It doesn’t matter if your guests enjoy their cocktails neat, on the rocks, shaken, stirred, or blended having a great signature themed beverage at your event always adds a little extra happy to your social hours and evening gatherings. Bourbon might sound scary to some, but when mixed with perfectly partnered ingredients it could have your guests saying, ‘just one more.’
Bourbon is whiskey made in the US and distilled from corn, though the exact science is a little more complicated, and we know that the Midwest is full of corn. Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery near Swisher, IA, a short drive from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City, is the oldest and largest whiskey producing distillery in the state. Located in the heart of corn country and crafting Multi-award winning Iowa Bourbon Whiskey, their pristine product is the result of hard work, use of the best Iowa corn, and maintaining minimal waste.
Jamie Seifken, General Manager at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery, told Midwest Meetings a bit about their process that produces such award winning bourbon. “With Iowa corn grown from our fertile soil, we use 75% corn where only 51% is required, we remove the ‘heads’ (top 5% of the distillate), and use the ‘hearts’ of our small batches,” this fills each bottle with “just the good stuff.” Their focus on quality craftsmanship makes for their award-winning recipe.
Cedar Rapids Winery and Distillery also houses three great venues, from the Tasting Room overlooking the vineyards with a 24-foot tasting bar, the Board Room for intimate meetings, or the Event Center with room for up to 200 guests and the ability to open to an outdoor terrace - there is not a bad view to be had nor a bad drink to be imbibed.
Seifken explained some of the laws, “Iowa laws prohibit the sale of more than 2 oz of spirits per person, per day at our tasting bar,” but when you host a private event, your catering team and mixologist can create a cocktail just for you, utilizing the Cedar Ridge spirits of your choice. Tours are always offered during events and allow guests to “see what we do and how we do it,” according to Seifken. “We enjoy doing as many tours as possible…tours grant us a captive audience that help us to share and build a loyal brand following.”
Old Fashioned with a Splash of Sass
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp Sugar
1 Orange wheel
1 Maraschino Cherry
1 splash of Club Soda
2 oz Bourbon
In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the bitters, sugar, orange wheel, cherry, and splash of soda.
Remove the orange rind, add the bourbon and fill glass with ice.
Garnish with a fresh orange wheel and cherry.