Elevation 5003 in FC

After a day on the links in Colorado in late November…

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and seeing a beautiful sunset…

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one must cap off the night. Recently checked out Elevation 5003 Distillery in Fort Collins, CO. They make a few spirits, including gin, vodka and whiskey. If you visit the tasting room, there is nice selection of drinks they concoct on site. One that I enjoyed, that is not on the menu anymore, but my friends had the bartender make, was the Timber Ridge Ramble. I just know it had gin, blackberries and great taste. If you live in, or are visiting Fort Collins, check this place out. Or, pick up a bottle of their stuff up or order a drink with it from the restaurant or bar you’re visiting.

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Bloody Mary

A great way to start the new year is by enjoying a delicious Bloody Mary. I like doing this because the bubbly was enjoyed on New Year’s Eve, so no need for mimosas right now.

I happened to get some delicious mix for said drink in my stocking so it was even easier to concoct this beverage. Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning is amazing stuff. Great spices (with 14 natural ingredients) and taste, all you need is that tomato juice, vodka, ice and any adornments (I had some nice green olives to toss in). Cheers!

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Marinated Mushroom, Manchego and Vodka Tomato Skewers

Was going tailgating recently and was asked to bring fingerfoods.  Went through various recipes and put a few together to come up with something that ended up way too good.  I made mini skewers (used toothpicks) of marinated mushrooms, squares of manchego, and vodka-spiked tomatoes.  Delicious!  Then, with the leftovers that I didn’t skewer, combined everything and it made a delicious salad(tossed it with mixed greens, too).

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Marinated Mushrooms

1 lb mushrooms
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
(some) garlic — you can never have too much (I was in another kitchen and had to use dry stuff)
S&P
paprika
2-3 bay leaves

Slice mushroom.  Mix all other ingredients together.  Mix in mushrooms.  Let sit 30 minutes-overnight in fridge.

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Vodka Spiked Tomatoes

Ingredients

3 pints firm small red and yellow cherry tomatoes – I use(d) grape ones
1/2 cup vodka
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

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Preparation

-Cut a small X in skin of blossom end of each tomato. ** I just sliced a bit into each one — I don’t have the patience to make an X into a cherry tomato, make a bigger slice.

-Blanch tomatoes, 5 at a time, in a saucepan of boiling water 3 seconds and immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. **I did them all at once in a huge pan, much easier.

-Drain and peel, transferring to a large shallow dish. **Did not peel, don’t have the patience because I tried it once and it takes forever.  Make a bigger cut in step one.  And, no you don’t get as much vodka taste, but it still works.

-Stir together vodka, vinegar, sugar, and zest until sugar is dissolved, then pour over tomatoes, gently tossing to coat. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

When the mushroom and tomatoes were ready, I ‘skewered’ them with cubed Manchego onto toothpicks.  It made for the perfect size for tailgaiting.  Will definitely make them again!

Bootlegging

Was at the Navy Football game the other day, with of course some great tailgating, and was introduced to a distillery put together by some former Midshipmen.  Go Navy!  It’s Prohibition Distillery, based out of New York.  We had the chance to enjoy some of their Vodka and Gin (not mixed together), both named Bootlegger 21.  The vodka was used to make some amazing Bloody Marys, which were strategically blended and poured back into a Vodka bottle.

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For the Gin, I heard that it makes a very nice G&T but I enjoyed a sample of a lime, lemon, mint and some other (non-alcoholic) stuff.  Unique and quite good.  I would not want more than one of them, though.

bootlegI would recommend giving this stuff a try.  Hopefully you can find it in your area if you’re so inclined to do so.