One of my all-time favorite things to do is go hiking. Now, I am not talking professional ankle-boots, water bladder, bear whistle in my pocket hiking. I’m talking about driving past a pretty trail on a weekend afternoon, hopping out of the car, noticing that I fortuitously happen to be wearing yoga pants and tennis shoes, and going for an impromptu hike… sort-of-hiking. It’s spontaneous, adventurous, and good for the soul. You know what one of my other all-time favorite things to do is? Drink a good cocktail after a spontaneous day. In my opinion, that is also good for the soul. And lucky for you and me, I have teamed up with Great America to create a post-hiking cocktail that is sure to quench your thirst for adventure. The Blue Ridge Cocktail, my friends!
Featuring Great America’s Carolina Clear, pine-infused simple syrup, whisky, white grape juice, and marshmallow syrup, it is an homage to the great outdoors. And I couldn’t have teamed up with a more rugged, all-American brand to bring you this boozy delight. Great America malt specialty is brewed and bottled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. I specifically chose their Carolina Clear due to its, somewhat dichotomous, smooth yet crisp flavor. This unique malt taste lends itself beautifully to the end of a lovely day hiking. Without further ado, I present to you the Blue Ridge Cocktail…
- 2 ½ ounces of Great America Carolina Clear
- 1 ounce of a peat whisky
- 1 ounce of white grape juice
- ½ ounce of pine-infused simple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of marshmallow syrup
- Garnish with roasted marshmallow
- Start off by making the pine-infused simple syrup. In a medium saucepan, simmer 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and ½ cup of fresh pine needles over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a cup and let cool. Set aside.
- In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients. Shake vigorously until a foamy, milky consistency forms.
- Strain into a tumbler (or campfire cup) and garnish with a roasted marshmallow. Enjoy!
And there you have it! A wonderfully adult way to end a perfectly good hiking day. Special thanks to Great America for letting me play with their majorly cool malt specialty.