We’ve got nothing against a good hot toddy or spiked eggnog, but this year we’re turning to the pages of Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History, to bring something a little more unique to the holiday table. Please enjoy these 5 Colonial libations picked from our go-to recipe book. For more recipes, you can pick up your copy of Colonial Spirits at Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and online here.


The Snakebite is a modern monstrosity that calls to mind nothing so much as the indelibly awful Alannah Myles’s international Top 10 hit from 1989, “Black Velvet,” which is also a thing that some people call the Snakebite. Bill Clinton was famously refused one in England, proving that while we may have won our independence, the Brits got to keep their dignity. Even so, we can admit (though not in mixed company, of course)…it’s not bad.



Snakebite (p.64)

1 cup Hard Apple Cider

1 cup brown ale or Stock Ale

Pour fresh hard apple cider into a pint glass. Slowly top with the brown ale or stock ale.


When colonists realized they had neither the supplies nor the tools to properly make the traditional (and often meaty) suet puddings they’d enjoyed on the other side of the Atlantic, the cobbler was born. These were a sweeter, somewhat lighter affair, with fruit flavors being at the core. Cobblers were traditionally made from a base spirit (most popular was sherry), sugar, fruit, and citrus (acid). Since shrubs contain sugar, fruit, and acid; we’ll use them here to create these modern interpretations. Do use dry wines, and depending on your taste when it comes to sweet things, you may want to dial up the amount of shrub to taste.


Red Cobbler (p.84)

½ cup red wine, preferably dry

¾ ounce Strawberry Shrub

1 to 2 strawberries, thinly sliced

.In a cocktail shaker full of ice, combine wine & shrub. Strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Garnish.

Ah, but as we know, ice cream would have been on hand in the colonial era. And ginger beer, too! Although this is a temperance recipe, this drink greatly benefits from 2 ounces


Ginger Beer Float (p. 140)

2 oz of Art in the Age Chicory Root

½ cup vanilla ice cream

1 cup Ginger Beer

Add ice cream into a tall glass. Pour in a 2 oz of Chicory Root Vodka. Top glass with ginger beer.

Fish House Punch is refreshing. It’s light on the palate, and yet it has the power to knock even the most stout historical figure on his/her posterior. And as it happens, it is what we mean when we say punch, but seldom receive.

Dissolve all of the sugar in one pint (.5 quart) of water. Strain the lemon juice and add it to the dissolved sugar.

Fish House Punch (p.105)

1 quart of Lemon Juice

1 quart of Camp Robber Whiskeyjack

5 quarts of Rum

5 pounds of Sugar

4 ½ quarts Water

Add all ingredients into a punch bowl with ice. Serve into individual glasses and garnish with fresh lemon.

Make no mistake: When we/they say “Ass’s Milk,” we/they mean “that milk which would be produced by a donkey.” And when we/they say “Artificial Ass’s Milk,” we/they mean “the next best thing to that milk which would be produced by a donkey.” That may sound like we’re damning it with faint praise, but in our experience, it has proven best to just drink it and leave as much as possible unsaid.



Artificial Ass Milk (p. 138)

2 cups skim milk

¼ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat. Add sugar & salt. Stir until dissolved. Serve immediately.

Enjoy the history of our town aged in white oak barrels and poured as liquid lore in every glass.

Join us in a toast: This is our story.

Once reserved, pick up your bottle at the barrel house October 16th, from 3-5pm as our distillers bottle our first straight rye whiskey in honor of the town of Tamworth’s 250th Anniversary. Enjoy free live music, refreshments, and a bonfire.

Reserve your bottle of #1766Whiskey now: http://bit.ly/2cTHybp



Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History, offers a peek into the barrooms and battlefields of the revolution, and a sip from the punch bowls of our ancestors. Within its pages you’ll find the stories behind everything from our founding fathers’ favorite tipples to the surprising origins of American beer, wine, rum, and whiskey. This isn’t a simple history, or even a recipe book: it’s an almanac of alcohol and the birth of our nation, with lists, charts, and recipes alongside tall tales and folklore.

While researching for “Colonial Spirits”, Tamworth Distilling founder Steven Grasse came across a recipe from 1st Lady Martha Washington’s journals for Cherry Bounce. a14a9957To pick up on this tradition we recreated a new recipe based off her husband’s favorite tipple, to release alongside Colonial Spirits.

Cherry Bounce was a tasty way to preserve the fresh fruit of harvests all year round, and in this case to flavor a spirit. Sweet Lips has a base of house made rye whiskey, stored in oak with Cherries, apple brandy and neutral spirits for infusing.

Starting with Martha’s simple recipe, we wanted to make something that was true to history but also something that is a truly unique interpretation. The project started by investigating Martha’s original recipe, which was focused around the flavor of cherry pits. edit_2Once we established our base, we added Tahitian vanilla, which contributed deep notes of leather, tobacco, and nuts. To provide a rustic, smoky edge we also added a distillate of smoked cardamom to play off Martha’s classic baking spices.

Additionally, a very subtle background of heavy, floral notes were added to skew the profile from excessively warm to slightly fruity. A bittersweet balance is essential to easy sipping and this was achieved with a long infusion of wild cherry bark. With the final recipe down, our Cherry Bounce Liqueur of course required a name!

George Washington became recognized as the father of the American Foxhound when he began breeding French Hounds with Black and Tan Hounds. Sweet Lips was his most prized hound, among others including Taster, Tipler, and Tipsy. Sweet Lips was his most favored traveling companion, along with a canteen of Cherry Bounce.

Sweet Lips is available at Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile, alongside Colonial Spirits, while supplies last. You can also pick up your copy of Colonial Spirits at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or order online here: www.colonialspiritsbook.com



“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” – New England Proverb

Introducing Blueberry Fizz! A fermented offering made from blueberry pomace left over from our Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial. We combined plump, alcohol-rich berries with fresh-pressed New Hampshire apple juice, and unaged apple brandy for a fizzy drink that’s both tart and brightly fruity.

We’ve always been committed to using local, sustainable ingredients that are central to Tamworth, New Hampshire. We’ve created gins, whiskey, vodka, cordials, and other fine spirits tailored to this mantra.  However, our experiments sometimes result in products that don’t quite fit into any existing categories. When creating Blueberry Fizz, we drew on techniques from several schools of alcohol — distilled spirits, beer, wine, and cider — to create a completely unique approach to the “ready to drink” cocktail.

After making AITA Black Trumpet Blueberry, our distillers were left with a batch of low bush blueberries plumped up with neutral grain spirit from the infusion process. When making the cordial, the blueberries were left whole in order to manage oxygen content, which would destroy the cordial’s flavor over time. However, oxygen is crucial for yeast health and procreation. So, by pressing and re-fermenting the now aerated berries, conditions are perfect for fermentation with champagne yeast (which works well with the high alcohol, acidity, and fruit sugar base). In addition to creating some delicious alcohol out of what otherwise would’ve been waste, the fermentation process also chews up the unwanted oxygen, creating a more stable end product.a14a5030

This re-fermented blend of blueberries and cider is then back-sweetened and fortified with some additional blueberry infusion that spent time aging in used rye whiskey barrels. The barreled infusion has some sweetness that balances the dry tannins of the pressed, fermented blueberries. Finally, another layer of flavor is added with a touch of Tamworth’s pot still apple brandy.

In the end, Blueberry Fizz is a unique fusion of the beer, wine, and spirits worlds — both warm and brightly fruity, honoring the apples and berries that made it. The nose begins with warm, barrel, and round berry notes before moving to baked apple and rich wine, finishing on fresh and floral brandy notes. The palate has a pronounced winey quality – a rich balance of semi-sweetness and blueberry tannins with spritzes of voluminous red berry and oak vanillins carried aloft by the liquid’s bubbles. The finish is long and lasting.

At 16.76% ABV, bottled in a sleek 750 mL champagne-style bottle, the Blueberry Fizz is a refreshing sipper that can easily fill in for white wines, brut, or spritzers. Served chilled, this carbonated hybrid can be enjoyed on its own or serve as the base for a variety of mixers.