White Dog and Craft Cocktails

Last week I had the chance to stop by Woodinville Whiskey and hang out with Orlin Sorensen and Brett Carlile. Two local guys who decided to get into the whiskey business.
This Tuesday afternoon they were distilling Peabody Jones, a USDA certified organic, Washington wheat vodka. Forget what you’ve heard about multiple distillations adding to quality or purity. Sure, the more times you distill, the more flavor you will strip. However, the most important things in making a quality vodka is a good equipment and a good distiller. When the spirit comes out of the still it is 190 proof, or 95%. It is amazing when you taste a spirit at this high of a percentage and there is no “burn” but only a nice refreshing menthol sensation. This a clean distillation.
While the spirits enthusiast in me likes a good vodka that is full of character, the mixologist in me shuns the idea of making a cocktail out of a spirit whose subtle flavor is so easily covered up. After all, the idea of a great cocktail is to embody and enhance the base spirit. So while I was at Woodinville Whiskey I took the opportunity to do some mixing with their Headlong white dog.
White dog is what distillers put into oak barrels to age and make the whiskey we are all familiar with. In a sense it’s moonshine made legally. It has gained a bit of a cult following over the last few years and flavor profiles vary widely depending on the grains used.
The Headlong is from a mash of mostly corn so it has a great nutty flavor with some vanilla notes. The first cocktail I tried was the requisite White Manhattan, I think the Headlong makes one of the best I’ve tasted. I also found sherry and orgeat to play well with the white dog’s flavors.
Introducing juices into the mix was a little more difficult. High acid juices, like lemon and lime, just destroyed the flavors of the whiskey, so I turned to softer juices. Orange is always a favorite of mine when working with more delicate spirits and, what the hell, how about some Washington apple cider to go with a Washington whiskey. It was actually a perfect complement to the hot mulled cider I was drinking the night before while carving pumpkins.
I had an awesome time at the distillery. Orlin and Brett are great guys with a couple of great products and I can’t wait until they release some of their aged whiskey. Stop by their tasting room and check them out on Facebook to follow their progress.

White Manhattan:
2oz   Headlong white dog
1oz   Dolin blanc vermouth
dash Reagan’s Orange Bitters no.6
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a wide twist of orange or brandied cherry

White Tuxedo:
2oz    Headlong white dog
0.5oz Tio Pepe fino sherry
0.25oz Fee Brothers orgeat
dash Angostura bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a wide twist of lemon

Sweet & Smokey:
1.5 oz Headlong white dog
0.25 oz applewood smoked turbinado syrup
0.25 oz simple syrup
1.0 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
dash Reagans Orange Bitters no.6
shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass

Cucumber-Mint Cocktail:
2-3 cucumber slices and 10-12 mint leaves Muddled
1.5oz Headlong white dog
1.0oz apple cider
0.5oz simple syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a floating mint leaf

Blueberry Hill:
1.5 oz Headlong white dog
0.5 oz blueberry syrup
1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 dashes Fee Brother’s peach bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with fresh blueberries

Headlong Spiced Cider:
fresh pressed apple cider
mulling spice(I used World Spice’s blend)
2oz Headlong white dog
place mulling spice into a tea ball or muslin bag. place spice bag in cider and heat on the stove-top. let simmer for 5-10 minutes then remove spices. put Headlong into a heat-proof mug and top with hot cider.

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About John Ueding

Craft bartender and spirits enthusiast. I love my work!
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One Response to White Dog and Craft Cocktails

  1. Aja says:

    HEY! We visited these guys a couple of months ago before their grand opening because my husband is a HUGE whiskey fan. We loved both the whiskey and the Vodka ( which is seriously dangerous for me, lol).

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