Fete Local: New Columbia Distillers + Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

Well, it took two fete locals for us to feature a local distillery, which is about two more than I thought it would. Fortunately, we recently found our way to a tasting of the fabulous Green Hat Gin and a tour of the first craft distillery in DC since prohibition: New Columbia. Co-owners Michael Lowe and John Uselton graciously showed us around their distillery, explaining their craft and how they opened up shop. Oh and pouring a few small tastes of their outstanding gins, of course.

New Columbia currently distills a classic gin and two seasonal editions (a Spring/Summer and a Fall/Winter) — we’ve had all of them and they are all truly delicious on their own or in a cocktail. I particularly like the Spring/Summer edition, which features floral cherry blossoms (from a local florist) and rosemary sunbaked in John’s own backyard. How’s that for local? Plus, keep your eyes peeled for a rye whiskey on which they’re currently working.

In addition to crafting fantastic gins, New Columbia boasts spectacular graphic design (from local Design Army) and an awesome backstory to their gin’s name (it’s the moniker of the legendary bootlegger to Congress). AND you too can check out the New Columbia Distillery, which opens its doors for free tasting and tours every Saturday from 1 – 4 pm. Father’s Day is right around the corner and we can pretty much guarantee that dads would appreciate a tour and tasting far more than another bad tie (or good tie, for that matter). We intended to take both Mr. Fetes with us, but they were too busy being awesome dads. Don’t worry, we picked up a little something for them from the Distillery’s retail store. But if you can swing it, a tasting and tour followed by eats and drinks at nearby Union Market would be fabulous. Also, if you really want to get involved, get on the Distillery’s bottling party list — if you’re lucky, you might get picked to help label and bottle a batch.

If you are just looking for the gins, the Distillery retail store is open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. They are also in an impressive number of retail stores, restaurants and bars throughout DC, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware (you can check out all the DC spots right here). Pick up a bottle of the Spring/Summer edition and get busy making one of the Distillers’ favorite cocktails: Michael likes a classic gin + tonic and John’s into a Summer Rickey variation (btw, we learned that the Gin Rickey is DC’s official cocktail and you can expect to see something from us on that soon!).

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

A Feteful Life: Green Hat Gin

Cocktail Hour: The Elegant Spice

A Feteful Life: The Elegant Spice CoctailIt’s officially Spring (despite the fact that we still have some lingering snow on the ground) and I for one couldn’t be more happy about that! I’m in love with this pretty pink cocktail and it couldn’t be more perfect for the change of season. The fresh grapefruit and lime juice keeps it light and fresh but the addition of some cardamom bitters gives just a hint of spice and warmth. Drink up!

The Elegant Spice {by Scrappy’s Bitters}

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces white rum
2 1/2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce cointreau
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1-2 dashes scrappy’s cardamom bitters
squeeze of lime

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in an old fashioned glass and serve with ice.

 

Minty Fresh Pieces for Spring

I’m not a huge pastels girl. They just don’t particularly suit my personality. BUT I happen to love a good mint accessory or wardrobe piece and Pantone’s Hemlock is one of my favorite 2014 colors. I still take them with a little edge, though. These are the pieces I’m eyeing up for spring. How about you!? Are you a pastels person?

A Feteful Life: Mint Pieces for Spring

1. These skinny mint green jeans would work perfectly with a white tee and a pair of nude flats (good thing I’ve got my eye on several of those, too).

2. I love this super inexpensive mint and gold silicone watch — a great pop of color without commitment.

3. Because obviously I don’t have enough flats, these would be great to pair with netural colors or even a pattern.

4. I’m a big fan of J.Crew jewelry and this darker mint bracelet gives you the color with some (still glam) punk.

5. These mint and gold foil earrings square up perfectly with our love for all things geometric (remember this and this?)

6. Heavens to Betsey, this studded mint crossbody bag is fabulous.