BookaLokal Event with Bloomery SweetShine

Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charles Town, West Virginia is bringing moonshine out of the shadows and into the world of quality, craft cocktails. Bloomery’s all natural SweetShine begins with 190 proof moonshine and adds pure cane sugar and farm-fresh ingredients. Their time and effort comes through in every sip. I was able to taste the majority of their line at a recent BookaLokal event.

BookaLokal is a global social dining community that that helps people connect through food and beverage experiences around the world. Guests are travelers, locals, and people settling into a new city, and hosts are people who love sharing their passion for food and for where they live with new people from around the world.

Walking into this event, I was greeted by Hope and T, our smiling hosts from Bloomery Distillery. The cheekiness of the banners and labels led me to know this would be a whimsical and laid-back event. Expecting about 10 guests, we mingled and chatted over our welcome cocktail, The Black Betty. Made with 2 parts Bourbon, 1 part Bloomery Black Walnut**, and Raspberry Jam to taste – all shaken over ice. For non-bourbon drinkers, I would recommend reducing the amount to equal parts with the Black Walnut or subbing another dark liquor such as a Spiced Rum.

Heading into the parlor, we learned about the history of moonshine and the Bloomery Distillery. We tasted the majority of their line including Raspberry Lemon, Limoncello, Cremma Lemma, Cranberry Clementine, Peach, Ginger, Black Walnut, and had a surprise addition of the seasonal flavor Pumpkin Spice ~ as you remember from my fall pumpkin series, I love REAL pumpkin spice, and this one knocked it out of the park.

With our newly imbibed knowledge, we headed in to make four cocktails. SweetShine brought an array of mixers, liquors, and garnishes to play with. Chocotenango, a local DC artisanal chocolatier provided chocolate bars to pair with the cocktails. Their selection of chocolate bars included dark chocolate with praline, dark chocolate with cardamom, milk chocolate with hickory smoked almonds, and milk chocolate with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

#1 ~ Guided Cocktail

Mastering how to measure the ingredients and using the shakers, we made the Ruby Red Slipper

Equal parts Gin, SweetShine Raspberry Lemon, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

Paired with Dark Chocolate with Cardamom

#2 ~ Taste it, Make it

Each team had to taste a cocktail and try to recreate it. My team won thanks to an Aussie who correctly tasted the addition of Peach.

One part each of Bourbon, Ginger Shine, and Peach Shine

Paired with Milk Chocolate with Nutmeg, Salt, and Pepper

#3 ~ Secret Ingredient

We were given Old Bay Vodka as a secret ingredient. I do not like flavored vodkas so cannot be a great judge on this. Honestly, the only thing I would pair with this is the kitchen drain, but it could work well in a Bloody Mary. Not given tomato juice, this was not an option. I do not remember exactly what we came up with, but the other team won this competition.

#4 ~ Cocktails of the Day

Each team was now able to just play and come up with whatever they wanted. With the other team making a spin on a Gin and Tonic, my team used dark liquors to have very different cocktails. I think we came up with some amazing cocktails!

Spring Cello

  • 1 part Peach Shine, 2 parts Gin, 4 parts Tonic and a Mint Leaf garnish

  • Paired with Milk Chocolate with Nutmeg, Salt, and Pepper

Bloomin’ Bloomery

  • 1 part Aged Spiced Rum, ½ part Bourbon, 1 ½ part Black Walnut shaken with 1 Allspice Berry, 2 Whole Cloves, and 2 dashes of Cinnamon

  • Paired with Dark Chocolate with Praline

All in all, this was a wonderful experience. The BookaLokal hosts did an amazing job bringing strangers together to leave as friends. I can’t wait to attend my next event with them.

modeling our new Bloomery SweetShine TShirts!

**SweetShine’s Black Walnut won “Best Nut Liqueur” at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirit Competition. They were awarded the prestigious Double Gold medal meaning the judges were unanimous in giving it a gold medal. This was my personal favorite, and a bottle is now gracing my home bar.

all event photos by Amber Wilkie of Amber Wilkie Photography

#spirits #winespecialist #mixology #entertaining #cocktails #pumpkin #celebrations #recipe #tips #savor #dceventdesigner #libations #outabout #chocolate #dceventplanner

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