The Watering Hole

5 of our favorite spring cocktails from distilleries across Virginia.

Craft distilleries are riding high, with 42 distillers now scattered across the state and several more due to join their ranks this year. Here, some of our favorite cocktail recipes using homegrown whiskey, gin, rum and moonshine. For even more about the individual producers, go to the Virginia Distillers Association.  

Blue Ridge Mint Julep

From Dry Fork Distillery, Meadows of Dan

½ ounce simple syrup
1 ounce Dry Fork Premium Corn Whiskey
1 ounce Dry Fork Blackberry Whiskey
8 ounces ginger ale
4-5 fresh mint leaves

In a glass muddle 3 mint leaves and add simple syrup. Pour in whiskeys and mix. Fill most of the glass with fine crushed ice and top with ginger ale. Garnish with mint.

The Parting Glass

From Catoctin Creek Distilling, Purcellville

1½ ounces watershed Gin
1 ounce raspberry lemon juice
1 ounce sparkling cider or Champagne

Combine the ingredients in a flute or stemmed glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

For the raspberry lemon juice:
Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil to combine, then reduce to simmer and add raspberries. Mash with potato masher or spatula. Simmer until a rich color and flavor, then strain. Combine 3 parts of lemon juice with 1 part raspberry syrup.


From Vitae Spirits, Charlottesville

1 ½ ounces Vitae Spirits Golden Rum
2 slices of lime
3 ounces Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew

Muddle lime slices in a rocks glass. Add ice and rum. Fill glass with ginger brew.

Hot and Heavy

From Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Richmond

1 ounce Belle Isle Honey Habanero Moonshine
½ ounce Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit Moonshine
½ ounce aperol
lime wedge
club soda

Combine moonshines and aperol into a glass. Add ice, and top with club soda. Squeeze the fresh lime wedge over top, then add to the glass for more citrus flavor.


From James River Distillery, Richmond

1 ounce Commonwealth Gin
1 ounce campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth

Combine all ingredients in an old-fashioned or rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange peel.

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Virginia Living Museum

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum