As you may have already noticed, Free Spirits is kicking off the year with a new look. In addition to all of the booze and brews news you’ve come to expect, Free Spirits will also feature food and coffee content every month. Collectively Toledo Spirits, HEAVY Beer Co, Fowl & Fodder, and Black Kite Coffee are From Toledo, and as we like to say “It’s From Toledo, It’s Good!” Read on to find out all the good things happening this month!
What We're Drinking
Created from Toledo Spirits’ newest vodka, Heart of Stone Peach & Apricot Vodka, this cocktail balances stone fruit with our popular East Side Gin, citrus, and sugar for an easy to make, and even easier to enjoy cocktail! Whip one up for yourself and see why it was featured as the Cocktail of 2022, and why it’s the perfect drink to start off your 2023!
- 1 oz Heart of Stone Vodka
- 1 oz East Side Gin
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ oz lemon juice
Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice filled glass. Top with tonic water and garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge.
Events and Excuses to Celebrate
In Any Event
Jan. 10 - Plants & Pints: Beer Can Succulent Planters
Build your own succulent planter and enjoy some HEAVY beer during the first Plants & Pints event of 2023. This popular event series is an ongoing collaboration between HEAVY Beer Company and Green Crow Plants and features a variety of different plant based projects, from building succulent planters to creating bio-active terrariums in a variety of fun vessels.
Jan. 15 - Old Fashioned Tasting & Tour
Learn about the Old Fashioned, the first official “cocktail” while sampling four different versions, and take a guided tour of the Toledo Spirits Company distillery! Tickets go fast for this event, so be sure to order as soon as possible!
Jan. 16 - Coffee Quest 419
The annual Coffee Quest 419 is a coffee lovers dream. Running Jan. 16 through Feb. 28, the Coffee Quest features 21 area coffee shops and provides the opportunity to not only enjoy great coffee, but also win prizes. Check out the Coffee Quest page to get all of the details.
Jan. 17 - Bootlegger’s Day
U.S. National Bootlegger's Day is celebrated on January 17, every year, to mark several key events — the start of prohibition in the U.S., the distillation of Templeton Rye whiskey, and the birthday of the infamous gangster Al Capone. Learn more about prohibition and the colorful characters involved during a Prohibition Tour bus tour.
Jan. 19 - Vistula American Single Malt Whiskey Release
“Vistula American Single Malt Whiskey is carefully distilled and aged over 4 years on the banks of the Maumee River in Bourbon and Rye casks, then finished in Pinot Noir barrels,” says Lukas Kummer, head distiller and co-founder of Toledo Spirits Company. “Vistula is warm and inviting. The nose is fruity, with notes of raisin and caramel. The first sip starts honeyed, light, and smooth then develops into dark roasted and bold flavors with a touch of spice. It finishes with just enough herbal fruity sweetness to balance the inherent dryness.” Grab a bottle of this limited release, or join Lukas for a deep dive into single malt whiskeys during the Vistula tasting event on Thursday, Jan. 26th.
Jan. 25 - Irish Coffee Day
Whether you’re making a traditional Irish Coffee or adding King & Dane Coffee Liqueur to your favorite brew, today is a great day to combine two of our favorites, coffee and spirits!
Highlights from our family of brands
In the Spirit
Chef Lawson Kicks Off 2023’s Chef Dinners With A Natural Wine Dinner At Toledo Spirits
In its purest form, natural wine is made with unadulterated fermented grapes, without additives, using traditional winemaking methods. Grapes are thoughtfully sourced and handpicked, and the resulting wines' flavors are exclusively created by the grapes. Natural wines are full of surprises, earthy, wild, enjoyably unpredictable, and endlessly interesting, which would also be a great way to describe the cuisine of Chef Aaron Lawson. Known for his "Global Flavor, Southern Roots, Midwest Charm" fusion of exotic flavors with classic comfort foods at Fowl & Fodder, Chef Lawson's culinary sensibilities and dedication to thoughtful sourcing make a natural wine dinner the perfect way to kick off the year's Chef’s Dinners.
Chef Lawson’s first Chef’s Dinner of 2023 is Wednesday, January 25th and features a curated six course pairing featuring cuisine from Chef Lawson and natural wines from Adam Mahler of Ampelography and Ann Kissen from Vintage Wines. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased via the Toledo Spirits Eventbrite page. Featured wines can be purchased by the bottle at Black Kite Coffee.
Fun reads about spirits, beer, coffee, and food
The Interesting Origins Of The Irish Coffee
Joe Sheridan, an airport bartender in Ireland, created the drink for weary passengers one cold, rainy night. Learn the interesting history of this classic here and be sure to follow the recipe offered by Joe Sheridan, to make a true Irish Coffee.
Cream - Rich as an Irish Brogue
Coffee - Strong as a Friendly Hand
Sugar - Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
Whiskey - Smooth as the Wit of the Land
Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Waffle?
Much like cocktail origins, many iconic food dishes have a pretty murky history when it comes to who is responsible for their invention. While we may not be able to say who exactly invented the dish, we can say we think that Chef Lawson perfected it with his takes on the classic pairing at Fowl & Fodder.
Learn About The Legendary Bootlegger, Muskrat
In honor of Bootlegger’s Day, read up on one of our favorite Prohibition legends, Muskrat LaFramboise (we’re not making this up). Muskrat and his asscoiates ran Canadian Whiskey from Windsor to all over the Midwest using guile and bribery. Their exploits took place on the Detroit, Ecorse, and even Maumee rivers. While we’re glad that distilling and consuming alcohol is legal, there’s a part of us that would’ve really liked to buy some black market spirits from Muskrat.
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