Avocado and toast.
Coach and Tami Taylor.
The two dancing girls emoji.
We can agree that these are some all-time favorite pairs, right? Fantastic on their own, and something pretty special when they're together.
Let's add one more: Cardinal Spirits and C3 Bloomington, a craft cocktail bar and restaurant here in town.
We collaborated on a one-of-a-kind custom spirit — C3 Pineapple Spiced Tiki Rum. It's available exclusively at C3, where it will be used in cocktails and sold by the bottle ($25). It launches on Thursday, 4-10pm, at C3, with special cocktails and bottle sales.
A PINEAPPLE RUM, YOU SAY?
Using our light Tiki Rum as the base, we steeped a ton of fresh pineapple, orange zest, ancho chiles and other spices to infuse this spirit with incredible flavor. It's a small batch, and it won't be around forever, so get yourself to C3 on Thursday.
MMM. WHAT'S IT TASTE LIKE?
Here's how Nick Matio, C3's bar manager, describes it: beautifully fruit-forward, with growing spice and smokiness on the back. Also: Light, balanced, approachable.
Let's hear from our head distiller, Justin Hughey:
"Some fruit rums are super fruity up front, but have nothing at the back," Justin says. "This one has more depth and flavor than most. You get the whole spectrum of flavors."
SO, HOW'D THE COLLABORATION WORK? WHO DID WHAT?
We went to Nick at C3 with the idea of bespoke booze. Nick picked rum, his favorite spirit, and narrowed in on a subtly spiced pineapple variety. We went back and forth on more than a dozen test batches to dial in the right spices for a gentle heat. Halfway through the test batches, Nick thought to use ancho chiles as the heat source and C3's chef suggested roasting them to get the right depth of flavor. After several weeks of tinkering with samples, we found a winner and scaled up the recipe.
"To have it come to you in bottle form, and it tastes just like you pictured it — that's the coolest part," Nick says.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO DRINK IT?
It's meant to be both a sipping and cocktailing rum. C3 will feature it in two cocktails on launch day:
1. A Daiquiri. "That's the best test of any rum," Nick says.
2. A Rum Old Fashioned. "A big, boozy, stirred cocktail highlights the rum in a different way," Nick says.
C3 MADE A CUSTOM SPIRIT, AND YOU CAN, TOO.
Yes, we mean it! We distill and brand custom spirits for bars, restaurants, liquor stores and more.
You might think you'd need to put in a giant order, but all we ask is a 10 case minimum (that's 60 bottles). We've distilled spirits exclusively for Big Red Liquors, Crown Liquors and The Exchange Pub + Kitchen in New Albany, Ind.
"You don't need to know anything about making liquor — just an idea of what you want to do," says Doug Lingo, sales director and a distiller here at Cardinal. "We can take your idea and distill it ourselves, or you can be part of the whole process."