Earlier this year High Camp Flasks got the incredible opportunity to design a VIP cocktail menu and attend CalTrout’s annual gala alongside Redwood Empire Distillery. The event, which attracted sportsmen, outfitters, and philanthropists across California, highlighted CalTrout’s mission to preserve and restore freshwater ecosystems.
The historic drought in California and throughout the West has dramatically amplified the need to protect our source waters. In order to accomplish this, CalTrout spearheads policy initiatives to achieve a mutually beneficial future for recreationists and conservationists alike - because we can't fish if there’s no water. During the gala, we had the privilege of meeting Tracey Diaz, CalTrout’s Communications director, and we got to brainstorming ways we could help their cause. We decided that we could co-launch an awareness campaign and donate a portion of our sales for the month of October to their cause. Along the way, our friends at Barebones Living, Redwood Empire, Loon Outdoors, and California Cowboy decided that they also wanted to spread the word.
ENTER THE PROTECT OUR RIVERS GIVEAWAY
A Note From Our Co-Founder Nic:
Last month, Whit and I took a trip up to Mount Shasta to visit the CalTrout fishing lodge for ourselves to learn more about the issues CalTrout is addressing. On the way to Trout Camp, along I-5, we passed over Shasta Reservoir, the heart of the Central Valley Project that supplies 40% of the state’s water, delivering it as far as Los Angeles. The reservoir is currently half of normal levels and 129’ below capacity. Almost more startling, the famously prominent 14k foot peak of Mount Shasta was derelict of snow.
Trout Camp sits along the Upper Sacramento River, fed by the Sierra Snowpack and Mount Shasta spring systems. When we arrived at the Camp we were greeted by CalTrout’s Executive Director, Curtis Knight. He gave us a tour of the surrounding area and discussed, among other topics, the challenges they face in local communities when restoring waterways below decommissioned dams. He also admonished the fact that California only has 1 major undammed, free-flowing river - the Smith and acknowledged the uphill battle CalTrout is fighting to overturn decades of short-sighted development. Mr. Knight walked us down towards a spring coming from a small pipe about 15’ up a hillside that’s naturally carbonated. The most refreshing water ever. Unfortunately, a private landowner fenced it off - so no human or animal could drink from it - and its spring water just ran off into the dirt below. Nevertheless, we did our best to get a sip from the runoff to hydrate for the hike back to camp.
We admittedly didn’t fish on this particular trip (and in this case it also meant that we didn’t get any mosquito bites), but we hope that by supporting CalTrout there will be plenty of opportunities to fish in the future.
Smoked Blackberry Whiskey Collins
Around sunset we headed back down to the river to swim, BBQ and sip whiskey. We foraged some wild blackberries and decided that a Bourbon smash would strike the right tone for an evening of grilling and cribbage. We tossed some lemons on the grill to lend an extra bit of sweetness to our cocktails and proceeded to roast chicken kabobs and cheese-filled portobellos for the main course.
- 1.5 oz Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon
- 0.75 oz Simple Syrup
- 0.75 oz of Charred Lemon Juice
- 4 Blackberries
- 2 oz of Club Soda
- Rosemary for Garnish
Cut your lemon(s) in half and put face down on a grill over an open flame until the cut side of the lemon starts to brown, then remove.
Add your blackberries to your Highball Shaker and give them a good muddle.
Add in your whiskey and simple syrup. Take your charred lemon half and juice it into the shaker.
Add ice to your shaker, shake, and strain into your 6-Shooter Tumbler over ice.
Top with soda water and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Multiply by 3 for Firelight 375
Multiply by 6 for Firelight 750