Philly Craft Spirits Week: Oct 27th – Nov 4th!

Philly Craft Spirits Week: Oct 27th – Nov 4th!

phillycraftspiritsweek2Pictured above are 3 classic cocktails, each with its own story that dates back to the Prohibition Era and beyond. The Diamondback, on the left, was once the house cocktail at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Maryland. It’s named after the Diamondback Terrapin, the official mascot of the Maryland ‘Terps. In the middle is the Old-Fashioned, thought to have been brought to the Waldorf Astoria in New York City by bartender James E. Pepper in 1880 who had originally crafted the drink for the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Ky. The last cocktail is the Ward 8, which hails from Boston, and has 3 different accounts as to who created it, dated 1902, 1936, and 1940 respectively. There’s something very cool about making cocktails that have been around for so long and have so much history behind them. Think of all the bartenders who have mixed them over the years! That cool factor skyrockets for me when these same drinks are made with handcrafted spirits from local distilleries that are less than 5 years old!

Rather than do an official Thursday Barlogue post this week, I wanted to share some details with you about the first annual Philly Craft Spirits Week which officially starts today. There are 11 local distilleries that are being featured throughout the week at many Philadelphia bars and restaurants. Included in that list are Dad’s Hat, Philadelphia Distilling (makers of Bluecoat Gin), New Liberty Distillery, Manatawny Stillworks, Bluebird Distilling, Cooper River Distillers, Five Saints Distilling, Liberty Gin, Red Brick Craft Distilling, Rowhouse Spirits, and Federal Distilling (makers of Stateside Urbancraft Vodka). You can find links to each of their websites on Philly Craft Spirit Week’s page above, along with a list of the week’s highlights like the Sunday Funday Cocktail Competition at Heritage in Northern Liberties, as well as a day to day guide of the official happenings around the city. Many bars and restaurants will be doing their own celebrating off-record, so it’s worth checking in to see what your favorites might have planned. Philly Craft Spirits Week is an important event for cocktails in the city of Philadelphia because it’s a celebration of the pride these local distillers take in the quality of their work. This is how spirits were originally made: handcrafted one small batch at a time with much dedication and determination. Come out this week and join the party!



2 oz Cooper Distillers Cooper River Rye
1/2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
1/2 Yellow Chartreuse
Luxardo cherry for garnishing

Place all the ingredients except for the cherry into a mixing glass and fill 2/3 full with ice. Stir with a long handled bar spoon until very cold (about 30 – 45 seconds). Strain using a julep strainer, and pour into a child cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry. Enjoy!


Ward 8 

2 oz Dad’s Hat Rye
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 tsp grenadine
Lemon twist for garnishing

Place all the ingredients in the bottom half of a shaker and then add your 1 large cube and 2 small. Shake for 15—20 seconds or until cold. If you don’t have any large format cubes on hand, then fill the shaker 2/3 full with regular ice. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist. Enjoy!

You can find my Old-Fashioned recipe here. Just use the Bluebird Distilling Four Grain Bourbon!


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