Belle Isle Moonshine

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Party Prepped: 'Shiny Thanksgiving Feast

'Shine SpotlightStephanie StantonComment
 Make your bird a little boozier this Thanksgiving.  All photos by  Joey Wharton .

Make your bird a little boozier this Thanksgiving.

All photos by Joey Wharton.

Here at Belle Isle Moonshine, we know how to mix a mean cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion. A little outside of our comfort zone, though? Preparing a full Thanksgiving dinner. That’s why we enlisted the help of our friend Scott Lewis, head chef at Laura Lee’s in Richmond, to help us out with a few recipes sure to satisfy your whole crazy family this Thanksgiving. Just like last year’s Cranberry Saucey Sauce courtesy of Chef Mike Ledesma, Scott’s menu packs a boozy punch. Because who hasn’t been eating Thanksgiving dinner and thought, “This gravy is good, but it would be better with some moonshine?” Grab yourself a bottle Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee and let’s get cooking!

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Cornish game hen

*Serving Size: Recipe for one hen. Serve one for each guest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cornish game hen

  • 1 tbsp. salt

  • 1 tbsp. black pepper

  • 1 tbsp. rosemary

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.

  • Mix salt, pepper, and rosemary in a small bowl and season hen with mixture.

  • Put hen in a screaming hot pan skin-side down, then (carefully!) pour in Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee to deglaze.

  • Place entire pan in oven for 6-8 minutes.

  • Let rest for 10 minutes before eating. Top with freshly chopped parsley.

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Buttermilk Biscuit Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 12 (already baked) biscuits

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage

  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

  • 2 cups butter

  • 4 tbsp. salt

  • 2 tbsp. pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 300° F. Chop biscuits into ¼ in. cubes, then place on a large sheet tray. Pour 1 cup of melted butter over biscuits.

  • Mix 1 tbsp. of pepper and 1 tbsp. salt in a small bowl, then spread evenly on sheet tray. Dehydrate in the oven until the biscuits are hard like croutons.

  • Sauté onion, celery, and carrots in 1 cup of butter until onions are translucent, then add mixture to biscuits.

  • Add chopped herbs, then put the whole mixture in a baking tray. Pour chicken stock on top.

  • Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes.

Red Eye Gravy

Ingredients:

  • ½ stick of butter or 2 oz. bacon fat

  • ½ cup flour

  • ½ cup Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee

  • 1 cup regular brewed coffee

  • splash of heavy cream

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • ½ cup cooked sausage (optional)

Preparation:

Heat fat or butter in a saucepan over medium heat until starting to brown a little. Add flour until brown, then add Belle Isle and regular coffee. Stir until thick, about 8 minutes. Add a splash of cream, salt and pepper to taste, and sausage if you’d like. If the mixture is too thin, cook down a little longer or add a little extra flour.

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Street Corn Pudding

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Heat cream and corn over medium heat in a sauce pot until corn is thawed.

  • Blend corn and cream until smooth. Add salt, pepper, and sugar as you blend.

  • As slowly as possible, whisk hot corn mixture into egg yolks.

  • Pour mixture into a 6” x 6” baking tray, then put tray into a water bath, then bake in the oven for 45 min. to 1 hour until firm.

  • Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and jalapeños.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. frozen corn

  • 4 cups heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp. salt

  • 1 tbsp. pepper

  • 10 egg yolks

  • 1 tbsp. sugar


Scott n Yoomi.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving from Scott, his adorable daughter Yoomi, and everyone on the Belle Isle team!

Need some cocktails to pair with this meal?


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 learn more about us?

Drinksgiving 2018: Cocktails for Each of Your Annoying Family Members

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
 This  Champagne Hunni  is the perfect match for your annoyingly fancy cousin.  All photos by  Kate Magee . All cocktail garnishes by  Dress the Drink.

This Champagne Hunni is the perfect match for your annoyingly fancy cousin.

All photos by Kate Magee. All cocktail garnishes by Dress the Drink.

It’s almost that time again. On one hand, Thanksgiving is the absolute best holiday. It’s the only day of the year during which you’re encouraged to gorge yourself on carbs and desserts, drink wine at 2 p.m., and fall into a tryptophan-induced coma before dusk. But there is something standing in the way of all this pure, unadulterated gluttony: your family. Sure, you love them–but how are you supposed to concentrate on getting the best stuffing-to-turkey ratio while they’re bombarding you with questions about your career, bad habits, or (worst of all) love life?

The bad news: you’ll never beat them. The good news: you can temporarily distract them with cocktails! We here at Belle Isle Moonshine have provided you with a guide to get your nosy relatives happily tipsy and out of your business before the turkey hits the table. You may have to play bartender, but, hey, at least you won’t have to field any political or personal questions!


For Your Mom

who won’t stop asking about your 401k

This sweet (and boozy!) little stunner will make your mom forget all about your finances and realize that just being together makes you rich enough…or whatever. But beware: give her one too many and she might to that weird dance she did back on Christmas 2008.

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Pear Necessities

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice. Shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.


For Your Sister

who really thinks you should try pilates and a raw diet

Who wants to talk about intermittent fasting and yoga retreats while you’re stuffing your face with turkey? Your health nut sister, apparently. This antioxidant-packed, juice-based cocktail may quench her appetite for nagging you to come to spin class with her.

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24-Carrot magic

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice. Shake and double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.


FOR YOUR UNCLE

Who WON’t stop baiting you into political fights

There’s no use arguing over who’s right or wrong (although he’s definitely wrong). Let’s find an easy compromise–like this awesome cocktail! Half cider, half mule, and 100% amazing, this drink doesn’t force anyone to choose sides.

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50/50 Mule

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Build in glass or mule mug over ice and enjoy!


For Your Grandma

Who just wants you to watch the damn parade

There’s no trickery involved for this one. Just whip up a few of these blood orange bloodies (I know–it sounds weird, but it works!) and go watch the damn parade with your grandma! Your grandma rules.

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Bloody Bloody

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Belle Isle Blood Orange

  • 4 oz. bloody mary mix (pick your favorite!)

Preparation:

Mix ingredients in glass over ice, then tumble back and forth in a shaker a few times.

Need more Thanksgiving help?


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 learn more about us?

BOO-hind the Bar: The Owl Bar // Baltimore

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
 The Owl Bar’s Bar Manager Joe Aldridge pours up some dark magic.   All photos by    Justin Tsucalas   .

The Owl Bar’s Bar Manager Joe Aldridge pours up some dark magic.

All photos by Justin Tsucalas.

The scariest things we typically encounter at bars are drunk, chatty old men and loud bachelorette parties. At The Owl Bar, located on the first floor the historic Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore, things are a bit more paranormal than your average neighborhood haunt. Opening in the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood in 1903, The Belvedere has longstanding history as a playground for the rich and famous–including at least 10 U.S. presidents and countless celebrities.

It’s no surprise that with over a century as Baltimore’s premiere venue, The Belvedere has more than a few ghost stories. When we’ve taken you Behind the Bar in the past, it’s to share the secrets of one of our favorite bartenders. In this special Halloween edition, we’re sharing the secrets of the bar itself–and this bar (and the hotel it inhabits) definitely has some secrets. Read on to hear two longstanding employees of the Belvedere Hotel and The Owl Bar share their firsthand otherworldly encounters in the historic building. We’re also sharing two of The Owl Bar’s new spooky cocktail recipes, courtesy of bar manager, Joe!

**If you’re in Baltimore, check out The Owl Bar’s Hollywood is Dead party on Saturday, October 27!


What’s your favorite Owl Bar/Belvedere Hotel ghost story?

Valerie (Belvedere Hotel employee): I have held many positions here at The Belvedere for the past 21 years, so I have many stories to tell. I was in the Grand Ballroom on the 12th floor getting set up for an event when I experienced the ballroom coming alive like it did in the movie The Shining. I could hear people starting to talk, and I could hear ice clinking in glasses as if drinks were being made. Then music started playing–but unlike the movie, I couldn't see any of it. I could only hear it.

One of my last big experiences was about two years ago when I was working on the 13th floor. I had gone down to the 12th floor to clean and lock up. I got off the elevator and heard the sound of women's high-heeled shoes walking on the wood floor. For some reason, I got a bad vibe from whoever’s spirit that was. I told others about it the next day. I said, “We usually have nice ghosts here, but that one last night? I don't think she was.” That night I was cleaning and locking up the 12th floor again. Before I came down, I texted my husband to ask what he wanted for dinner, so just before I was about to lock the doors I checked my phone to see if my husband texted me back. When I opened my phone, the letters were being pressed and a message came across my phone saying, “I am a beautiful person. I am a beautiful person. I am a beautiful person.”

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Jackie (General Manager, Owl Bar): I’ve been locking the restaurant doors at the end of the night (early morning) for more than seven years now–so I’ve seen a lot! My first encounter with a ghost was my very first month as the restaurant manager. It was myself and our bar manager at the time, Jeff, as we were doing some last minute cleaning before locking up. The TVs and the music were both off as we were about to leave. I was walking out of the kitchen, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a bright light in the corner up on the ceiling by the television followed by a huge SLAM! Jeff had his back turned to me as he was counting out his drawer and didn’t budge. I was shocked at what I had seen and heard, but I was more shocked that Jeff didn’t react to this god-awful noise. The hit was so hard that I swore it hit the floor and shattered it. The floor was in tact, the bright light I had spotted had disappeared, and Jeff was still counting his drawer as if nothing had happened. I was horrified and screamed for him to come from behind the bar. I explained what I had witnessed in detail. His response? “Sounds like you had your first ghost sighting here at The Belvedere.” Later on after we locked up, we reviewed the cameras, which show me crawling under the corner table to check the floors. I looked ridiculous!

What’s your favorite spooky room or floor in the Belvedere?

Jackie: The Grand Ballroom (12th floor). Rumor has it that a Baltimore woman in the 1920s caught her husband dancing with his mistress in the Grand Ballroom and shot him dead. His ghost, it is rumored, still haunts the ballrooms of the 12th floor, but it only bothers women. Once in a while, people who work up there swear that glasses fall to the floor and break with nobody nearby, or they put something down and a little while later it would be somewhere else.

Happy Halloween, y’all!


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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Blood Orange

  • ¾ oz. Sour Apple liqueur

  • ¾ oz. Melon liqueur

  • 4 oz. lemonade

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

 
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Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ oz. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee

  • ¾ oz. Jägermeister Manifest

  • 1 oz. Tyku Coconut Sake

  • ¾ oz. egg white

  • ¾ oz. coconut syrup

  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain out ice, then dry shake for 15 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass.

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Recipes by Joe Aldridge,

Bar Manager


Craving more creepy 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.

Want to hear more about us?

Spooky & 'Shiny: Five Frightening Halloween Cocktails

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
 It’s alive!  All photos by  Joey Wharton .

It’s alive!

All photos by Joey Wharton.

Want to plan a spook-tacular Halloween celebration but feel like Oct. 31st is creeping up on you? Don’t be scared, guys and ghouls! The Good Times Experts here at Belle Isle Moonshine have some frighteningly good cocktail ideas that are sure to bewitch even your pickiest visitor. From creepy spins on the classic cocktails to 90’s TV-inspired bright orange highballs, let us help you plan the perfect cocktail party menu to slay your friends this holiday season.



Happy Halloween, ya freaks!

punch1.jpg

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.

Want to hear more about Belle Isle?

Behind the Bar: Joshua Le // The HofGarden

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
180925_BelleIsle_Hof_013.jpg

Some venues just can’t be tied down to one concept. With three stories, a rooftop bar, a music venue, and a private event space, The HofGarden has room to cater to almost any crowd. Located in Richmond’s brewery-saturated Scott’s Addition neighborhood, The HofGarden is primarily a German-style biergarten–albeit one that serves some amazing pizza and stellar cocktails. The latter is due partially to bartender Joshua Le, an industry veteran who knows a thing or two about shaking a cocktail. We recently chatted with Joshua about his favorite guilty pleasure cocktail (hint: it’s frozen and fruity), his favorite places in Richmond, and his #1 way to annoy a bartender. Scroll down to read all about it, plus get the recipe for Sun-Kissed, a cocktail featured in our upcoming addition of The Moonshine Book.


First thing’s first, who are you?

I’m Joshua Le, bartender (and babysitter) at the The HofGarden. I’ve been at the Hof on and off for three years and back full-time since early 2018.

What first got you behind the bar?

I’m like a bar fly: the booze.


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

Focus on the customer and operating the bar you’re behind as efficiently as possible. The cocktails will come to you as you go.

Favorite drink made by someone else?

I never know the names of the drinks, and honestly, I don’t think the person making them for me ever knows the name either. I like trying something new and different, so I always have the latest cocktail they’ve been working on or their favorite.

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Favorite drink that you make?

I call it “The Equalizer”–gin, lemon, simple syrup, mint, and Peychaud’s. It’s light, refreshing, boozy, and it’s served in my favorite glass–the coupe.

Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

Miami Vice. You can look, though. I don't mind.


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

Belle Isle, duh.

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

There's always something different going on here. We have a lot of space to work with, so we have live music, DJs, fashion shows, weddings, spoken word events, and, one time, an amateur wrestling match. So there’s always something to keep you on your toes.

What makes your bar unique?

The Hof has a unique culture that I've never seen in any bar I've worked at. This place is always growing, and they really support employee growth–if it's restaurant related or not. They really invest in the best interest of their staff.


Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

Sticky Rice is and has been one of my favorite bars ever. Always a great crowd, and if I had my own joint, I would hire any one of their exceptional bar staff. Always polite, personable,  and quick.


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

The craft cocktail scene in Richmond is growing right along with the city. Richmond has grown exponentially in the last five years, and people are taking note. I think we have more breweries than Starbucks, and new restaurants are constantly opening giving plenty of opportunities to those passionate about craft cocktails. It’s an exciting time to be here, and anybody serious about craft cocktails should consider Richmond as a great place to make a name for themselves.


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

I don’t care if you’re a bartender, so don’t tell me.

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

With [Belle Isle Key Account Manager] Ashley Grant. If she’s not available, I do enjoy a Belle Isle Cold Brew Negroni.


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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. vanilla bean-infused Belle Isle Black Label

  • 1 oz. pineapple juice

  • ½ oz. sunflower seed orgeat

  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 egg white


    Preparation:

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain out ice, then dry shake for 15 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with vanilla bean paste.

**Recipe by Bobby Kruger of The HofGarden.

All photos by Kate Magee.

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.

Wanna know more about us?

Behind the Bar: Tony Hairston // Wong Gonzalez

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
BICS-BTB-WongGonzalez-16.jpg

Located in the hustle and bustle of downtown Richmond, Virginia, Wong Gonzalez is definitely one-of-a-kind in the River City. Not only is the space bright and beautiful, but it’s the only place in town you can find Mexinese food. Although it’s a newer addition to the prolific EAT Restaurant Partners group, Wong Gonzalez sets itself apart from the pack with a delicious Chinese-Mexican fusion menu, a killer Happy Hour, and a selfie-inducing bathroom. Thanks to Bar Manager Tony Hairston, the cocktail menu is just as unique. With drinks like Baby One More Time and Boujie-Vardier, the cocktail list at Wong Gonzalez is just as playful as the kitschy, Old Hollywood interior. We recently chatted with Tony about his favorite drinks, his bartender beginnings, and his amazing Belle Isle cocktail on draft (!!!). Read on to get that recipe, plus another one: the spicy, smoky Strut.


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF…


I’m Anthony “Tony” Hairston, Bar Manager at Wong Gonzalez. I’ve been bartending at Wong Gonzalez for a little over two years, but in general for about six years.


What first got you behind the bar?

I was serving at the time, and one of my friends who was the bar manager just kept encouraging–as well as nagging–me to work behind the bar. One day I just said, “Fine! I’ll give it a try,” and that’s all she wrote.


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

Someone once told me when starting out bartending that a good thing to do is go to other bars. Check out how it’s run and learn from watching other bartenders’ techniques, such as how they stir a cocktail or shake a drink.


Favorite drink made by someone else?

I think maybe a Strawberry-Mint Mojito topped of with a little bit of Champagne.

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Favorite drink that you make?

Currently on our menu we have a Sorry Not Sorry cocktail (#SNS) that I think is pretty delicious. It’s made with peach vodka, blackberry-peach syrup, lemon, tea, and ginger beer. My second-favorite is our Saint Amy–jalapeño-infused tequila, elderflower, pineapple, lemon, and lime.


Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

Tequila! It’s my go-to, as most people know.


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

Honestly, any of the Belle Isle Moonshine spirits. They always work well when creating cocktails!

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

What’s not to love about Wong? It’s beautiful inside. We have really good food. Our Happy Hour is pretty awesome, and we have it everyday we are open–including Saturday and Sunday! We are located in a great area, so we get a mixture of guests that come in, from business people getting off work trying to catch happy hour to a group of ladies having dinner before going to see a show at one of the venues nearby, to a late night pop of people coming in right after partying at a wedding reception. I do think the number one best thing about working at Wong is family. Not only is the staff some of the best people I have worked with and grow with, but EAT Restaurant Partners itself is probably one of the best companies to work for!

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What makes your bar unique?

I think the visual aspect of the bar does attract a lot of people. We also pride ourselves on having a great amount of different spirits–especially tequila, vodka, and bourbon! Our bar is a place where you can come by yourself and not have to worry, or meet up with a group and not feel pressured or rushed. And again, you can’t beat the Happy Hour!


Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

I’ve been hanging out in the Fan and Carytown areas. Some places I like going are The Jasper, Weezie’s, Buddy’s Place, and Babe’s of Carytown, just to name a few.

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

I like the trend of how cocktails are being made today. I feel like more people and restaurants are becoming innovative with cocktails, which makes it exciting to try something new. When I first started, a “complicated” drink was a Long Island. Over the years, I have been able to learn and grow as a bartender, and explore new methods of creating cocktails. It’s fun to learn not only what’s in a cocktail, but the reason why it’s made a certain way.

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

Wow, a loaded question! There are so many. I guess for guests: waving money around yelling “Yo, bartender!” while there are a plethora of other guests before you is not going to get you a drink any faster than the rest of them!


What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

I like the Belle Isle Black Label, Honey Habanero, or Ruby Red Grapefruit with some freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice and some simple syrup. Something very easy to make, yet refreshing.



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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit

  • ¾ oz. Aperol

  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice

  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice

  • ½ oz. Honey Syrup

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice.




**Featured on tap at Wong Gonzalez!


BICS-BTB-WongGonzalez-28.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero

  • ¾ oz. honey-ginger syrup

  • ½ oz. carrot juice

  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice

  • 3 dashes orange bitters

  • Spritz of mezcal

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over a big ice cube. Spritz with mezcal.




Recipes by Tony Hairston.

Photos by Joey Wharton.

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.

Wanna know more about our story?

Behind the Bar: Bobby Jones // Wayward Smokehouse

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
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Walk down nearly any street in the bustling Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore and you’ll notice it’s lined with busy bars and restaurants. You’d be hard-pressed to leave this neighborhood hungry (or sober), creating some stiff competition for newer venues. Wayward Smokehouse, which opened its doors in 2016, separates itself from the pack by providing patrons with decadent, delicious Southern food (um, hello Pimento Crab Mac & Cheese) and simple-yet-solid cocktails. We chatted with General Manager Bobby Jones about getting his start in the business on a whim, his love for rum and bubbly pink wine, and his golden rule for bartenders and patrons alike. He’ll also share his recipes for two amazing Belle Isle cocktails, Stawbanero and Spiked Chocolate Milk! Read on for all of this, plus a peek at Bobby’s adorable pooch, Remy.


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF…

I’m Bobby Jones, the General Manager at Wayward Smokehouse in Baltimore. I’ve been bartending for 10 years, and General Manager at Wayward for two and a half years.


What first got you behind the bar?

I was working as a fry cook during the day at my old job. The owner owned a cruise ship in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. About 15 minutes before I was getting off, he asked me what I was doing that night. I said “Nothing, why?” He handed me a $50 bill and said, “Go to Old Navy. Get yourself a polo and a pair of shorts. Go to Barnes and Noble and pick up a bartending book. Save the rest for tolls, parking, and gas.” The rest is history.


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

You have two hands. Use them.


Favorite drink made by someone else?

Hinkle. Named after an Ocean City Legend. Bacardi Limón, iced tea, splash of cranberry, and sweetener.


Favorite drink that you make?

Captain’s Crush: Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, triple sec, fresh-squeezed OJ, splash of Sprite. It, surprisingly, tastes like a creamsicle without tasting like fake imitation vanilla.


Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

Bubbly rosé. All day


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

Dark rum. With soda water and neutral mixers, it carries a whiskey taste. With juices and aromatics, it’s always refreshing and tropical. With ginger beer, it’s a favorite one-plus-one drink.


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

I’ve worked both “front of the house” and “back of the house,” so I have a lot of war stories. But connecting the FOH and BOH together is always fun to me. I love talking to people about food, beers that go with the food, cocktails, and just connecting with people, in general.


What makes your bar unique?

We have a custom table that is made from reclaimed wood from around Baltimore. It has a custom concrete trough that we fill with ice so people can put their beers in. Above it is a light fixture that is made from an old railroad tie from the B&O Railroad Museum. It’s the first table when you walk in the building, so it’s always a “wow” factor.

 Sorry, no ‘shine for you, Remy.

Sorry, no ‘shine for you, Remy.



Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

Thames Street Oyster House. It’s one of the only bars in the city that has Narragansett. ‘Gansett is one of the my favorite beers, and their raw bar is phenomenal.


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

Baltimore is fickle. It’s referred to as “Small-timore” frequently, and everyone knows everyone. People are so set in their ways, whether it’s finding craft beer and cocktails or drinking Bud Light and Jack Daniels. So being somewhere in the middle is crucial.



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

Be nice. You don’t know how someone’s day has been. It goes for both sides of the bar.


What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

Cold Brew Coffee White Russian is a guilty pleasure of mine.


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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero

  • ¾ oz. lime juice

  • 1 oz. strawberry pureé

  • 1 egg white

  • Tajín rim

Preparation:

Rim glass with Tajín. Add all ingredients except egg white to a shaker tin over ice. Shake and strain in coupe glass. Dry shake egg white until frothy, then layer on cocktail.




Spiked Chocolate Milk

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee

  • 4 oz. house-made chocolate milk

  • topped with bourbon whipped cream**

Preparation:

Chill first two ingredients separately, then combine them in a mixing glass. Stir lightly, then pour into a highball glass. Top with a dollop of bourbon whipped cream.

**In a mixing bowl, hand-whip one cup of chilled heavy cream with one tablespoon of powdered sugar until fluffy peaks appear. Slowly add in one tablespoon of bourbon.

All photos by Joey Wharton.

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.

Want to learn more about Belle Isle?

'Shine Spotlight : Deanie’s Sea Food Kitchen // New Orleans

'Shine SpotlightStephanie StantonComment
 All photos by  Maggie DeWitt .

All photos by Maggie DeWitt.

We here at Belle Isle Moonshine have a lot of amazing friends and restaurant partners all over the country, and we want everyone to love them as much as we do. In our new journal series, ‘Shine Spotlight, we’re showcasing the people (and cocktails!) that make these places so great! First up: Deanie’s Sea Food Kitchen in New Orleans!


With more than 50 years as a New Orleans institution, Deanie’s is no spring chicken. For the past five decades, Deanie’s has been serving up some of the best seafood in a town known for world-class seafood. Owner and General Manager Chandra Chifici-Scarber, whose family has owned Deanie’s for 36 years, says the restaurants aim to be a welcoming place where everyone feels like family.

“We make it a point to always have at least one of us from the family at each location on a daily basis,” Chifici-Scarber explains. “We believe that when people come in to see us, they are dining at our family table.”

Deanie’s opened its newest location on bustling Magazine Street back in June, bringing the Garden District some serious Cajun cuisine – and equally impressive Belle Isle cocktails! If you’re in The Big Easy, head to the new Deanie’s and let bartender Eric whip you up something from their Belle Isle featured cocktail menu!

Check out the recipe for the Deanie’s Ruby Spritzer below!


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RUBY SPRITZER

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit

  • 3 ½ oz. dry rosé

  • ½ oz. elderflower liqueur

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain into a martini or wine glass.


Want more 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.

Want to learn more about us?

Four Cocktails to Cozy Up with this Fall

CocktailsStephanie StantonComment
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It may still be dangerously close to 100˚ in many parts of the country, but that's not going to stop us from declaring it "officially fall." With September settling in, it's time to swap those light, citrusy drinks for deeper,  more warming fare. And yes, you need to have at least one Pumpkin Spiced beverage ASAP. From our take on an autumn-influenced mule to the iconic (and totally non-basic) boozy PSL, get ready to grab a jacket and settle in for fall with these four festive cocktails. 

Want more 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.

Wanna know more about us?

Behind the Bar: Sarah Prestridge // The Pine Food & Drink

Behind the BarStephanie StantonComment
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College town bars aren't usually well-known for their craft cocktails and inspired cuisine. Though located less than a mile from University of Georgia's campus, The Pine Food & Drink and its downstairs tavern The Root Basement Bar serve up more than your standard college fare. The Pine & The Root provide Athens residents (and students) with some of the most traditional, elevated Southern food in town. With Sarah Prestridge in charge of the bar, the cocktail menu is just as impressive. After nearly a decade tending bar, Sarah knows how to make an innovative, balanced cocktail that will impress anyone from 21 to 81. We chatted with Sarah to learn her secrets to creating the perfect cocktail, her #1 tip for bar guests, and the recipe for her bright, peppery Spiced Rose Coupe


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF…

My name is Sarah Prestridge, and I’m the bar manager at The Pine Food & Drink and The Root Basement Bar in Athens, Georgia. I’ve been bartending for nine years, three of which have been at my current position.

What first got you behind the bar?

I actually stumbled into the service industry. I spontaneously moved to the beach one summer without a plan or a job. When I got there, I applied to work at an oyster bar and I started working the very next day. I learned how to wait tables, bartend, and shuck oysters in the same summer!

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

Connect with your customers, and remember your regulars.

Favorite drink made by someone else?

Jim Joy at Café Thirty-A in Seagrove Beach, Fl. makes the best Manhattan I have ever had.

Favorite drink that you make?

If I’m not creating my own recipes, I love making classic cocktails. They’re classic for a reason!

Favorite thing to drink when no one’s looking?

I’m a sucker for a fresh, made-from-scratch Piña Colada, but it wouldn’t be complete without a tiny umbrella.

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

Lavender.

 

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

I love the atmosphere and the close-knit neighborhood feel. New customers almost always turn into regulars.  

Where do you like to stop in for a drink?

Normal Bar.

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

I like that today’s culture is craft-focused. Cocktails are centered around fresh and fun ingredients that give you a sense of the bartender who made it.

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

For guests: Learn your bartender’s name and use it when trying to get their attention. Otherwise, choose a polite alternative. Never snap, whistle, or bang your glass on the bar.

What’s your favorite way to drink Belle Isle?

I like to drink Belle Isle neat or on the rocks. The natural flavors and subtle complexities really come through when you enjoy a spirit by itself. The subtle warmth and vegetal notes of Belle Isle Honey Habanero inspired me to bring in bright citrus and pink peppercorns to my cocktail.

 


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Ingredients:

● 2 oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero

● ¾ oz. lemon juice

● 1 oz. pink peppercorn simple syrup

● 2 dashes of lemon bitters

Preparation:

Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, strain, and garnish with ground pink peppercorns, a rose petal, and rose water spritz.

 

 

 

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.