Food & Dining
MRDC Starts the Easter Weekend with First Friday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ryan Burchett   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 08:06

Le Claire, Iowa, April 2, 2012 – Mississippi River Distilling Company invites the public to come to LeClaire on Friday evening, April 6, from 5:30-8:00 PM for our First Friday Feature!  We'll do an abbreviated tour at 6 pm and 7 pm.  There will also be specials on bottles of River Baron Artisan Spirit, River Rose Gin and River Pilot Vodka.  The entire evening is free and is the perfect opportunity to join us in LeClaire to kick off the holiday weekend!

Each First Friday is an open house social evening with special cocktails prepared just for the evening and food prepared with MRDC products for tasting.  Spirited Chef Stephanie Godke will prepare Seafood Soup made with River Rose Gin and a Mud and Rocks Cake featuring River Baron Artisan Spirit in a caramel, creamy cake with chocolate chips and toffee bits.  The signature cocktails for the evening are the Sparkling Rose and LeClaire Spring Punch.  The Sparkling Rose is a mixture of River Rose Gin, frozen lemonade concentrate and champagne.  The LeClaire Spring Punch combines River Pilot Vodka with Chambord, sweet and sour mix and a splash of champagne.  Both are refreshing sippers on any bright spring day!  All recipes can be found on our website,

Mississippi River Distilling Company was also recently handed a big honor when named as one of the best in the nation when it comes to fine gin.  MRDC’s River Rose Gin received a Gold Medal from after its Premium Gin Tasting.  River Rose tied for sixth place in the completion behind other big names such as Tanqueray and Hendrick’s.  In total, 24 gins competed for the title of best gin.

Mississippi River Distilling Company is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free tours are offered to the public daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment.  The tour takes visitors through the entire distilling process.  Tours end in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples of products for those patrons over 21 years of age.


Q&A on Beef PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 07:20

with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Q:        How do you see the recent attention given to lean finely textured beef?

A:        I enjoy and appreciate beef in a meal as often as possible, and I have confidence in this meat product, which comes from a process that separates fatty pieces from beef trimmings to reduce the overall fat content.  There’s nothing wrong with using all of the edible trimmings of an animal.  Lean finely textured beef is beef, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects and regulates all beef products.  It has approved this product for ground beef since 1993.


Q:        What about the processing of this beef?

A:        The technology used for lean finely textured beef makes it possible to use beef that could not have been captured by hand trimming.  The edible trimmings left after other cuts of meat, including steaks and roasts, are removed from an animal and processed to separate the lean meat from the fat.  Then, an antimicrobial treatment is used to make sure the resulting lean beef product is safe to eat.


Q:        Is the antimicrobial treatment safe?

A:        Ammonium hydroxide – or ammonium combined with water – is used in food processing, including baked goods, cheeses, caramel, puddings and meat products.  The Food and Drug Administration determined that ammonium hydroxide was “Generally Recognized As Safe,” or GRAS, in 1974.  The World Health Organization has listed hundreds of food products that can be processed using ammonium hydroxide in accordance with good manufacturing practices.  In the case of lean finely textured beef, an ammonium hydroxide gas controls dangerous forms of pathogens like E. coli.


Q:        What else is relevant to food safety?

A:        I’m committed to sound science practices that separate fact from fiction in food safety.  Consumers deserve it, and the consequences of misinformation and hype in March over lean finely textured beef were the layoffs of hundreds of people working for the company that produces most of this beef, including workers in Waterloo and Sioux City.  Without lean finely textured beef, as many as 1.5 million additional head of cattle could be needed to replace it in the meat supply, and the cost of ground beef for consumers would be higher.


April 2, 2012

Whitey's Ice Cream introduces new flavors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jon Tunberg   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 07:15

In addition to introducing a new small shake to our lineup this spring, Whitey’s Ice Cream is announcing four new flavors for the season. Along with our usual spring flavors of Fresh Banana and Lemon Custard, the new flavors available by Wednesday are as follows:

Fiesta Chocolate- A new chocolate flavored ice cream with cinnamon swirled throughout.

Red Velvet Cake- White chocolate flavored ice cream with cream cheese frosted homemade Red Velvet cake.

Super Blueberry Cheesecake- A “Super” Blueberry Cheesecake flavored ice cream with additional blueberry swirled throughout.

And finally, our most exciting flavor:

Kid Crunch- This is for kids from 2 to 92. In keeping with the tradition of Sgt. Camo, ALL profits from the sale of this flavor will be donated to children’s charities!  Kid Crunch is made with locally supplied honey from the Illinois Beekeepers Association and includes five different ingredients to give it that “crunchy” taste. Included with the light honey ice cream are: Pecans, Almonds, Toffee, Chocolate Flakes, and Cookie pieces.

Any questions feel free to contact the Whitey’s corporate offices at: (309) 762-2175

Thank you-

A Safe and Abundant Food Supply PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:36

Chances are pretty good you’ve enjoyed at least one meal today before reading the words here in front of you.  Due in large measure to generations of hard-working farm families, Americans continue to benefit from a safe and abundant food supply.

Much has been said lately about the one percent vs. the 99 percent in America, usually in a political context.  But there’s another one percent-99 percent divide in America that isn’t making headlines or firing up social media users.

Did you know that one percent of Americans grow the food that feeds the other 99 percent?

U.S. food security is second-to-none.  And yet, food security is too often taken for granted.  With a shrinking pool of Americans linked to the land for their livelihood and way of life, it is important now more than ever to foster appreciation and educate younger generations how the food on their plates got there in the first place.

Too often, there’s scant appreciation for those who devote their lives to helping erase hunger from our communities and the world.  The U.S. dairy farmer puts in 12-plus hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to tend to his herd.  And the American soybean farmer grows the commodity used to make soymilk for those who choose a dairy alternative in their morning cup of coffee.

In fact, American farmers have answered the call of their vocation by ramping up efficiency and embracing technological advancements to feed a growing world population.  Consider that today’s modern combine can harvest more than 900 bushels of corn per hour.  That’s 100 bushels every seven minutes. When my dad farmed in the 1930s, a farmer would harvest approximately 100 bushels of corn in a nine-hour workday.  Only 50 years ago, the U.S. farmer produced enough food to feed 26 people.  Today, each American farmer produces enough food for approximately 155 people.

Production agriculture continues to meet the demands of a growing world population for affordable food.  Advances in biotechnology help farmers increase crop yields and reduce chemical applications that improve environmental stewardship.

In the U.S. Senate, I have worked for rural America at the policymaking tables in Washington, D.C.  As Congress debates renewal of the farm and nutrition bill in Congress, I am working to strengthen America’s commitment to a safe and abundant food supply in recognition of the one percent of Americans who grow our food.

The landscape has changed since passage of the last farm bill in 2008.  The 2012 bill must reflect demands to help shrink the budget deficit.  The looming national debt crisis requires savings and sacrifices from across-the board.  I’m working to make sure Congress trims the fat without cutting into the backbone of American agriculture.

The commodity program safety net was designed to help small- and medium-sized farmers weather downturns and stay in business when circumstances out of their control negatively impacted the market or destroyed their crops.  The largest operators should not be banking on Uncle Sam to help underwrite their efforts to get even bigger.  It creates an unfair burden on taxpayers and makes it even harder for beginning farmers to compete.  Already, the current system is contributing to upward pressure on land prices that squeeze beginning farmers out of the market.

My bipartisan proposal would install a hard cap of $250,000 per married couple on annual federal commodity program payments of any kind and close long-abused loopholes in the farm payment program that has allowed non-farmers to qualify for federal farm payments.  Not only is it important for the safety-net to be effective, it also needs to be defensible.  One of the best things Congress can do to make the farm program more defensible to those who may not understand the inherent risks with farming and the necessity of a farm safety net is make sure that non-farmers aren’t receiving a farm payment.  That’s good for farmers and taxpayers.

As Congress moves ahead on the next farm bill, Iowans can be sure I know and appreciate who grows the food.  I’m working for an effective safety net that looks out for both the family farmer and American taxpayer.

March 26, 2012

River Rose Gin Named One Of The World’s Best PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ryan Burchett   
Friday, 23 March 2012 13:47

Le Claire, Iowa, March 13, 2012 –River Rose Gin, made locally by Mississippi River Distilling Company in Le Claire, Iowa, has been honored as one of the world’s best by The website honored River Rose with a gold medal and tied the spirit for sixth place overall in their gin tasting.

MRDC’s River Rose Gin was one of only 15 gins awarded a medal in the competition.  River Rose finished the competition just behind some of the world’s biggest names such as Tanqueray and  Hendrick’s.

River Rose starts with a base spirit made from grain harvested by local farmers within 25 miles of the distillery in LeClaire.  Then a unique blend of a dozen botanicals is added.  The gin is made from a German recipe that dates back to the late 1800s.  That recipe is light on the traditional juniper berries and includes a full body of citrus and floral including orange, grapefruit, lemon, lavender, rose petals and locally grown cucumbers that provide a distinctive finish that sets River Rose apart from any other gin.

“We are excited any time our peers recognize our quality,”  said owner and distiller Ryan Burchett.  “But this honor is particularly exciting because of the competition.  It’s really an honor to go toe to toe with the best in the business and come out with recognition like this.”

Gin aficionados, wine/spirits writers, and bartenders were the judges at the formal tasting in New York City.  Using professional criteria, the gins were served “blindly” one at a time, and rated on a 1-5 point scoring system with five being the best. The gins were ranked according to the total scores received from the judges.  Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of point scores. is an award-winning online guide to fine living, featuring rated listings based on unbiased surveys and tastings conducted by food, wine/spirits journalists, professionals and connoisseurs. The complete ranking results, along with tasting notes, are published on website: MRDC’s River Baron also received a tip of the hat from in October when it also received a silver medal and was ranked 8th in the domestic vodka tasting.

The award comes on the heels of another round of success in the marketplace for the small distillery.  On March 2, Mississippi River Distilling Company released their second batch of Cody Road Bourbon.  The release of roughly 900 bottles sold out in just days across Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.  The next batch is scheduled to be released on June 1.

Mississippi River Distilling Company is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free tours are offered to the public daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment after hours for a small charge.  The tour takes visitors through the entire distilling process.  Tours end in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples of products for those patrons over 21 years of age.



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