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Inspired Sips

Halls Chophouse bartender Kate Rogers muddles fresh blackberries and raspberries for her Berry Lavender Bliss. Photograph by Meghan Locklair

July 21, 2010

Inspired Sips
The new lavender- and rosemary-infused Inspiration vodka makes for some creative summer cocktails


If you frequent Halls Chophouse, you may have heard the name Enlightened Grain; spied an elegant bottle of Inspiration, the company’s first small batch, craft-distilled infused vodka; or noticed a patron savoring a shot of this clear liquid. “Bill Hall is a friend of mine, so we started giving his regulars samples of the lavender- and rosemary-infused vodka we debuted early this year,” explains Charleston resident Austin Walker, a partner in Enlightened Grain Spirits. “It began to develop an underground following before finally being added to the menu.”

A sipping vodka that won the Silver Medal at the 2010 World Spirits Competition, Inspiration is delicious straight up and chilled or on the rocks, “but we’ve also enjoyed coming up with cocktails that complement its earthy flavor,” says bartender Kate Rogers. One with a vibrant red hue that invariably catches patrons’ attention is Rogers’ Berry Lavender Bliss martini. “I wanted to create a refreshing summer recipe, so I combined the vodka with muddled raspberries and blackberries, a little lemon juice, and Domaine de Canton—a ginger-flavored liqueur. Some Sprite on top adds a bubbly texture,” explains Rogers. Garnish it with a sprig of lavender or rosemary-skewered berries, and you’ve got an inspired summer sip.

Berry Lavender Bliss
( Serves 1)
2 blackberries
3 raspberries
0.5 oz. simple syrup
1.5 oz. EG Inspiration
1 oz. Domaine de Canton
0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz. Sprite
Lemon twist, sprig of lavender, or rosemary-skewered berries for garnish

Muddle blackberries and raspberries in syrup. Spoon mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, then add vodka, Domaine de Canton, lemon juice, and Sprite. Shake to combine, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish.

To locate a local purveyor of Enlightened Grain’s Inspiration vodka, click here.

For details on Hall’s Chophouse, click here.

For more of our tasty cocktail recipes, click here.



Wed, 07/21/2010