Partner Feature: Belle Isle Craft Spirits

Partner Feature: Belle Isle Craft Spirits

Apr 13, 2018Stephen Robertson

A few years back we got an email out of the blue from Gregg Brooks at Belle Isle Craft Spirits asking what we thought of the idea of a coffee infused moonshine. As you might imagine, the thought had never crossed our minds, but we’ve always been up for trying new things, so we agreed to work with Gregg to see if we could develop something people would actually drink.

We really had no idea what we were doing, but with Gregg’s background as a mixologist, and our knowledge of coffee, we slowly started to zero in on a drinkable product. Every few weeks, Gregg would show up at our roasting facility with few of bottles of his latest experiments. We’d taste through everything, make notes, and brainstorm on possible improvements - all while fighting the urge for a post-moonshine tasting afternoon nap.

We had gotten the recipe very close to what we wanted. We learned that aroma and color came from bean-steep, and flavor came from cold brew. We knew we wanted it slightly sweetened, so we were using natural cane sugar, but something still wasn’t quite right. We were at somewhat of an impasse, when Gregg took some organic honey leftover from a production run of their Honey Habanero Moonshine and added it to the cold brew blend. This was the missing piece. Honey added the sweetness we were after while also creating a silky texture that smoothed out the coffee flavor and made the infusion a pleasure to drink.

Over the next few months, Gregg, Vincent, and the rest of the Belle Isle Craft Spirits team worked to get the Cold Brew Moonshine approved for distribution while we all worked on developing a set of recipes and a marketing plan for the product’s release. With no other products of its kind on the market, the Cold Brew Moonshine was immediately successful, and has continued to grow in popularity ever since.

We’re proud to know that our coffee makes it into craft cocktails throughout the United States and abroad, and we couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with than the Belle Isle team. Find out where to buy Belle Isle Cold Brew Moonshine, and check out all their products and a ton of great recipes at their website.

Here’s a cocktail we’re loving here at Blanchard’s to get your weekend started right:

Brown Bear
2 oz Belle Isle Cold Brew
1 teaspoon fernet branca 
1.5 oz heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar

Dry shake
Add ice 
Strain into chilled coupe glass 
Top with a dash of orange bitters and a dash of molé bitters
Dust with Dutch process cocoa powder

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