By LEAH LEWIS
I have a great group of friends. We have a pretty regular weekly date that usually involves a tasty beverage (or six) and somehow (Pinterest) we have all become obsessed with making new, fantastic and gourmet cocktails! One of our favorites is the Mojito. Some people may call it an “obsession” in fact, I’m pretty sure the reason our school’s community garden is overrun with mint is because we wanted to make sure we would never run out mid-summer–so we over planted!
We have made several variations. I think the hands down winner was the Rhubarb Mojito, concocted by my scientist friend Sally. A tangy, pink rhubarb syrup, muddled with fresh mint, sparkling club soda and topped with a shot of sweet rum. How about that rum?
If you are ready to really wow the guests at your next cocktail party or back yard barbeque, pick up a bottle of Hibiscus Coconut Rum from the Whistling Andy Distillery in Bigfork. Next to the carwash on the corner of 35 and 209 you can visit the new distillery and, if you are riding shotgun, have a taste!
Like most micro-distilleries Whistling Andy is starting off with the clears. Like my hero Chelsea Handler, I have no problem with this! One recent weekend on the shores of Echo Lake in Bigfork my family and a few guests opened a bottle of the Whistling Andy Vodka. I’m an occasional vodka drinker for sure, I was pleasantly surprised by how full and rich this particular bottle was.
Thick and syrupy poured over ice with a squeeze of lemon is how we tried it. This was not your usual Grey Goose! My brother in law couldn’t get enough! I preferred it with a light mixer, nothing too sweet or masking though. A splash of lemonade and a few raspberries from the market were just perfect!
My friends who aren’t beer drinkers (*gasp*) are thrilled with the new micro-distilleries popping up. Look for Whistling Andy at Grizzly Liquor in Downtown Missoula if you aren’t making it up to The Lake soon. And we are curious to try the new Montgomery Distillery opening soon on Front Street in Downtown. Cheers! To a refreshing and Local summer cocktail!
Check out more of the Maiden’s favorite made-in-Missoula schwag and hometown services: The Art of Good Food, Jax Hats, and Made In Missoula Wedding Gifts. Got a Missoula-made product or service for Leah to review? Let her know in the comments.
Leah Lewis is living the dream on Missoula’s Northside with her handsome and handy husband Mark, daughters Zoe and Mila, two dogs, and a cat. She enjoys making things on her sewing machine, with her knitting needles, and in her kitchen. You can listen to her play today’s pop music every day on U104.5 FM, or listen to her podcast about hundred or more year old pop music on her classical music podcast with Darko Butorac from the Missoula Symphony. You might catch Leah and her family relaxing in their backyard, cheering on the Missoula Osprey, or rooting for the Lady Griz on any given weekend.