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Kinsman

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Sooner or Lager: We're making a Pils!

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Spring has sprung at the warehouse, but while we’re enjoying the mild temperatures, Randy’s thinking ahead to those sweltering South Texas days. As such, he created our first HighWheel lager, a golden yellow Czech-style number that’ll keep you cool as the temperatures keep climbing.

This time, Randy leaned into the pils, named after the Czech city of Plzen and known for its crisp, clean finish. Using traditional Czech hops, he delivered a 5.9 percent ABV pale lager with mild bitterness, that’ll rival Betty with its refreshing and easy-drinking quality. Come try one in the tasting room starting April 26!

IBU:  30, ABV: 5.9%, color: 3.8 SRM


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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Piatti

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Piatti

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Piatti

Piatti is well known for serving up Italian-inspired fare at both it's Quarry and Eilan locations.  Lucky for us, they're both also participating in this year's Brandy Alexander Cocktail tour with two unique and imaginative takes on the classic.   

Concocted by Beverage Director Matt Collett, both takes enhance the original with the addition of white chocolate and an espresso liqueur, respectively.  Whether you're a fan of chocolate, coffee, or both, you won't want to miss what Matt put together for a perfect after-meal libation. 

PIATTI AT THE QUARRY // DANDY ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 1/4 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur

1 1/4 oz. aromatized heavy cream (pink peppercorn, clove, cinnamon)

1 drop of tiki bitters

Rim coupe with chocolate ganache. Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake.  Double strain into coupe and top with freshly-ground pink peppercorn.

 

PIATTI AT THE EILAN // CAFFE ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Caffe Broghetti

1 oz. heavy cream

1/2 oz. Lazzaroni Amaretto 

Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake. Strain into coupe and garnish with ground cinnamon dust

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  Piatti

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Bite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Bite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Bite

This eclectic restaurant is well known for pouring creativity into everything that they do.  From the art on the walls to the food on your plate, Chef Lisa Astorga-Watel has created a fun and unique culinary experience in the heart of Southtown. 

Bite's Alexander Frappe is a perfect example of this creativity.  This rich and creamy cocktail features an entire scoop of pistachio gelato to go along with crushed pistachios on the rim.  Whether you eat the gelato or let it melt into the cocktail, there's no wrong way to savor Bite's take on the classic Brandy Alexander.  

 

Bite // Bite's Alexander Frappe

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. crème de cacao

1 pistachio gelato scoop

1 oz. heavy cream

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake. Double strain into a coup with a finely crushed pistachio rim

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  Bite

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

This stylish cocktail joint has long been a local favorite for their playful twists on classic cocktails. The BKSA Alexander is no exception with the team over at Brooklynite throwing golden grahams into the mix. 

This decadent cocktail boasts notes of honey, nuts and vanilla and has a silky mouth feel.  If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, the BKSA Alexander has you covered.  

 

BROOKLYNITE // BKSA ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/4 oz. white chocolate macadamia nut liqueur

1 oz. house cereal milk (rice, almond, heavy cream infused with golden grahams)

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake. Double strain into a coup

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  The Brooklynite

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: George's Keep

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  George's Keep

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  George's Keep

Nick Kenna’s no stranger to the cocktail scene. Having opened Dorćol’s bar program in 2013, he’s no stranger to Kinsman either. A veteran of the Kinsman Brandy Alexander Cocktail tour he continues to raise the bar with his creative take on this classic libation.

Nick's imagination is front and center in this year’s version which boasts hints of spice and perfectly balanced notes of mint and vanilla.  Experiencing this cocktail is definitely worth the drive up north.  

 

GEORGE’S KEEP // YORK PEPPERMINT PAPI

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

3/4 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

1/4 oz. orgeat

1 oz. mint and serrano pepper house-infused vanilla almond milk 

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake. Double strain into a coup. Garnish with bakers chocolate shavings and a mint leaf.

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  George's Keep

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Rosella at the Rand

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Rosella at the Rand

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour:  Rosella at the Rand

With barman Jesse Torres at the reins of this freshly minted Houston Street eatery's beverage program, the bar is poised for success in creativity and execution alike.

Rosella at the Rand's inaugural participation in this year's Kinsman Brandy Alexander Tour is presented with a berry twist - a refreshingly light and airy take on the classic. Equal parts a well built cocktail and a good ol' fashioned "adult" strawberry shake, this rendition with a cute name is a must on your Tour stop. 

 

ROSELLA AT THE RAND // APRICOT ME BY SURPRISE

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

3/4 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

1 oz. heavy cream

1 strawberry

Muddle a strawberry in a tin. Combine remaining ingredients in the tin and add ice.  Shake.  Double strain into a coupe lined with house-made chocolate ganache on the inside. Garnish with a fresh strawberry slice.

Dorcol Distilling Co.:  Rosella at the Rand

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Juniper Tar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Juniper Tar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Juniper Tar

The barman behind this swanky downtown cocktail lounge is well known for his fun and imaginative cocktails.  It's no surprise then that Benjamin Krick's take on this classic strays slightly off the beaten path. 

Served over crushed ice and including a spiced rum cream liqueur, the Kinsman Brandy Alexander has a nutty, butterscotch flavor that takes even the most avid Brandy Alexander enthusiast by surprise.  A trip downtown is well worth the smile this cocktail will put on your face.  

 

JUNIPER TAR // KINSMAN BRANDY ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Kringle Cream

1/2 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice.  Shake.  Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Dust with Abuelita chocolate for garnish.

 

Dorcol Distilling Co.: Juniper Tar

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Hoppy Monk

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Hoppy Monk

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Hoppy Monk

While The Hoppy Monk is often recognized for a broad beer selection, their spirit offering is as creative and diverse. Brittany Dinhobl showcases her cocktail know-how with her take on this classic cocktail, which aptly includes a house-made coffee-porter liqueur. 

The King Alexander is a complex cocktail that combines subtle notes of coffee, chocolate and cardamom with a rich, creamy mouth-feel. Appreciate the creativity on display in The King Alexander and order yourself one (or two) on your next visit.  

 

THE HOPPY MONK // THE KING ALEXANDER

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. House-made Merit coffee and Deschutes Black Butte Porter liqueur

1 oz. heavy cream/St. Brendan's/China China "cream"

Combine all ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a coupe. Sprinkle cocoa powder and nutmeg mix to garnish.  

Dorcol Distilling Co.: The Hoppy Monk

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

Biga on the Banks, a San Antonio staple owned by James Beard Award nominee Chef Bruce Auden, has long been celebrated for its culinary achievements. Barman Shane Clifford with his Alex-En-Rakia, a light and frothy cocktail with balanced notes of coconut and vanilla, is continuing Biga's history of excellence. It's not hard to imagine drinking more than one of these on your next visit.

 

BIGA ON THE BANKS // ALEX-EN-RAKIA

1 oz. House vanilla infused Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar

1/2 oz. orgeat

1 egg white

4 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters

Combine ingredients in a tin over ice. Shake and strain back into tin removing the ice. "Dry" shake vigorously. Strain into a brandy snifter and freshly grate nutmeg for garnish.

 

Dorcol Distilling Co.: Biga on the Banks

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Kinsman Rakia 2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

2017 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

Liberty Bar's Ana Cabrera took her admiration of Kinsman and married it with her house-made ice cream for this decadent inspiration. Shaken without ice, and garnished with an orange zest, her Abuelita Alexander is an envy of even the savviest of grandmas.

Liberty Bar's Abuelita chocolate ice cream folded into Kinsman Apricot Rakia and Montenegro Amaro topped with milk chocolate shavings and orange oils is a humdinger of a cocktail with or without a meal. 

 

LIBERTY BAR //ABUELITA ALEXANDER

1 1/4 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Montenegro Amaro

2 oz. scoop soft house-made Abuelita ice cream

Combine all ingredients in a tin. "Dry" shake combined ingredients. Pour into coupe. Garnish with an orange zest and freshly grated chocolate shavings. 

 

Dorcol Distilling Co.: Liberty Bar's Ana Cabrera 

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Farm Feast at Dorcol (Spring 2017)

Our goal is to scour the world for greatest ingredients possible. From the fruit we distill, to the yeast we ferment with, each is native to its style and brewing or distilling region.

So when we hooked up with Chefs John and Elise Russ, Truckin' Tomato, and Texas farmers, ranchers and purveyors of dry goods, we knew damn well we'd be in for a culinary farm-to-table treat; a true Farm Feast! 

If you think you'd enjoy joining us, be sure to sign up to receive invites for future events!

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Behind the bar with Olaf Harmel

 

When Olaf Harmel arrived to San Antonio, he got here at a time when the craft cocktail revival was in its infancy. All these years later, the longtime barman is gearing up to relocate from his modest upstairs bar at Bluebox to Brigid, a modern American restaurant expected to open soon in Southtown, where Harmel will run a more culinary-driven cocktail menu. At the bar, Harmel said he wants to circulate spirits regularly to accommodate the always-changing food menu. Still, the one bottle he always wants to have on hand is Kinsman Rakia. 

How did you get into bartending? 

I didn't do it intentionally. A friend of mine opened a bar in Corpus Christi and I helped run the bar for awhile. But I needed to learn how to bartend. So I read a lot and applied myself. When I came to San Antonio I had to be full on focused. You can't be a bar manager without knowing how to bartend. 

What makes Kinsman Rakia an interesting spirit to use in cocktails? 

It's one of those spirits that elevates people. It's just so unique that it broadens people's drinking perspective. It has a unique flavor and texture but still has some heat to it. I love products that have a full-flavor profile. As a bartender I enjoy being in a position of introducing people to new things they haven't had before. 

What ingredients play well with the spirit? 

Gin, citrus go well with it. Raspberries, plums, grapefruit, mandarin, ginger. It blends really well with almonds, basil, pretty much anything that goes well with apricots. Just a small amount of Kinsman will enhance the cocktail. It's very supple. It's a year-round spirit you can use to make refreshing, luscious cocktails. 

Photos by Sara Ellis/Dorćol Distilling Company

Sunshine Daydream

1 1/4 ounces Kinsman Rakia

1/4 ounce apricot liqueur

1/4 ounce Amaretto

1 ounce cranberry juice

1/4 ounce lemon juice

Peach, quartered

Instructions: Lightly muddle peach quarter in the bottom of a rocks glass. Set aside. Assemble remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Strain cocktail into the rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with peach slices and blackberry. 

Cocktail by Olaf Harmel of Blue Box

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Behind the bar with Don Marsh

 

Don Marsh is one of San Antonio's well-versed and creative barmen. Over the past two decades, Marsh has worked his way from an aspiring bartender at Bennigan's  to becoming the proprietor of Bar 1919. The San Antonio native was at the forefront of the craft cocktail renaissance, educating tipplers at time when they couldn't tell the difference between a Negroni and an Old Fashioned. Visit his South Town haunt and you'll quickly see his love for whiskey. Still, always behind the bar is Kinsman Rakia, one of the few Texas-made spirits he has on hand. 

How'd you get into bartending? 

One of my best friends who worked at Chili's told me that they were looking for people to wait tables at Bennigan's. I eventually was promoted to bartending. I just started studying. I sucked. I was horrible. They say you learn the most when you get thrown to the wolves. Back then Bennigan's would get packed as shit. I would get my ass kicked. One day I was by myself because they thought I was good enough to do it and I wasn't. This guy orders a Dewars White Label 10 Year and soda. So I'm looking for this bottle and I couldn't find it. So I grabbed some bottle of scotch and poured it fast and put some soda in it and handed it to the guy. He looked at me, pays his tab, shook his head and walked off. I was so embarrassed. I'm extremely competitive so I went out and bought the Bartender's Bible by Gary Regan. It was the very first cocktail book I ever bought and it's still behind this bar. It changed my life. It got me started.

What makes Kinsman an interesting spirit to use in cocktails? 

I love it. It's a great spirit. We use it and it's a spirit we like to play around with. I think it's well made and if it wasn't I wouldn't use it.

What ingredients play well with the spirit? 

Juices, lemon go very well with it. You can do riffs on Aviations, Sidecars. It plays well with cordials. I like to use it with spice: ginger syrups, habaneros, serranos. We like to offset the sweetness in the brandy. We talk about the spice and the bitters, which help make the drink more approachable. 

Photos by Sara Ellis/Dorćol Distilling Company

River Romance

1 1/2 ounces Kinsman Rakia

1/2 ounce orange liqueur

1/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur

1/2 ounce lemon juice

2-3 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Instructions: Assemble ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Double strain into the cocktail glass rimmed with sugar and garnish with a lemon zest.

Cocktail by Don Marsh of Bar 1919

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NYC-based culinary website gives nod to San Antonio's Kinsman Rakia

Via Tasting Table

Via Tasting Table

In 2013, Dorćol Distilling Co. introduced the South Side of San Antonio and the Lone Star State to a spirit with roots half a world away in the farms of Eastern Europe. 

Nearly two years later, Kinsman Rakia has become one of the premier spirits made in Texas. Sure the apricot brandy is unfamiliar to many folks but once they try it they find it has more body and depth than vodka while displaying all the complexity found in whiskey and gin. 

Last week, Tasting Table, a culinary website based in New York City, mentioned Dorćol's Kinsman Rakia in an article that looked at a handful of other U.S.-made spirits with roots from all over the word. After dinner, before dinner or whenever, at Dorćol we craft a traditional, old-world spirit for us all to enjoy. 

Here's what Kara Newman, spirits editor for Wine Enthusiast and New York-based writer, had to say about our award-winning brandy in her post: 

Kinsman Rakia: San Antonio, Texas
This small-batch apricot brandy is made by Dorćol Distillery; co-owner Boyan Kalusevic grew up in Serbia, where the spirit is sometimes referred to as "Serbian moonshine." This Lone Star version mingles stone fruit with almond for an after-dinner sipper that's nothing like firewater.

After dinner, before dinner or whenever, at Dorćol we craft a traditional, old-world spirit for us all to enjoy. 

Cheers. 

Valentino 

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American craft distillers embracing brandy

When we tell people we make brandy at the distillery, we often get looks of utter confusion. I certainly don't blame people, they're just not familiar with the spirit.

Over the years, whiskey, vodka and gin dominated the craft spirits landscape. That's nothing new. But American craft distillers, including us at Dorćol, are making a strong case for brandy. 

If you haven't seen it yet, Imbibe magazine just published a great story about American brandy, titled "Out of the dark: American brandy emerges from Europe's shadow." In the piece, author Max Watman looks at the history of the spirit and chats with craft distillers across the nation about brandy's future. And just as we are, distillers are deeply enthusiastic. 

"Brandy is the last undiscovered American drink,” Joe Heron, founder of Copper & Kings Distillery in Kentucky, said in the article.  

For starters, brandy is a spirit made from fruit including grapes, apples, pears, plums and apricots. Eau-de-vie is the French term for brandy while rakia (rakija) is the Balkan term for the spirit. Cognac and Armagnac are grape brandies named  for their specific regions of origin in France.

At Dorćol, we make Kinsman Rakia, an award-winning apricot brandy that's double distilled and unaged, giving the spirit big bursts of apricot and tropical fruit on the front, with a dry, slightly spicy finish. Kinsman's clean flavor makes the spirit extremely versatile. Heck, at the distillery's bar, we have a menu of more than 30 classic cocktails where Kinsman is used as the base spirit. 

And things don't end there. We've jump started our barrel-aging program and it's already smelling delicious. There's no timeline on a release but stay tuned to see what we have in store. 

Big props to Imbibe for giving brandy some love. While they believe brandy is the next best thing to happen in the craft spirits industry, we believe it's already here!

Cheers. 

Valentino 

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Second Saturday on South Flores

If you haven’t experienced Second Saturday you’re missing out on one hell of a party. 

The monthly event showcases artists, musicians, food trucks and, of course, we’re always jamming behind the bar at Dorćol where we mix more than 30 different craft cocktails with our award winning spirit. 

But let me further explain for those who aren’t up to speed with all this. Each month, Second Saturday attracts hundreds to the art district south of downtown, one of San Antonio’s oldest communities located just south of King William. Artists from around the city, nation and world show off their talents at galleries situated inside warehouses along S. Flores Street. For more info about what’s going down at the art galleries click here and here

“The art is the anchor,” said Bill Fitzgibbons, who owns Lone Star Studios, an art warehouse at 107 Lone Star, which houses his own studio, Dock Space Gallery, along with Gallista Gallery and Gallery 107. “Going forward our motivation is to add artists.” 

At the distillery, 1902 S. Flores St., we’ll have an art installation by a local artist, a DJ spinning tunes all night and killer libations for all you tipplers looking to get your drink on. On Saturday, we’ll be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. For the event, we’ll host guest barman, Don Marsh of Bar 1919, and we're gonna try some new bar creations. The food truck for the night will be Ay Papi’s, which does some on-point Puerto Rican cuisine. The DJ for the night is Matt Champion and Jorge Villarreal will have some of his work hanging in the distillery. See what we’re doing at Dorćol.

While the party only encompasses a few blocks, there’s a pulsating energy and gritty sophistication that emanates from this vibrant, eclectic community. Heck, the neighborhood is inhabited by artists, journalists, distillers, brewers, architects, business professionals and families who have lived here generations. 

Each Second Saturday we are seeing "fresh faces from all over the city,” said Yvette Benavides, of 1906 Gallery, an 18,000 square foot warehouse that houses art studios such as Gravelmouth, AP Art Lab and Silkworm.

Second Saturday Art Walk

5 p.m.-1 a.m. on June 13 at various spots near S. Flores St. and Lone Star Blvd.

While you are enjoying the craft libations and delicious eats at the distillery, make sure to visit all our friends in the area.

Cheers. 

Valentino

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