Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bathtub Gin ~

~ I did a show here in Bethpage called "Homemade Harvest".  It was right across the street from our property.  They had over 40 venders, bluegrass music by the McCormick Brothers, old tractors all in a large beautiful field.  The day was just beautiful.  I met two very sweet ladies that had their own booth selling Jam made from liquor and liqueurs.  Very different, Very good, even the label is so silky smooth.

I will tell you, I'm not the smartest person.  I knew that they used liquor and liqueurs in their great tasting Jam, but, I still wondered what their name meant.  So...I googled it ~bathtub gin ~ The only discrepancy that I found was, some say that the gin wasn't made in the bathtub and other's say it was.  It really doesn't matter, both, use the bathtub.  So, now I feel stupid, lol.

Bathtub gin refers to any style of homemade spirit made in amateur conditions. The term first appeared in 1920, in the prohibition-era United States, in reference to the poor-quality alcohol that was being made.[1]

As gin was the predominant drink in the Roaring 20's, many variations were created by mixing cheap grain alcohol with water and flavorings and other agents, such as juniper berry juice and glycerin. Contrary to popular belief, the spirit was not made in a bathtub. Rather, because the preferred sort of bottle was too tall to be topped off with water from a sink, they were filled from a bathtub tap.
Many other cocktails owe their life to bathtub gin, as they were also created in order to mask the awful taste.

The term bathtub gin often conjures up glamorous images of flapper girls, speakeasies and the Roaring Twenties. In reality, bathtub gin was the end result of cheap grain alcohols and flavorings such as juniper berries allowed to steep in a tub for several hours or even days. Because the 18th Amendment specifically prohibited the sale or manufacture of distilled alcohol, many producers of bathtub gin were forced to use denatured alcohol which may or may not have been thoroughly processed. A number of party-goers died during the 1920s after drinking contaminated bathtub gin.
Traditional gin is not a distillation of grain alcohol and juniper berries, but rather a steeping between the two. Straight gin is not considered very drinkable on its own, since it tends to be extremely dry. Gin is often mixed with tonic watervermouth or fruit juices to make it more palatable. The makers of bathtub gin understood how undrinkable their product would be, so bartenders at secret clubs called speakeasies were encouraged to come up with their own recipes for cocktails. Many of these cocktail recipes devised to cover up the horrid taste of bathtub ginstill exist today.
~ After I read this, I loved the name for their business and their logo of the lady even more than I originally did.  Very very smart marketing!  I'm just loving it!

~Amy and Erin at the Homemade Harvest Festival.

~ Here are few articles that tell a bit about them.

~Bathtub Gin Gang,
This weekend promises to be all kinds of fun with not one, but two fantastic festivals. Tomorrow night we are very proud to be participating in the first ever Southern Artisan Cheese Festival! We have prepared some new recipes and pairing suggestions for our fruit spreads and many of the fabulous cheese selections that will be available tomorrow night. That’s right, we tirelessly developed these delicious combos for your benefit – it was a tough assignment but we gladly stepped up to the proverbial “cheese” plate (Was that too cheesy? Groan…). Check out the great article from the Tennessean here
What: The Southern Artisan Cheese Festival
 6-9 p.m. Friday
 The Nashville Farmers Market, 900 Rosa Parks Blvd.,
Tickets: Advance tickets for food, beer and wine are $40 at Those not imbibing can buy tickets for $20. Advance tickets include a $5 voucher toward the purchase of any cheeses or artisan foods at the event. Tickets at the door are $45 and $25. A portion of proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank and the American Cheese Society Education Foundation.
On Saturday, fresh off our cheese stupor from the night before we will be selling at the 28th Annual Gallatin Main Street Festival. This year’s festival will feature more vendors with handmade foods and crafts and a larger children’s play area, with numerous inflatable slides and games.

What: 28th Annual Gallatin Main Street Festival
 Saturday, Oct. 1, 10am – 6pm
Downtown streets will be closed from Boyers to Locust avenues, and from Smith to Broadway streets.
Thank you to all of you who ventured out to Bethpage last Saturday for the first Handmade Harvest. It was a beautiful day and we thoroughly enjoyed the bluegrass music, the food and meeting all of the talented crafters.
Hope to see you out and about this weekend,
Amy & Erin

Bathtub Gin, LLC

~ I also found a nice article in the Nashville Scene ~

Pump up the Jam with Bathtub Gin Fruit Spreads (and Booze)


Two of my favorite vendors at the monthly Night Market are Amy Lorber and Erin AckleyBathtub Gin." You can usually find them stationed right next to another favorite purveyor, Kathleen Cotter of The Bloomy Rind, because their products complement each other so exquisitely.
As charming a duo as you could ask for to pitch their own product, Amy and Erin grew up making jams with their mother using fresh ingredients from their own garden. Now they have expanded these efforts into a line of jams that use fruit in the same way that speakeasies did — by combining them with a perfect match with a spirit or liqueur to enhance the flavors. They use organic and local ingredients whenever possible and have released several intriguing and flavorful varieties.
The first that I ever tasted and purchased was their Limoncello-Strawberry melange. While it's delicious on a crunchy piece of Melba toast or on top of a croissant, the sisters also suggest using it as a flavoring for smoothies or with a fruit salad. Of course, I immediately started thinking of a way to use it in a cocktail.
One of the favorite discoveries I made at this year's Tales of the Cocktail is that there is nothing wrong with enjoying a well-made cocktail with breakfast. Don't just limit yourself to bloody marys and mimosas; if you keep the alcohol levels manageable for morning consumption and look for flavor profiles that pair well with breakfast items, there's something damned civilized about sipping a highball with your eggs Benedict.
But the big surprise was that my favorite morning bracer was a drink made out of scotch. The thought of drinking blended scotch while the sun is shining had never crossed my mind before I tried a Monkey Jam Sour made from Monkey Shoulder Whisky, a triple malt made from three of Speyside's finest malts. Unfortunately, since Monkey Shoulder is not yet available in the U.S., it could be a long time before we can buy it in Tennessee.
Being the industrious (and cheap) lad that I am, I decided to substitute Dewar's and Bathtub Gin Limoncello-Strawberry in the original recipe to create a version of the Monkey Jam Sour that I strongly encourage you to try out some Sunday morning soon, perhaps before a Titans game. It's crisp, refreshing and will turn haters into Scotch lovers. It does contain a small bit of raw egg as do most fizzes, so as always drink at your own risk if you are concerned about that sort of thing.

Bathtub Scotch
(adapted from the Monkey Jam Sour)
2 oz. Dewar's Scotch Whisky
1 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
a dash of egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons Bathtub Gin Limoncello-Strawberry
In a shaker add the whiskey. Cut a wedge out of the lemon and set aside for garnish, then squeeze the rest of the lemon into the shaker. Add the sugar, egg white, jam and ice. The egg white will serve as a binder.
Shake vigorously. Seriously, shake the hell out of it like the guys at The Patterson House. You want to make sure to blend the thick jam with the thin alcohol and lemon juice, and you're trying to froth up the egg whites a bit so:
Shake it, shake, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)
Shake it, shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)
Shake it, shake it like a Polaroid Picture, shake it, shake it
Shh you got to, shake it, shh shake it, shake it, got to shake it
(Shake it Suga') shake it like a Polaroid Picture.
It helps to think of Outkast while you're doing this.
Strain over a new set of rocks in a double highball glass and garnish with the lemon wedge. Then start thinking about making another one for yourself or for someone else so you can shake off that plate of eggs Benedict.
~ So, there you have it.  Go on Etsy and get some, or, go to one of their events.  Trust will NOT be disappointed!