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Cheers To That

By Cristina Wilson

Posted: Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013

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With so many out-of-town guests, it’s only natural to want to show off your hometown’s finest. Bring local flair to your signature cocktail by highlighting a local and in-season ingredient. Maggie Ruppert, Bar Manager, Halcyon, The Mother Earth Group, has shared four of her specialties for the N.C. bride. “Where do you come from? Where did you meet? Having local ingredients represented for your wedding is a reflection of the factors and environments that have shaped you and led you to each other,” says Ruppert. For other spring and summer highlights, she recommends early corn, field peas, blackberries, eggplant, and cantaloupe. www.halcyonflavors.com

Recipes courtesy of Maggie Ruppert, Halcyon & The Mother Earth Group.

Carolina Caipiroska


1 each strawberry, cut into quarters
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 ounce rhubarb syrup*
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1 1/2 ounce Broadslab Legacy Shine (Benton, NC)

Place strawberry and sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass and muddle until the sugar disappears. Add ice, the rhubarb syrup, lemon juice, and the Broadslab. Pour contents into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour back into glass and top with soda water. Serve.

Rhubarb Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add the rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Carolina Cucumber Punch


1 quart water
1 cup lemon juice
4 12-ounce bottles Blenheim's ginger ale (SC)
2 cups thyme syrup*
1/3 bottle white muscadine wine (NC if possible!)
2 each cucumbers, cut thinly into slices
2 bottles Covington Sweet Potato Vodka (Snow Hill, NC)
1 sprig fresh thyme

Combine all ingredients into a punch bowl with a sprig of thyme. Let sit for at least one hour. Serve in punch glasses filled with ice and garnish with cucumber slice.

Thyme Syrup:
2 each sprigs of thyme
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine thyme and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add sugar and lower heat. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pumpkin Potcheen


1 1/2 ounce Troy & Sons pumpkin infused Moonshine (Asheville, NC)*
1/4 ounce mulling spice syrup**
1-2 ounces Blenheim's ginger ale, approximately
8 each macerated pumpkin cubes, approximately

Pack a Collins glass with ice and add moonshine, syrup, and top with ginger ale. Garnish with pumpkin cubes.

Troy & Sons Infused with Pumpkin:
2 cups pumpkin cubes, lightly roasted
1 bottle Troy & Sons moonshine

Add the pumpkin cubes to the bottle of Troy & Sons. Let sit in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Use the macerated pumpkin cubes as garnish for the cocktail.

Mulling Spice Syrup:
1 cup water
2 each cinnamon sticks
3 each green cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 each star anise
2 each orange slices
1 1/2 granulated sugar

Combine all ingredients, except the sugar, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat and strain out all whole ingredients. Allow to cool.

Mull it Over


1.5 ounce Carriage House apple brandy (Asheville, NC)
Mulled hot apple cider*
1 each cinnamon stick
Grated nutmeg
1 each orange slice

Pour brandy into a mug and top with cider. Garnish with cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, and orange wheel.

Mulled Hot Apple Cider:
1 gallon apple cider from local orchard or farmer's market.
1 each orange, cut into slices
1 each star anise
3 each cardamom pods, burst.
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in saucepot and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep hot with all ingredients in cider urn.

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