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07.27.10 by  

Ingenuity in a Cocktail Glass

Hand-crafted Peanut Brandy Alexanders, Blackberry Bumpkins, Rum Plum Bellinis, Carrot Cocktails and Whiskey Highballs, courtesy of drink master Andrew Noye. Magic hour is about to last all night.

Southerners are known for their hospitality, but Blackberry Farm mixologist Andrew Noye proves that their creativity often trumps their cordiality. What the rest of the world sees as a coupe or highball, he uses as a playground. With a 4,200-acre Smoky Mountain farm estate at his disposal, an abundance of ingredients fuel the imagination. We guarantee that once you sip his gingered pear codder, you’ll never want fruit in a pie again.

Cognac is the new gin. Proof is in Andrew's "C and T". Photo: Blackberry Farm

served raw: what ingredients or techniques are inspiring you in spirits?
Andrew Noye: We take most of our inspiration from the area that we are in. The foothills of Tennessee offer such a large bounty of ingredients — whether it be ramps, heirloom tomatoes or watercress, if you look hard enough, you can find something fun to work with. We’ve been using sassafras and other herbs from the farm to make syrups. I hope to start using them to make our own bitters in the near future.

any off-the-radar spirits or bottles you’ve got your eye on right now?
Armagnac will be something that will see a mainstream push here in the next year or so. They’re great to use to make a traditional julep or sazerac.

we’ve seen your Cognac and Tonic and The Old Western recipes and love the ingenuity … any other cocktails you’re toying with?
I’ve been playing around with a rye whiskey and carrot juice cocktail, originally titled Cigarettes and Carrot Juice [see recipe below]. This is a really unique drink that truly embodies what you can do when your heart is in the right place.

your sarsaparilla syrup recipe [below] landed on our radar … any other syrups or mixers you’re experimenting with?
We’re always playing around with syrups. Making them out of what’s fresh is a way of preserving flavor at the height of the season, just as you would pickle something. For Derby-time, we created a sourwood honey and thyme syrup to use in a julep. Sassafras is currently what we’re working with because it really adds depth of flavor and acidity to a cocktail.

we love your off-roaded use of Pappy … have you infused the spirit or used it in food?
We have not tried to infuse Pappy with anything. I have a lot of respect for what Julian and his son Preston are doing and I would hate to overshadow the sheer greatness of their bourbon. That said, we’ve used it in the past to cure some of the charcuterie items that we make.

Andrew's lush lab. A new cocktail recipe lurks somewhere in these fields. Photo: Beall and Thomas Photography

Garden Acoustic #3

You have to admit that any cocktail with carrot juice seems medically savvy — certainly any blurry vision encountered from the nearly 3 ounces of spirits will be counteracted by vitamins A and C. And dare we say, we prefer mixologist Andrew Noye’s original title for this: Cigarettes and Carrot Juice?

  • 2 ounces Wild Turkey Russel’s Reserve Rye
  • 3/4 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 ounces raw carrot juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • Pinch cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Serve over ice in a rocks glass.

Andrew's Old Western mixes Pappy Van Winkle with sarsaparilla syrup, muddled fruit and peach bitters for a refreshing summer cocktail. Garnish with your cowboy boots. Photo: Blackberry Farm

Andrew Noye’s Sarsaparilla Syrup

Off-road this sweetener in your favorite rye- or bourbon-based cocktail to add depth and acidity.

  • 10 teaspoons of ground sarsaparilla root
  • 1 quart hot water
  • 3 cups sugar
  1. Add the sarsaparilla root to the hot water and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Chill before using.