Recipe | 50 Shades of Iron cocktail

We sampled a delightful cocktail at the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow [LINK] held Feb. 10 at the Mariners Museum in Newport News using Ironclad Distillery [Newport News] [LINK] bourbon. 

It was a perfectly balanced drink, crafted by bartender Robert Gregory of Fin Seafood [Newport News] [LINK]. A nice level of sweetness was prevalent, without the cocktail being cloy. 

Here’s how to make it:



1-½ ounces Ironclad Bourbon

½ ounces strawberry vanilla syrup

¼ ounce fresh lime juice

2-3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

Good quality ginger beer (Gregory recommends Goya brand)


Shake with ice, and then strain into a Collins glass with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a candy heart.

Strawberry Vanilla Syrup


1 cup strawberries, washed and chopped

1 cup white sugar

1-½ cups water

1 crushed cinnamon stick 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cover strawberries in white sugar and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, no more than 1 hour. Bring water to a boil with vanilla and cinnamon. Add strawberries and bring to back to a boil for 5 minutes. Take off heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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