Buffalo: Meet Black Button Distilling! Originating in Rochester, NY, Black Button is on the scene and they're quickly making a name for themselves here in the Queen City. Jake & I were invited to check out their brand new tasting room here in Buffalo and we jumped at the chance!
Black Button Distilling prides themselves on Living Large in Small Batches! The care they take in crafting their small batch, grain to glass spirits shows in each sip. Smooth and flavorful, there wasn't a single thing we didn't love!
When we arrived at 149 Swan Street (the tasting room is located on the first floor at the Apartments at the Hub) we were met with Laura's welcoming smile! We knew from the start that Laura knew. her. stuff. and she got to work crafting delicious cocktails featuring Black Button's best! We sampled batches of gin, bourbon, vodka, AND apple pie moonshine. Laura reminded us that pre-prohibition cocktails were all about accenting and highlighting the spirits and their unique flavor notes not masking them with sugary "mixers" and the like. The Black Button drinks we sampled were delicious and not overly intimidating which made us feel like we could relax and enjoy the experience while also learning a ton!
While we were there, we *also* picked Laura's brain and got the scoop on how YOU can get a great start on stocking your bar cart at home! Below, you'll find the recipes for each drink we tried, along with tips and tricks to up those at-home barkeep skillz. Here we go!
Garden IN THE BUFF
2 oz Black Button Garden Gin
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lavender Syrup
To say I was excited about this one is an understatement! Laura created this drink based on ingredients I told her that Jake & I both enjoyed beforehand. She used Black Button's Garden Gin to mix up the tastiest lil cocktail I ever did sip AND she named it after this blog. My heart could hardly take it! This was so good that we snagged a bottle of the Garden Gin on our way out so I can recreate it at home! A tip from Laura: Experiment with simple syrup flavors! Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, heated on a stovetop until dissolved. From there, you can add tons of flavors to your syrups - like the lavender flavor used in this drink!
2oz Black Button Four Grain Bourbon
1oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Heaping Teaspoon of Sugar
1 Egg White
Our favorite drink was this guy right here. This was the first time Jake & I had ever tried a cocktail with an egg white and the first time I had ever tried bourbon. I know. We were so impressed with this and when we go back this will be my first order, hands down! The bourbon was incredibly smooth and flavorful and the zest from the lemon added just the right amount of tartness. Highly, highly recommend this one.
Apple Pie Martini
2oz Black Button Apple Pie Moonshine
1oz Black Button 20 Plate Vodka
1 dash Fee Brothers' Lime Bitters
This one was for me! The Apple Pie Martini was everything you'd ever want in a fall-inspired cocktail. Apple, cinnamon, sweet but not too sweet! This is a definite "make-at-home" kinda drink. We have a bottle of this moonshine on our bar car now just waiting for our next guests. Who's thirsty?!
Black Button Rose
2oz Black Button Apple Pie Moonshine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Liquor
1/4 oz Grenedine
This one was for Jake but...I got my hands on it, too! Another variation using the Black Button Apple Pie Moonshine and...no surprise here...we have another winner! This stuff is good, guys! I'll say it again...it's just the right amount of apple and cinnamon, it's sweet without being TOO sweet, and it goes down super smooth!
1.5oz Black Button Bourbon Cream
2oz Cold Brew Coffee
1/4oz Black Button Citrus Forward Gin
Last but certainly not least: 716! This was the perfect finish to our night and I could barely share this with Jake it was that good. I'm a sucker for anything with coffee, so trying a cold brew cocktail was such a happy surprise! I was slightly intimidated by the sounds of a cream bourbon, but this was so yummy. I could definitely see sipping this over dessert!
Up Your At-Home Bar Game
The newbies asked...the pro spilled!
Below, Laura offers 7 tips for your at-home bar!
#1. Measuring tools like this XOX 2oz jigger
#2. Grab a few of the following types of glasses (they don’t have to be expensive): Rocks, Coupe, & Pint.
#3. A shaker, find what you like! I like a metal Boston with a glass pint as the other half. Go with what you find best.
#4. 2 inch square ice cube molds. Consistent slow melting cubes are perfect for simple on the rock cocktails or just some of your favorite Black Button Spirits!
#5. Smaller ice molds for things you need to shake, nothing fancy, but try to have the same size so you have consistency.
#6. Some core ingredients like: lemon/lime juice, simple syrup, grenadine, and old fashioned bitters.
#7. Imagination: don’t wonder, try it!
I love that last one! Don't be afraid to experiment - I know we will be more after our visit!
PS! Order from Skip The Dishes, Grubhub, or any of your favorite restaurants and deliver straight to Black Button! Enjoy your fav foods while you sip your new fav cocktails ;) Cheers!