Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Founding Spirits Distillery: Farm to Table "Never Bitter" Amaro

When is an Amaro not bitter? That was the question that Jon Arroyo and Bob VanLancker wanted to answer as part of the Washington D.C. farm to table kitchen and distillery: Founding Spirits Distillery. This Italian liqueur literally translates to "bitter" and is usually consumed as a cocktail ingredient or an after-dinner digestif. Instead the Founding Spirits Arroyo’s "Never Bitter" Amaro is intended to be more approachable and consumed both as an aperitif and digestif as well as in cocktails. It is distilled onsite using their Founding Spirits Vodka as a base and then infused with multiple herbs, roots, spices, and botanicals. The vodka is in itself very clean and distilled from North Dakota Hard Red Spring Wheat and Virginia rye and barley.

On a recent visit, I was able to sample the Amaro neat and in two interesting cocktails - all during a delicious family meal. Sipping neat, the liqueur is slightly sweet and savory towards the front, with the finish introducing a somewhat bitter experience. But much more approachable than most bitters. For cocktails, the Amaro was an interesting ingredient in a Piña Colada -- providing a balance with the sweet pineapple and coconut milk. Even better was the How Jefferson Woulda Liked It -- a concoction of Founding Farmers Rye Whisky, Founding Spirits Amaro, lemon, brandied cherry, and an orange slice. This was brilliant, with the Amaro contrasting with the sweet and spicy rye whiskey.  In fact, the whiskey was has been produced for the past decade as a partnership between Arroyo and Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery. In traditional Copper Fox style, the barley and rye were malted using apple and cherrywood. Excellent.

In addition to the three spirits mentioned above, Founding Spirits produces an American Whiskey that is distilled at Copper Fox but aged in D.C. and the Founding Spirits Gin, distilled onsite. On our next visit we will target these spirits and as always, you can locate Founding Spirits using theCompass Craft Beverage Finder. Cheers.

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