50 Shots of America–Montana


Continuing our liquid tour of the country, this week we’re following along the Canadian border to Montana.




Prior to statehood, Montana was home to several Native American tribes, a fact that caused plenty of friction as explorers looked to take over the territory, building forts and settlements throughout the early 1800s. Just past mid-century, major deposits of gold, silver, lead, copper and coal were found and the miners followed in droves. As the nineteenth century came to a close, railroads and the centers of industry that surrounded them ushered in the 41st state to the Union on November 8, 1889.


3/4 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Kirshwasser
1/4 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
1 barspoon Honey

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake vigorously until the mixture is as cold as glacial runoff. Strain into a chilled cordial glass.

This one is bracing! As I’d imagine those chilly mountain winters would be. It’s not too sweet (the honey just takes the edge off from the other, bossy ingredients), and warms as it goes down–great for the last cold snap before Spring.

Rye, cherries and honey are all important crops in the agricultural Big Sky Country, with nods to the German and Irish ancestry of the state.

Did you know that Montana is a very popular spot for basing movies? I suppose all that open space (4th largest state by size but 44th by population) is just too tempting. Of course, one of the biggest movies based there, Legends of the Fall, wasn’t even shot there! (Maybe it’s all the grizzly bears?)