! 

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How To Create Belle Isle Moonshine Mimosa Bar    

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       Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Strawberries
  • 1 Cup of Blueberries 
  • 1 Cup of Blackberries 
  • 1 Cup of Raspberries 
  • 1 Bottle of Champagne
  • 1 Bottle of Belle Isle 
  • Juice 
  • Orange Juice 
  • Pineapple Juice 
  • Cranberry Juice 

Directions 

Set up mimosa bar: Make sure to include glasses, Easter decor, carafes of juice, ice buckets, Belle Isle Black Label , and Champagne. 

Fill Champagne flutes half way with juice, add one shot of Belle Isle Black Label, and top off with Champagne. Garnish to your liking. 

 

 Berries on berries on berries.

Berries on berries on berries.

Recipes & post by Erica Key, editor-in-chief and founder of Eating with Erica.

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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.

Wanna learn more about us?

5 of Our Favorite Springtime Cocktails

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 Spring = punch season. Photo credit:  Joey   Wharton . 

Spring = punch season. Photo credit: Joey Wharton

It's finally March 20, which means one important thing: Happy Spring Equinox! That's right, Spring has officially sprung! Even though some parts of the country (like right here at our Richmond HQ) are still feeling a bit of a chill, the end of the ice is finally in sight. The days have already started getting longer, flowers are doing that whole "blooming" thing, and the sunshine has returned to bless us with some much needed Vitamin D.

Among the best parts of Spring's arrival, though, are the cocktail shakeups. Time to (temporarily) retire those old-fashioneds and negronis for lighter, brighter, more refreshing fare. From fruity and fresh to frothy and floral, let us show you how to make some of Belle Isle Moonshine's favorite spring cocktails, perfect for patio sipping, garden partying, brunch drinking, and beyond. Dust off that bottle of St. Germain and pick those sprouting herbs out of the ground. It's time to toast to Spring!

Want more cocktail ideas? We've got the hookup.


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.


Wanna learn more about us?

What Kind of St. Patrick's Day Drinker Are You?

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 Boost your bomb with a little caffeine!  All photos by  Joey Wharton .

Boost your bomb with a little caffeine!  All photos by Joey Wharton.

Even in the realm of booze-centric holiday celebrations, St. Patrick's Day gets a bad rap. Although it's technically a cultural and religious celebration commemorating the death date of Saint Patrick, the primary patron saint of Ireland, March 17 has devolved into an excuse for debauchery. The mere mention of the holiday can conjure memories of drinking lukewarm green Coors Lite, eating stale Irish soda bread, wading through drunken masses shouting over loud bagpipe music, and getting pinched for forgetting to wear green in elementary school.

Don't fret, my shamrock-loving compatriots! It doesn't have to be this way. Celebrate the luck of the Irish however you'd like with these four St. Patty's Day cocktail ideas for each type of leprechaun out there. Are you a green martini sipper, or more of a bomb enthusiast? Whether you'd prefer your Irish goodbyes to be inspired by Champagne or Guinness, Belle Isle's got you covered this St. Patrick's Day. 


The Traditionalist

You're into keeping it classic, and on St. Patrick's Day that means a sweet, frothy, bright green martini. The deceptively boozy Hop, Skip, and a Jig is our spin on an old-school Grasshopper cocktail, and it pretty much tastes like a boozy Shamrock Shake. Some may call you old fashioned, but If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


The Sophisticate

If you want to get in on the St. Patty's Day fun, and your tastes run a little more high brow that green beer, the Spicy Frenchman is right up your alley. The French liqueur Green Chartreuse lends a subdued green tint to this herbal sparkler, and the sparkling wine (use Champagne if you're truly fancy) makes it light and bubbly.


The Low-Maintenance Leprechaun

You're easy to please, and you don't need anything fancy to have a good time.  The Minty Mountain Hop is super simple - all you need is Belle Isle Ruby Red, lime juice, club soda, and Fee Brothers Mint Bitters. These bitters are the best! They add a bright pop of color, and the finished product is a citrusy, refreshing banger.


The Party Animal

Our Irish Breakfast Bomb needs little explanation. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee and Guinness is the perfect St. Patrick's Day combo. You know what to do: Drop it in and chug!

 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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.

Wanna Learn More?

Play Belle Isle's Oscars Tic-Tac-Toe Drinking Game!

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  Don't sit this awards season out just because you haven't seen  Phantom Thread !

 Don't sit this awards season out just because you haven't seen Phantom Thread!

Do you like getting tipsy with your friends but have no idea who Armie Hammer is? Have we got a drinking game for you!

The 90th annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. Do you have your party plans set? Whether your friends are full-blown cinema geeks or they can't tell Margot Robbie from Saoirse Ronan, everyone at your party will have a boozy good time with our Belle Isle Oscars Tic-Tac-Toe! Just click the board to download and print at home. Using this nominee list as a guide, just make your best (un)educated guesses for winners in the big six categories! Be sure to make good use of those free spaces with shots of your favorite Belle Isle product. Even if you get most of them wrong, you can still be a winner!

craving 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.

Wanna learn more?