Sometimes you get a product from the Liquor Fairy that you just can’t quite figure out. Back when I got a bottle of Piedmont Distillers’ Midnight Moon moonshine, they also sent me a bottle of their major moonshine-based product: Catdaddy. The kitty is one such hard to figure out product.
Often, these oddball bottles get shoved to the back of the shelf for weeks or even months, and never get written about, I’m ashamed to say. Others are either just bad, boring, or are beyond my comprehension. And they also don’t get written about because your life and mine are both too short for bad, boring, or incomprehensible boozeblogging.
you continue to post?
I’ve had this bottle of Catdaddy for a while now, but it hasn’t gotten shoved aside. It’s been sitting there beside my bar, staring at me. I haven’t stored it because it has a fascinating taste, but I also haven’t written about it, because I’ve had the dickens of a time coming up with a good recipe or two to make it shine as well as I somehow knew it had to. I’m not alone. The president of Piedmont, and Catdaddy’s pop, Joe Michalek seems to feel roughly the same way I do. (Only of course ore strongly) He told me,
Defining Catdaddy as a spirit is just as hard as describing its taste…. At this point, we haven’t tried to define it. Rather, we’re letting people who love Catdaddy guide the way.
From the written description of Catdaddy, I was expecting something along the lines of a gin-like liquor—a bathtub gin companion to the moonshine of Midnight Moon. But Catdaddy has a definite sweetness that makes it more of a liqueur than a liquor. But it is full-proof and aromatic, so I’ve kind of lumped it into more the Chartreuse or Benedictine category of liqueurs, rather than the Kahlua or Tuaca style. After tasting it a bit to begin with, the closest ingredient it feels like is Cointreau, as it also possesses a definite orangey, herbal quality.
As to what’s actually in Catdaddy, Joe is not particularly eager to burden me or you with the particulars, but here is what he told me:
Catdaddy’s flavor is often surprising to people. It can taste a little different to each palate. Some people say that they taste nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon or citrus. While I can’t (wont-ed.) tell you what is in Catdaddy, I can say that it’s none of the flavors listed above. Catdaddy’s flavor was serendipitous. The short version of the story is that we were working on a traditional moonshine recipe for apple pie. Well, we never found an apple pie recipe we liked (yet), but did discover the one-of-a-kind recipe for Catdaddy.
At any rate, I decided to riff off of Cointreau uses for my explorations. My first shot (of course) was in a Pegu. Sadly, this simply does not work well at all. Something clashed. Badly. A little while later, I tried replacing the triple sec in a Margarita with Catdaddy (More on my Summer of Margaritas later on this blog. Stay Tuned!). This confirmed for me what I was already suspecting. Catdaddy don’t like limes.
I stumbled around further, always keeping at it because I love the smell of Catdaddy so much, and because it is just so freaking cool looking in that XXX-embossed bottle. My first real winner came out of left field, and I don’t know why I tried it at all. But it is good, thank you very much.
- 1 part Kahlua Coffee Cream
- 1.5 parts Catdaddy
Serve over the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass.
I was playing around with another Liquor Fairy offering, Kahula Coffee Cream, and pondering the mysteries of the White Russian. As I did so, the Catdaddy bottle started eying me again from the side of the counter, and I grabbed it too. The result is a lot more interesting than a basic White Russian, and I quite like it. You could use Catdaddy in a traditional White Russian in place of the vodka, but it just isn’t as good. I named this little concoction the Belomyolnya (Bellow-Me-OL-Ni-Ah), which roughly means “White Lighning” in Russian.
But I’m not usually a cream-based drink guy. I kept wanting to find a mix in my favorite school of cocktails, the Sours, that I could use Catdaddy for before I did this post. I finally have, and it just works great. Limes may not like Catdaddy, but lemons do just fine. And when I finally hit on the fact that the mainstream liquor Catdaddy goes best with is cognac, my work was done. The Gospel of Brandy makes for a great vehicle.
- 3 parts cognac
- 1 part Catdaddy
- 1 part lemon juice
Combine in shaker with crushed ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed on one side with sugar. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
For some of the other uses for Catdaddy which have been proffered by those more and less qualified than me, check out the recipes page at the Catdaddy website.
The following product, Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, was recently provided to me as promotional consideration to encourage me to discuss it.
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