As our dream begins to look more like a distillery and less like a construction zone, I start to envision ourselves witnessing our product flow from the still… and it truly is such a ‘dream come true’ that it’s almost as if we are onlookers in our story. Walking into the distillery on the weekends is very much like walking into another person’s shoes and sometimes seems so far away from our weekday lives. This feeling gave us the inspiration to create our own unique distiller personas.
I wanted to connect to a W.H.H. Murray fictional character; however it is a known fact that Murray did not include prominent female personalities in his books. In fact at a luncheon with several literary men, including Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, there was discussion about feminine characters with Mr. Emerson strongly believing that in order for a story to make the average reader laugh and cry both, it couldn’t be written without a woman appearing in it. It appears Murray and his publisher took this as a challenge, intent to prove him to be wrong.
Because of this lack of feminine characters, I chose to combine two wonderful and totally opposite ‘odd-couple’ male characters, Parson Whitney and Deacon Tubman, from the short story “How Deacon Tubman and Parson Whitney Kept New Year’s” (1888).
Parson Whitney is described as having a ‘frozen’ book-worm personality and Deacon Tubman is a jolly happy man. The Deacon goes to visit the Parson, enticing him away from his anti-social books. The two sixty year old men spend New Year’s Day visiting with the young people of the town.
They realize that it is important to spend time pursuing adventure and enjoying more of the world around them. Experiencing and exploring the outdoors leaves them feeling youthful and invigorated.
The two got so carried away in the excitement of the events of the day, they forgot themselves and entered wildly into the youthfulness of the adventures.
When I feel I am getting too engrossed in the seriousness of responsibility, I remember these two and the New Year’s Day that they let all their hesitations cut loose and follow their youthful instincts.
Whitney and Tubman remind me to relish the sweetness of life.
Thanksgiving dinner and drink pairings have traditionally meant ‘which wine do I serve with the turkey?’… however, it is never too late to start new traditions and surprise your guests by introducing some spirit to the table!
Friends and Family Greeting:
Many gatherings begin with a toast. When your guests arrive and begin socializing, offer them a sparkling ‘Glory Mora’ and toast to friends and family while nibbling on hors-d'oeuvres.
The ‘Glory Mora’ is a sloe gin sparkling pomegranate drink designed by MFD Company. ‘Glory Mora’ was the stage name of one of W.H.H. Murray’s four daughters, Ethel, who appeared in New York City shows and other performances.
Click here to see the 'Glory Mora' recipe.
Looking at elaborate party dinner menus of the past, the menu frequently began with oysters. This year why not try an oyster appetizer with a Laphroaig Cairdeas. The peaty smoke beautifully pairs with the fresh oyster.
The Main Event:
Celebrate the evening and the main course by raising a glass of vintage cocktail with friends and family. Excite your appetite with The ‘Uprooted Tree’ created by Murray’s Fools Distilling Co.
This cocktail is an excellent gin aperitif and a refreshing sipper during the meal. Gin cocktails are perfect for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner because they are light, pair well with a variety of side dishes and the botanicals form an ideal counterpart for such a flavorful meal.
The ‘Uprooted Tree’ is a Genever and Ginger Apple Hard Cider Cocktail created by MFD Co.
Click here to see the Uprooted Tree recipe.
Click here to watch the Thanksgiving Cocktail video!
The Sweet Spot:
I don’t know about you, but at our house there are usually more desserts than side dishes! This is why it is so fun to offer a flight of Scotches or Bourbons to match and taste with all the sweet treats during dessert.
There are so many different options you could put together, however here are a few ideas to get you started. Murray’s Fools Distilling Co. always likes to look for local spirits to try and we definitely encourage you to do the same, especially when sharing at dinner parties!
Scotch Dessert Flight
The Macallan 18 Year (full-bodied rich whiskey): Great with desserts like sticky toffee pudding, gingerbread, and anything dark chocolate.
Dalwhinnie (light fragrant with a little sweetness): So wonderful with soft cheeses, bread puddings and custards.
Balvenie Medeira Cask 17 Year (rich, deep and complex): Excellent pair with pecan or apple pie.
or try this flight....
Bourbon Dessert Flight
Elijah Craig (full, sweet, toasty oak bourbon): Beautiful balance with pecan pie and toffee desserts.
Booker’s Bourbon (intense fruit and oak flavors): Delicious with apple pie!
Bulleit Bourbon (high rye content with vanilla aroma): Works great with anything chocolate.
Loosening the Belt:
The table is cleared and you are sitting back in your comfy chair loosening your belt… cue the digestif. The most important drink of the day, a post-dinner digestif cocktail! After the feast, move yourself away from the table and sit back and relax with a Brandy Alexander in your hand!
1 ounce Cognac
1 ounce Crème de Cacao
1 ounce fresh cream
Add everything into a shaker of ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with nugmeg.
Cheers to You and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
The story of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. (MFD Co.) is based on our co-founder, Randall Beach’s, great-great-grandfather W.H.H. Murray (Adirondack Murray), and his advocacy of the Adirondacks and outdoor life. Considered by many to be the “Father of the Outdoor Movement,” Murray wrote and published Adventures in the Wilderness in 1869. This book brought huge, adventure seeking crowds into the Adirondacks, creating what the media of the time dubbed 'The Murray Rush'. So many people arrived after the book was published that there weren't enough accommodations, guides, etc.; hence these crowds were called 'Murray's Fools'. Later, these ‘Murray's Fools’ built hundreds of 'Great Camps', hotels, vacation homes and clubs in the Adirondacks, making the Adirondack Mountains the destination place of the privileged, as well as the growing urban class.
Murray believed in protecting and conserving the Adirondacks, and often spoke about the “Ownership of the Adirondacks.” He believed no one state or individual owned the wilderness, but rather that it existed in trust. Murray said the Adirondacks stood for forces that affect the mind, body and spirit of men to such a degree and so salutarily that they are lifted above monetary classment.
Murray's belief was that to be a full person one must combine intimate knowledge of nature with a civilized education. It was Murray who brought laughter to the Adirondack scene, and it was the kind of laughter which he brought that filled (and still fills) his book with vitality. Murray's laugh is that of the involved participant, and its outcome is a distillation of a sense of warm humility in the face of nature.
Murray’s Fools Distillery Co. seeks to create and provide fine spirits to those who, just as the original Murray’s Fools, have independent streaks, courage, adventurous souls and live for nature’s quiet moments.
“I wish that you may find, in excursions which you may make into the wilderness, the health and happiness which have, upon its waters and upon its softly murmuring pines, come to me.” - W.H.H. Murray
Co-founder of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. | Altona, NY