Earlier this spring we were invited by Vitae Spirits, a Charlottesville family-owned craft distillery making rum and gin, to co-create a coffee liqueur.
Vitae founder Ian Glomski, a microbiologist, decided to follow his passion for spirits several years ago after two decades of serious amateur wine- and beer-making and distilling of brandy and whiskey. He surveyed the craft distilling landscape in Virginia, saw that 90% is whiskey, and decided to focus on rum, which he considers an under-appreciated spirit, and gin.
After creating the original 3 rum and gin spirits he envisioned, he was inspired to create 3 liqueurs to support more complex cocktails in the tasting room. He knew that coffee liqueur was one of the important 3. That's where we came in. Together with Ian and assistant distiller Eric Scheele, our roaster Eric Stone and production manager Phil, we formulated a special roast of our Intention Blend, which we cold brewed and blended with their house-made sugar cane spirits under a blanket of argon gas to minimize exposure to air to preserve freshness.
With notes of chocolate, soft stone fruit like plum and cherry, and caramel, the resulting Coffee Liqueur is perfect straight or in cocktails such as Black or White Russians, Bushwackers, or even the decadent Mudslide. It's been selling like wildfire in Vitae's tasting room, even surpassing their best-selling product to date, the Golden Rum.
Shortly after release, Vitae partnered with Gearhearts Fine Chocolates to create heavenly salted caramels with pinenuts and their Coffee Liqueur. You can purchase these at Gearhearts, in Vitae's tasting room, or at Mudhouse locations.
If you live here in Charlottesville, you know how blessed we are with an abundance of truly excellent craft food and beverage producers like Vitae and Gearhearts. It is such a pleasure to band together and co-create. If you live in Charlottesville, stop by Vitae's tasting room. Take home some liqueur and caramels, and check out these coffee liqueur recipes from Vitae.
Vitae Spirits Coffee Liqueur is available at Vitae's distillery in Charlottesville and throughout Virginia in ABC stores as of October 1st.