If you’re a fan of really good cocktails and supporting Missouri’s burgeoning whiskey movement, here’s some news for you. If you missed the recent cocktail collaboration of Switchgrass Spirits and a local food Instagrammer, no worries, we have all the recipes here.
At the end of November 2020, Switchgrass Spirits partnered with Kate Pogue, who is known on Instagram as @kateheartscake. In real life, Pogue has worked at The Pat Connolly Tavern in Dogtown for a while and the owner, Joe Jovanovich is friends with Nick and Sarah, owners of Switchgrass.
“When Copperhead Rock & Rye was released, we hosted a tasting event at Pat’s and we have loved incorporating their entire lineup into our cocktail menu ever since,” said Pogue. The whole team is great to work with and Switchgrass is one of my favorite local products, so I was flattered when Sarah reached out about cocktail content. I couldn’t say yes quick enough.”
The idea was to create original cocktail recipes around Switchgrass’s growing portfolio. Pogue decided to go with new recipes for a well-rounded group of cocktail classics that don’t require too many additional ingredients. “Heading into fall and winter was another consideration in terms of flavor profiles. I made modifications to better highlight Switchgrass and incorporate a few unique spins. From there, it was all about some fun to get the ratios right,” said Pogue.
“Kate did a great job coming up with at least 2 cocktails for each of our 4 spirits. We did taste test them all in one afternoon. I had to take a nap afterward, it’s hard work being a distiller,” said Sarah Miller of Switchgrass.
Switchgrass had four spirits from which Pogue works from. “The bourbon is my favorite to enjoy on its own because it’s super smooth but still boasts a distinct heat from the charred Missouri Oak barrels that can stand up in a cocktail,” said Pogue.
The Copperhead Rock ‘n Rye is sweet from the Belgian rock candy and warm from the unique spices, so you can sort of treating it like a bottled cocktail and enjoy it over ice with a splash of club soda. “I like to also pair it with ingredients that are more bitter to dial back the sweetness, which is what I have done in this series with the Boulevardier and Black Manhattan,” said Pogue.
The Apple Brandy and Rye each are 100 proof specifically, so they are able to shine through in cocktails.
“When water, sugar, or ice are added, they really open up making a great drink for sipping,” said Miller.
For Pogue, the secret to creating new recipes for classic cocktails is to not overthink it. She worked too hard to keep each cocktail on style, by making sure the ratios matched the drinker’s expectation while letting the specific spirit shine through. The cocktails in this series are designed to play around with and the measurements are Pogue’s suggestions but should serve as a starting point for your preferred tastes.
“Trust Kate. There are true art and magic in having a professional make you a special cocktail. We are trying our best, biding our time making cocktails at home, but in our hearts, we can’t wait to go back to appreciating the masters,” said Miller.