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Alexander the Crate

I finally have a Valentine’s Day crate ready to go. The ink was still drying on the artwork tonight when I showed it to a couple of tasting room guests. We had just toured the distillery together–and they each bought one. The crate is built around the Brandy Alexander. Our apple brandy pairs beautifully with chocolate, cream, and nutmeg.

Each week at staff meeting, Bob would ask when we would have another crate done. Each week I would attempt to duck the question. There are a lot of moving parts involved in the creation of a Fair Game gift crate. Once the cocktail has been chosen, there are vendors to establish, packaging considerations, and worst of all–the artwork.

I’m the Fair Game Art Department. I believe I got the job by undercutting all of the other design firms that were bidding for it. And while I am delighted to have the work, It’s hard to illustrate under pressure. Each crate has a giant Valentine’s Day card included. My painting for version 1.0 was too racy. Drat. I was going for mildly titillating. My drawing for 2.0 was too suggestive. Rats. I finally came out with a card that passed the committee.

I dashed off 50 some odd kinds of love that I am familiar with, and then came up with an apple that is kinda heart shaped. It was fun tonight to see my first two customers study the background letters. One of them read them aloud.

I’m not sure why it is that every time I attempt to draw a human hand it comes out looking like a claw. And I’m not sure that using an apple–the ultimate symbol of forbidden love–is the best way to sell a mountain of crates.

Apparently cartoon illustrators put three fingers on hands to make them easier to draw. Apparently apple brandy was the original spirit in America. While the colonists were figuring out how to grow corn and wheat for other spirits, there were apples everywhere.

Back when the water was unfit to drink, early laborers in America were issued rations of Apple Jack. Apple Brandy and Apple Jack both begin with the distillation of apple cider. Brandy gets aged. (Fair Game is starting to pass the two year mark on our aged spirits).

Apple Jack gets “jacked” up with neutral spirits.

Before there was whiskey, there was apple brandy. Apparently many “classic cocktails,” like the Manhattan, and the Old Fashioned were originally crafted with apple brandy.

I’m just learning this stuff. And it’s off topic. The real focus needs to be on Valentine’s Day. It’s 13 days out. For once, we are not too late. Come down to our tasting room, get a tour, and go home with a gift crate.

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