A new trendy cocktail called the Hamilton County Smash is popping up across menus of restaurants located north of Indianapolis. The gin-based cocktail with flavors of strawberry and rhubarb has become the official drink of Hamilton County after it was debuted at the Taste of Carmel by 12.05 Distillery and Hamilton County Tourism.
“Food and drink tourism is the act of traveling for a taste of a local place to get a sense of the culture,” said Laura Kelner, director of sales of HCT. “Like the Original Tenderloin Trail™, the Hamilton Co. Smash cocktail is a unique and fun way for our organization to put our destination in the spotlight.”
Concocted by Nolan Hudson and Brad Colver, the owners of 12.05 and former graduates of Carmel High School, the Smash is made of 12.05’s American Gin with rhubarb liqueur, simple syrup, lemon juice and mint.
“It’s not your old-style gin with that piney taste – this is a classic gin with a modern twist of added flavors like cucumber and grapefruit,” Hudson said. “The rhubarb liqueur compliments the gin beautifully and the flavor is reminiscent of the strawberry rhubarb pie.”
Colver and Hudson – who both have roots in Hamilton County – opened 12.05 Distillery in Fountain Square in Indianapolis in 2015. They’ve since branched out, selling their products in restaurants and liquor stores across Central Indiana.
While Hudson and Colver created the mixtures of flavors, Hamilton County Tourism came up with the idea to have a cocktail represent the destination. The Original Tenderloin Trail™ and the Tenderloin Tuesdays™ promotion have had a “cult following” for the past 10 years, so it makes sense for the organization to continue to use local food and drink to help drive tourism.
“We can use the Hamilton Co. Smash at local food and drink events, to host out-of-town clients when they visit and also to showcase to the media,” Kelner said. “It’s also a fun way for our restaurants to add some pizzazz to their menus and tell guests about Hamilton County.”
So far, 18 restaurants in the four cities have added the drink to their menus. Hamilton County restaurants interested in serving the Hamilton Co. Smash can reach out to Lisa Ellis from 12.05 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of restaurants:
Barley Island, Noblesville
Bru Burger, Carmel
Bru Burger, Noblesville
Dooley O’Tooles, Carmel
Field Brewing, Westfield
Grand Junction, downtown Westfield
Grille 39, Carmel
Table by Market District, Carmel
Pint Room, Carmel
Pure Eatery, Fishers
Stacked Pickle, Westfield
Stone Creek, Noblesville
Make the Hamilton Co. Smash at home:
1 oz. 1205 new American Gin
1 oz. 1205 Rhubarb Liqueur
3/4 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3-4 small mint leaves
Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with ice until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with ice.
Locations to purchase here.
Hamilton County Tourism
Hamilton County Tourism Inc. is a nonprofit, destination management organization that promotes tourism growth through strategic marketing, hospitality and development initiatives providing hospitality to more than four million visitors to Hamilton County, Indiana, each year.
Named for the date Prohibition was repealed, 12.05 Distillery celebrates the right to enjoy excellent spirits. A small batch distillery and cocktail bar in Indianapolis, we are committed to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to produce spirits that meet our uncommonly high standards. Our handcrafted products evoke both tradition and innovation, offering a unique drinking experience.