Belle Isle Moonshine

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.

Cocktails

4 Belle Isle Cocktail Pairings For Your Galentine's Day Movie Night

CocktailsBICS AdminComment
 Gather all your Pink Ladies.      

Gather all your Pink Ladies.

 

Grab a bottle of bubbly and your best lady friends, because it's almost Galentine's Day!

If you're reading this, you're probably familiar with the concept of Galentine's Day. If not (where have you been?), here's a refresher:

Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.
— Leslie Knope, "Parks and Rec"

And with that historic quote on an (incredible) NBC primetime sitcom, a new holiday was born. In the eight years since its inception, Galentine's Day has taken on a life of its own. As more and more Galentine's Day parties and events pop up, how's a girl gang to decide on a solid plan? 

As the creator and Patron Saint of Galentine's Day, Leslie Knope knows what's up. Breakfast is always a good idea, and (as we've made clear before) frittatas are delicious.

Even if your morning plans are set, we highly suggest getting your girls together later for a Belle Isle Galentine's Day: Cocktail & Movie Night! We have the perfect cocktails (all created by women, too!) to pair with your favorite lady centric films.  


"Clueless" is the perfect mix of heartwarming, refreshing, and hilarious. So, basically, everything you want from a Girls' Night movie. Similarly, For Whom The Belle Tolls is a little sweet, a little tart, and a whole lot of fun. 


"pretty woman" = The pink dahlia

The core values of "Pretty Woman" may be a little (ahem) outdated, but it is a classic nonetheless. The Pink Dahlia is just as bubbly and endearing as the movie, but it has a lot more depth.


"Heathers" = The Dirty Bird

Okay, so "Heathers" isn't a perfect example of positive, uplifting female friendships. But who doesn't want to watch Winona Ryder exact her revenge on those mean girls? The one-of-a-kind Dirty Bird packs a similar deadly, bittersweet punch. 

"Thelma & Louise" = Bite The Bulleit

Thelma and Louise are film history's most infamous duo of outlaw ladies, so it's only fitting to pair this movie with Bite The Bulleit, a spicy, whiskey-soaked cocktail that looks as pretty as it tastes. We give you permission to turn the movie off before the ending.


Whichever combo you choose (but why not do all four?), we hope that your February 13th is as magical and empowering as the woman who created it.

 

Happy Galentine'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?

Party Prepped: Valentine's Day

Cocktails, ConversationBICS Admin3 Comments

Tired of crowded restaurants and expensive prix fixe menus? Celebrate Valentine's Day in style this year from the comfort of home! We called on our good friend and party maven Erica Key, of the award-winning blog Eating with Erica, to show us how to plan an amazing Valentine's Day dinner that your significant other (or BFF) will never forget!

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Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays!  Who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate love? 

*raises hand*  

  See more of Erica's recipes and party plans on her amazing blog,  Eating with Erica !

See more of Erica's recipes and party plans on her amazing blog, Eating with Erica!

I do!  It’s the one day out of the year that your significant other has to be chivalrous and is obligated to put forth an effort to be romantic.  Over the years, I have preferred to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home, for a number of reasons. 

1) It’s less of a headache than dealing with large crowds in restaurants.

2) It’s cost-effective. 

3) It's more intimate.  And last, but not least...

4) It’s a chance to blow your significant other's socks off by creating a new recipe.  

 

When creating a menu for a special holiday, simplicity is best!  I suggest creating a meal that you're comfortable preparing; that way, you don’t have to stress, especially if you aren’t the best cook.  We don’t need any Pinterest fails. 

This year for Valentine's Day, I was feeling fancy.  I created a three-course meal for my fiancé and paired each course with delectable Belle Isle cocktails using Ruby Red Grapefruit and Cold Brew Coffee.

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FIRST COURSE

Tomato, basil, and goat cheese bruschetta

Cocktail pairing:  Lovers' lane

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Bruschetta is one of the simplest appetizers to create. And one of the most delicious, in my opinion!  I added goat cheese for some pizzazz and created a tasty cocktail called Lovers' Lane: Ruby Red Grapefruit, neat, with a splash of Sprite.  The flavors worked well together and was the perfect start to the meal.   

 

*Fun Fact:  Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit is a splendid shot.


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SECOND COURSE

Grilled shrimp and lobster claws with kale caesar salad 

Cocktail pairing:  Cupid's Kiss

 

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Seriously, Bae and I are seafood people. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to show my stuff with the main entree and the Cupid's Kiss cocktail was fancy enough to be the main header.  Visually, it's a really attractive drink, and it's not too sweet. 

 

 

*Fun Fact:  Use various berries to step up your cocktail presentatioN! I suggest strawberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries. 

 


    When you prepare your dinner, make sure you pick up some great decor to set the table for the perfect mood!

   When you prepare your dinner, make sure you pick up some great decor to set the table for the perfect mood!

THIRD COURSE

Chocolate toast topped with mixed berries 

Cocktail Pairing: Shiny coffee 

 

Coffee is my everything, so it's a must that I get my coffee fix after dinner.  It's so relaxing and a great way to unwind. The Shiny Coffee cocktail is so smooth, and it compliments the toast. When creating the toast, you can use chocolate or mascarpone cheese for the spread.  The best part of this recipe is that it can be served as a dessert or as breakfast!  I mean, who wouldn't want to wake up to this decadence for a cozy breakfast in bed?  This is the ideal way to say good morning or good night.

*Fun Fact:  Cinnamon sticks are a delicious bonus to a cocktail. 


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In addition to this year's love-fest, I am hosting a light Valentine's Day soirée for my friends who are single.  It's going to be a fun time with cute decor and tasty treats.  I'll feature the Cupid's Kiss cocktail again, since It's a refreshing cocktail that will send your single well-wishes right into the love department.  You can create a punch or make the drink individually.  I created a chocolate fondue and provided multiple options for dipping.  You can use fruits, graham crackers, pretzels, and/or marshmallows. 

No matter what your plans are for Valentine's Day, spread lots of love, eat well, drink well, and include Belle Isle Moonshine!


cocktail recipes

LOVER'S LANE

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 

  • 1 oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit
  • ½ oz. Sprite

Preparation:

Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into glass. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cupid's kiss

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 

  • 2 oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit
  • 2 oz. Ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Fresh Berries (Raspberry, Strawberries, and/or Blackberries) 

Preparation:

Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute, and garnish with berries.  

Shiny coffee

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 

  • 2 oz. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 3 oz. fresh coffee
  • 1 ½ oz. dairy

Preparation:

Build all ingredients in glass or mug to taste!

     

 

 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

 

 

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

 


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?

Our 8 Favorite Cold Weather Cocktails

CocktailsBICS AdminComment

With January in full swing, it's easy to let freezing temperatures, icy streets, and dark skies give you a serious case of the winter blues. Don't let Seasonal Affective Disorder bring you down! Instead, let Belle Isle help you warm up, get cozy, and embrace the hygge with some of our favorite wintertime cocktails! From our simple, warming Hot Toddy to our classic Corpse Reviver with a twist, Belle Isle has your winter drinking game covered. 


Still thirsty?

5 Healthy Cocktail Recipes to Kick Start Your New Year's Resolutions

CocktailsBrandon DayComment

With a long week of holiday indulgence behind us, we've decided to start 2018 on a positive note. We're sharing some of our favorite healthy cocktail recipes to keep you feeling refreshed and fit throughout the year. From fruity and herbal to clean and crisp, these simple, healthy cocktails are a great way to keep your New Year's Resolutions in check. 

WANT MORE RECIPES?


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

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

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

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

Distilled from good times and 100% organic corn.


Wanna Learn More?

Party Prepped: Bubbly + Bloodies

CocktailsBrandon DayComment

With New Years festivities right around the corner, it's time to send 2017 off with a bang. But ringing in the new year tends to have some consequences the next morning... So we're compiling our favorite Belle Isle + bubbly recipes that are perfect for your midnight cheers AND our favorite Belle Isle Bloody Mary recipes that are the fix you'll need come Monday morning.

BELLE ISLE + BUBBLY


BELLE ISLE BLOODIES


WANT MORE RECIPES?

3 Super-Easy Holiday Infusions

Infusions, CocktailsBrandon DayComment
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With just a couple days left before the holidays, your friends at Belle Isle Moonshine are here to help get you through this time filled with stressful shopping, visits with the family, fruitcake overload and It’s A Wonderful Life on endless replay. With our to-do lists all sorted out and presents wrapped, we figured it was time to have some fun with a few of our favorite DIY infusions that are sure to please everyone at your holiday gatherings.

Belle Isle's own Director of Production and R&D, Gregg Brooks, is here to show you how it's done. These infusions will not only taste delicious, they’ll look beautiful sitting on your kitchen counter or bar. These are all super easy, one-bottle infusions that anyone will be able to pull off from the cozy confines of your home, much to the delight of your guests. It doesn’t get much easier, and it doesn’t get much better.

Lemon Infusion

Ingredients:

  • 3 lemons (The harder, the better for peeling)
  • 4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 (750ml) bottle Belle Isle 100 Proof
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Preparation:

  1. Measure and pour out 6 ounces of Belle Isle 100 Proof. Use that spirit to make three cocktails, one for yourself and two for your friends. Flying solo, make one drink and save the rest for later.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemon in long strips. Try to get just the outer skin and avoid as much of the white pith as possible. Save the peeled lemons for other later uses. Using a small sharp knife, remove as much pith from the peels as you can.
  3. Carefully place by the peels into the bottle by pushing them through the neck with a bar spoon or straw. Place top back on the bottle and store in a dark place at room temperature for a minimum of 5 days, though the longer the better.
  4. When ready, take the bottle out and remove the top. Slowly and carefully pour 4 ounces of simple syrup into the bottle, place the top back on and gently shake the bottle to mix ingredients. Place the bottle in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. It’s ready to drink at this point, either straight or in a cocktail. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 30 days, though we hope this won’t last more than one night at a holiday party.
  6. *Want a sweeter finished product? Mix all ingredients in a larger container other than the bottle and follow the same steps, but double the simple syrup. You can always pour the finished product back into our bottle. The infusion should have a beautiful bright yellow-green tint to it.

Orange-Cranberry Infusion

Ingredients:

2 oranges (the firmer, the better)
1 cup fresh cranberries
1½ cups sugar
1 (750ml) bottle Belle Isle 100 Proof

Preparation:

  1. As with the lemon infusion, measure and pour out 6 ounces of Belle Isle 100 Proof, and use in a cocktail or set aside.
  2. Place cranberries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stirring frequently, let the mixture simmer for about 4-5 minutes or until the berries begin to burst. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the oranges in long strips. Try to get just the outer skin and avoid as much of the white pith as possible. Save the peeled oranges for other later uses. Using a small sharp knife, remove as much pith from the peels as you can.
  4. Carefully place by the peels into the bottle by pushing them through the neck with a bar spoon or straw. Once cranberry mixture has cooled, carefully and slowly pour that mixture into the bottle using a funnel. You may have to push some of the cranberries through using that bar spoon or straw. The neck of the bottle will look crystallized, and I think it adds to the appearance of the finished product.
  5. Gently shake the bottle to mix the ingredients and place in a dark place at room temperature for at least 5 days. Once ready, refrigerate overnight. There will be some sediment in the bottle, so feel free to strain the spirit before using. You can drink this infusion straight or in a cocktail.

Caramelized Apple Infusion

Ingredients:

  • 1 large apple (we like Gala apples for this infusion)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 (750ml) bottle Belle Isle 100 Proof (Belle Isle Black Label will also work in this infusion)
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Want to get fancy? Add any of the following with the apples for a new flavor.

  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cloves
  • Anise
  • Allspice

Preparation:

  1. Measure and pour out 4 ounces of Belle Isle 100 Proof. Use that spirit to make two cocktails, one for now and one for later.
  2. Cut the apple into thin slices, making sure they’ll easily fit through the neck of the bottle.
  3. Place the apple slices into a medium saucepan with the sugar and two tablespoons of water and cook over medium heat. Stirring frequently, let the mixture simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Enjoy the “later” cocktail at this point.
  5. Once the mixture has cooled, carefully and slowly pour the mixture into the bottle, pushing the apples through the neck with that bar spoon or straw.
  6. Place cap back on and very gently shake the bottle to mix ingredients. Place the bottle in a dark place at room temperature and let sit for 3-4 days.
  7. When ready, refrigerate overnight. There will be sediment in the bottle, so feel free to strain while pouring into a glass or jigger. This infusion is great straight or in a cocktail.

Erica's Ultimate Spiked Hot Chocolate Bar

Home Bar, CocktailsBrandon DayComment
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Hey y'all! Erica from Eating with Erica here at Belle Isle to give you the inside scoop on how I turn out the Ultimate Spiked Hot Chocolate Bar.

Winter is finally here, which means it’s time to turn on Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You“ while getting some kisses under the mistletoe. It's also time to start getting creative with your holiday parties!

When I am hosting my holiday gatherings, I am always stumped on a couple of how-to things: how to impress my guests & how to create an epic recipe in under an hour without breaking the bank, all while looking flawless. Talk about a dilemma. But don’t fret! Save your holiday season with a spiked hot chocolate bar using Belle Isle Honey Habanero.

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What I love about a hot chocolate bar is that it can be so simplistic, yet impressive. You can put together a creative holiday drink bar in less than 45 minutes in an awesomely frugal way. On average, a holiday bar will run you in the range of $45 to $60 and will increase depending on the ingredients that you select.

Of course, to create your hot chocolate bar, you first need to start with hot cocoa. The hot cocoa should be really creamy - the more chocolatey, the better. If you are on-the-go, instant cocoa will work just fine, but remember to use milk instead of water! If you have extra time, you can create hot cocoa in the slow cooker.

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Once you’ve decided on your cocoa, you’ll need to choose the type of mug you'd like to drink your hot chocolate out of. I highly recommend using Mason jar mugs. They are the easiest to decorate and the mugs are perfect for photos. You definitely want to be sure that the end product is photo worthy. C’mon! Do it for the ‘Gram!

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I spiked my hot cocoa with Belle Isle Honey Habanero. It blends so well and gives a slight hint of spice. If you aren't into spiciness or that "kick," no worries! You can use Belle Isle Black Label. 

Your bar won’t be much of a sight without tasty, unique ingredients. The more ingredients you have, the fuller your bar will look which will give it that WOW factor - the more ingredients, the better! I added some of my favorite ingredients such as peppermint, whipped cream, strawberries, sprinkles, and crushed Oreos. I am known to be a little extra, so you know I had to create some over-the-top items such as chocolate-covered bacon. It is also important you remember to invite a variety of guests who will love creating their hot beverages.

To make your bar more festive, add some charming Christmas décor, like Poinsettia plants, festive napkins, and classic Santa trinkets. The goal is to leave your guests thinking that Martha Stewart did all of your holiday decorating.

There is so much variation and possibility when creating your very own hot chocolate bar, so it’s unlikely that anything will go wrong. If you are still apprehensive, no worries! There’s still time to do a trial run of your hot chocolate bar so you can rest assured everything will run smoothly on the actual day of your holiday gathering. I know your "bar" will be a hit!

Make sure that you enjoy, have fun, and drink responsibly. Happy Holidays! 

Belle Isle Spiked Hot Chocolate Bar

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Hot Chocolate

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup boiling water
  • ½-⅔ cups granulated sugar (to taste)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½-¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 quart milk (at least 1%)

In a large saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and boiling water until the sugar is mostly dissolved and no lumps remain.

Add the milk and vanilla extract and turn the burner to LOW HEAT. Do not bring to a boil. Heat until drinkably hot. Remove from heat and keep warm in a slow cooker, if desired.

If using Belle Isle Honey Habanero, add room-temperature Belle Isle to the cocoa after removing from heat, and whisk thoroughly.

For the Rims of Glasses

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  • Caramel Syrup
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Roasted, Pulverized Bacon (think homemade bacon bits)
  • Raw or Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Espresso Powder
  • Crushed Peppermint Candies
  • Toasted, Crushed Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts

Toppings and Add-Ins

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  • Whipped Cream
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate-Covered Bacon 
  • Grated Nutmeg
  • Sliced strawberries dipped in chocolate
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Mint Leaves
  • Cayenne Pepper
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Recipe + words: Erica Key, Editor-in-Chief at Eating with Erica
Photography: Kayla MaDonna

Party Prepped: Friendsgiving

CocktailsBrandon DayComment

This year, we wanted to go all out for our fall festivities. And what better way to do that than to bring in the experts? We called on our good friend and food festivities extraordinaire Erica Key, of the award-winning blog Eating with Erica, to show us how to plan one unforgettable Friendsgiving feast!

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The fall season has finally made its debut, and I couldn’t be happier. It's time to bring out the comfy sweaters, cranberry- and pumpkin- flavored any and everything, and last, but certainly not least, all of the festive holiday gatherings.

  See more of Erica's awesome recipes on her blog,  Eating with Erica !

See more of Erica's awesome recipes on her blog, Eating with Erica!

One of my favorite fall gatherings has to be Friendsgiving. Over the years, I have made Friendsgiving more of a traditional event for my social circle. Everyone looks forward to it and genuinely loves it. And to be honest, it’s one of my favorite events of the holiday season.

I don’t know about you, but I have no idea where I would be without my squad, and I am always looking for an excuse to show them how much I appreciate them. 

If you are hosting Friendsgiving at your house this holiday, the Belle Isle Thankful Punch is going to be a hit. Belle Isle Moonshine is one of my latest obsessions. It's a premium, handcrafted spirit distilled from good times and 100% organic corn. Perfect combination for an epic punch, right? It is the perfect spirit for the punch because it's strong, yet smooth. A little goes a long way.

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When I am entertaining, I love creating punch for a few reasons. First, there is minimal prep time. Most punch recipes are fool-proof and impossible to mess up. You don’t have to keep making batches of punch throughout the evening during your gathering. You can make two gallons, refrigerate, and have plenty just in case you run out. 

This year I had a little time to play with recipes, so I decided to get creative with the cocktail containers. If you are limited on time, drinking glasses work great. If you have some time to be fancy and extra, like myself, these mini pumpkins are the perfect way to serve your cocktails. They are so simple to create, and they look great.

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PUMPKIN CONTAINERS

What you'll need:

  • Mini Pumpkins (4) 
  • Paring knife
  • Spoon
  • Kitchen roll

Preparation:

  1. Draw a circle around the stem on the top where you want the lid to go. 
  2. Cut out the lid. 
  3. Use a spoon to clean out the inside of the pumpkin. 
  4. Wipe down inside & outside of pumpkins with some kitchen roll.

    For my gathering, I paired delicious punch with very simple appetizers such as charcuterie, hummus, and a veggie tray. Traditionally, if you are having Friendsgiving at home, it's potluck style. This is the ideal setup to entertain guests while you are preparing your main course or waiting for others with their dishes. Your guests will ask you for this recipe. And since it's Friendsgiving, it's only right that you share it!

    Enjoy! 

    - Erica Key,
    EATING WITH ERICA

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    Preparation:

    Chill Belle Isle and white grape juice overnight. When ready to serve, pour Belle Isle and white grape juice into your serving bowl. Add cranberries & orange slices. Top with ginger ale, serve, and enjoy!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 bottle Belle Isle Black Label
    • 2 bottles white grape juice
    • 2 bottles (750 mL) ginger ale
    • 1 cup cranberries
    • 3 sliced oranges 

     

      Flavored Ice: In a gelatin mold, ice ring, muffin tin, or bundt pan, add a blend of orange and cranberry juices and chill for an hour. Once slightly chilled, add thinly sliced fruits (oranges, blood oranges, lemons, limes, and/or cranberries), and freeze until solid. Once frozen, add to your punch!

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

      Party Prepped: Creepy Cocktails

      CocktailsBrandon DayComment
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      'Tis the season to be scary! Whether you're throwing a spooky soirée for all the creatures of the night or just having a few ghouls over for dinner, you need a Halloween cocktail that's equal parts tasty & terrifying. No idea what creepy cocktails you should be serving? Don't worry - we've got you covered! Check out these two extremely easy recipes that you can make in one big batch, so you don't have to spend all night playing bartender.

      In this petrifying play on a classic Tequila Sunrise, swap in Belle Isle Honey Habanero and use some dry ice to give this colorful cocktail a serious kick and a ghastly look.

      Ingredients:

      • 1 bottle Belle Isle Honey Habanero
      • 1.5L orange juice
      • 8 oz. lime juice
      • 4 oz. grenadine

      Preparation:

      Combine first 3 ingredients in your cauldron or container and stir heavily. Garnish cauldron with oranges, lemons, and fresh habaneros. Carefully add dry ice for the smoke effect.

      When ready to serve, add a barspoon of grenadine to the bottom of each glass, then top with ice. Ladle the drink from the cauldron over the ice in the glass, garnish, and enjoy! Serves 10-15 drinks.


      This creepy concoction might look black as night, but is tasty as pie. Add an extra dash of activated charcoal to really make your drinks even darker!

      Preparation:

      Combine drink ingredients in your container, then cut the capsule of activated charcoal in half and add half of the charcoal to the drink. Stir heavily, then garnish with blackberries.

      When ready to serve, ladle concoction into a glass over ice, garnish, and enjoy! Serves 15-20 drinks.

      Ingredients:

      • 1 bottle Belle Isle Black Label
      • 1.5L dark cherry juice
      • 750ml black raspberry liqueur
      • 1 capsule of activated charcoal

      Photos by Kate Magee

      Happy Hour With: Hummingbird Gardens

      Cocktails, Infusions, Happy Hour WithBrandon DayComment
      170609_BelleIsle_077-edit.jpg

      One sunny summer afternoon, Amanda Montgomery, owner of Hummingbird Gardens, invited us over to see her amazing garden and, of course, mix up some delicious, refreshing cocktails using fresh herbs. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, Amanda will teach you everything you need to know about using fresh herbs in infusions and cocktails.

      Tell us a little about your company.

      Hummingbird Gardens is an herb, edible flower, and cut flower-focused market garden (or yard farm) that is in my front and backyard in Southside Richmond. I source mainly to local restaurants and have a small garden share program that provides folks with herbs, a bouquet, and an item from another partner business. In addition, I make herb salts that I sell on my website, some retail sites, and at events like Brunch Market.

      We broke ground in October of 2015 and I had my first season in 2016. It feels like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time!

      How long have you been gardening?

      I’ve done it in spurts my whole life. I had some marigolds as a kid and spent a lot of time hauling plants around for my grandmas when I would visit them in Savannah and New Jersey. I started gardening in earnest my senior year of college and continued after I graduated. I volunteered with Tricycle Gardens not from from the Belle Isle Moonshine distillery and helped break ground on their farm in Manchester. After that, I went to graduate school in Pittsburgh where I worked at a small farm called Churchview Farm and at my school’s farm, Eden Hall.

      What do you love most about gardening?

      There's so much to love! I love bringing more life into the world. I love creating a space that other people and creatures can be happy in and can thrive. I love watching things grow and (hopefully) helping them along. Most importantly, I love sharing what I grow with others.

      What are you growing currently?

      Loaded question! I grow a variety of herbs including 3 kinds of thyme, 7 kinds of basil, 4 kinds of sage, and a bunch of edible flowers including bachelor’s buttons (which I'll be using in a cocktail today), cosmos, anise hyssop, and gem marigolds. 

      Who do you work with in the area? How are folks using your products?

      I have a Garden Share program that several local restaurants participate in - it’s basically a CSA and they get 5 items from me a week for 20 weeks. My clients all use my products differently, but I’ve seen edible flowers in anything from cocktails to desserts, and recently I saw that Hutch used my pineapple sage in one of their fish dishes. Sometimes we come up with things together!

      What are some tips for using fresh herbs in infusions and cocktails?

      You can use fresh herbs as a garnish, muddle them when mixing a drink, or make a simple syrup infusion.

      Fresh herbs are a lot of fun to experiment with in cocktails and infusions. Unlike dried ingredients such as tea leaves that infuse very quickly, fresh herbs give you a bit more room to play around. You can adjust how powerful you want the flavor of the herbs to be by changing quantity used and time left infusing.

      My infusion recipes are typically 1 part herb to 4-6 parts spirit. When you use a spirit with a higher alcohol content like Belle Isle 100 Proof, it pulls flavors from the herbs quicker than a lower proof spirit will. I'll put my infusion in a sealed container for a full day, taste it, and continue to infuse it for another 2-4 days, just tasting it along the way. Once it gets to where I want, I pull the herbs out, fine strain out anything left, and put it back in a bottle.

      My favorite herbs to use in cocktails are basil, lemon verbena, or rosemary.

      I think of herbs as the knot that ties other ingredients together by complementing their flavors or adding a new element to a cocktail to round it out. So if your other ingredients are all bitter, you might use something citrusy or tea-like. If your cocktail is hearty and heavy, you might use a bright, spicy herb to finish it off. A lot of times I'll use dishes from cuisines around the world to think of flavor pairing ideas and inspiration.
       
      What fresh herb-infused cocktails did you make today?

      Preparation:

      Muddle blueberries and thyme in the bottom of a highball glass. Add ice to the glass, pour in Belle Isle Premium Moonshine, top with seltzer, and stir.

      Ingredients:

      • 2 oz. Belle Isle Premium Moonshine
      • 6-10 fresh blueberries
      • 1 sprig of thyme
      • 2 oz. seltzer water

      Preparation:

      Add a coffee ice cube to a glass, then top with lavender-infused Belle Isle & tonic and stir.

      Ingredients:

      • 2 oz. lavender-infused Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee Moonshine*
      • 3 oz. tonic water

      *Add 1-2 lavender flower heads to 12 oz. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee Moonshine, let steep for 4 hours, tasting occasionally.