Posts Tagged ‘Vodka Cocktails’

A Riverfest Cocktail

Friday, June 12th, 2009
Courtesy of Cold River Vodka

Courtesy of Cold River Vodka


Tomorrow, Saturday, June 13, will be Riverfest in Shelburne Falls, the closest metropolis (if you can call it that) to my home in Hawley, Massachusetts. ).


Sponsored by the Deerfield River Watershed Association along with local businesses and cultural councils, this yearly occasion honors the Deerfield River and its place in the life of those of us who live and work near it. Its frog and flower parade also pays homage to the natural landscape as a whole.


The late artist Judith Russell was an early supporter of the Frog and Flower Parade (image copyright 2004, the Estate of Judith Russell).

The late artist Judith Russell was an early supporter of the Frog and Flower Parade (image copyright 2004, the Estate of Judith Russell).


For many years now this community celebration has served as the gateway to summer in these parts. June is in full force. The solstice is right around the corner. And hilltown dwellers are rejoicing in eye-popping rhododendrons; extended hours of sunshine; and early produce such as chives, ramps, and lettuce.


I like to celebrate every occasion (including this one) with food and drink. My editor at the local paper, the West County Independent, suggested that lazy summer hours spent in repose by the river called for a cocktail—a rivertini, so to speak. I searched on the internet for “river cocktails” and stumbled upon Cold River Vodka.


This northern Maine company was founded in 2005 by two brothers who grew up in a potato-producing family and were looking for ways to sustain local agriculture and making a living at the same time.


Donnie and Lee Thibodeau and their business partners now oversee the entire process of producing vodka, from planting potatoes to distilling the liquor. In the brief time they have been in business they have won several national awards and were recently cited as one of the “Top 50 Spirits” in Wine Enthusiast.


I instantly fell in love with the creative flair and spirit behind this New England company, which manages to use local resources to create a high-quality product.


I asked Cold River for a cocktail idea and was rewarded with its Cold River Blueberry Cosmopolitan. In blueberry season I intend to try it with fresh blueberry juice. (It would also be fabulous, it seems to me, made with the base for the Rhubarb Soda Pop below.)


In any form, it will start the summer off with a kick. Feel free to vary the proportions according to your taste; I like a higher blueberry to vodka ratio.


Happy Riverfest!







Cold River Wild Blueberry Cosmo




2 ounces Cold River vodka

1/2 ounce Cointreau

1 ounce chilled blueberry juice (the folks at Cold River suggest Wyman’s)




Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour the blue liquid into a glass. Garnish with a cocktail pick skewered with a dried blueberry and a fat orange twist. Serves 1.