We’ll drive the North and South roads in the summer, visiting the farm stands to stock our kitchens with fresh herbs and summer fruits and vegetables. Enjoying in the bounty of summer is one of the great joys of living in the North East. Cooking is about bringing together the gems we’ve collected with balance. We bring this practice with us to work. Saying YES to whatever we can from our favorite farms and food producers. Fermenting them into to alcohol and extracting their essence. This is old world distilling. Old, old world -- where distilleries complimented farms. Todays modern distilleries are locked in a model of mass production, requiring epic amounts of single ingredients, such as corn, farmed as efficiently as possible, to maximize yield and reduce cost.
Sorted Fortune is like the idealistic thesis of Matchbook Distilling Co. Musk melons from local Treiber Farms had grown with incredible aromatics but terrible texture -- not great for eating but perfect for beverage making. There were about 250 lbs -- we pressed them in Dolce, our wine press.
One of our clients was making a batch of bitter that day, utilizing the peels of boxes of fresh citrus -- but nothing planned for the fruit. So into the winepress it went. And the musk melons and citrus co-fermented into alcohol in glass demijons. A week or so later, we added them into the still.
We had whey from White Mustache that had come in some months back -- we had fermented and distilled it, and put it to rest for a later day. Into the still that went. We had made a rosolio with our Sauvignon Blanc eau-de-vie and fresh, super aromatic damask roses. Into the still that went. And speaking of roses, it was beach rose season! So we went to the beach and harvested a 5 gallon bucket worth of fresh beach roses. A peak summer smell. Into the still that went.
Our buddy Greg of Hoppy Acres messaged us about fresh hop leaves. We grabbed a garbage bag full of them and tossed those in the still. And finally, Juniper branches from an organic farm just across The Sound.
A collection of summer things.. a reflection of summer bounty.. a symbiotic relationship with the farms..
In case you find yourself with a skosh left of in the of Sorted Fortune after that first round with friends, here's a crisp and cooling summer sunset sipper to try.
The Sunset Cardigan
2 ounces Sorted Fortune
.5 ounces Cocchi Americano
.25 ounces Pineau de Charentes
1 sprig mint
Combine ingredients (yes, including the mint, stirred with mint!) into a mixing glass over ice. Stir until your preferred dilution & taste. Garnish with mint & grapefruit zest. Smile.