Whether it's homemade vodka popsicles or alcoholic cupcakes, the CH staff seems partial to sweet treats that involve a little tipple. A welcome newcomer is Denver-based Puff's Preserves; handcrafted small-batch boozy jams that spice up any ho-hum breakfast (or lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner) routine. Kirsten Farabi uses her location to her advantage: Colorado is renowned for its craft breweries and artisan distilleries are also on the rise, so all the alcohol in Puff's is made locally. Farabi mixes the spirits with local fruits and herbs—always in-season—concocting full-flavored jams with a kick.
CH tasted the three most popular Puff's Preserves flavors: Apple Beer Cardamom Jelly (using Ellie's Brown Ale from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder), Blackberry Bourbon Lavender Jam (using Peach Street Distiller's bourbon in Palisade) and Raspberry Whiskey Chipotle Jam (using Stranahan's Rocky Mountain whiskey from Denver). We experienced an explosion of flavor in our mouths—the Raspberry Whiskey Chipotle has a spicy aftertaste that lingers, while the Apple Beer Cardamom is reminiscent of hard cider, but without the sharp tang. Overall, the preserves are very sweet, though the liquor and beer flavors are discernible among the blend of other ingredients. Children and pregnant women can safely partake since the alcoholic content cooks off during preparation.
These flavor-rich preserves are so versatile that it would be a shame to only ever enjoy them with an English muffin, so Farabi recommended some pairings to expand the palette.
Apple Beer Cardamom Jelly: Use as a glaze for roasted fall root vegetables or dark meats, mix into fresh cut apples for a pie, or spread on sourdough with brie, salami, wild mushrooms and arugula then grill.
Raspberry Whiskey Chipotle Jam: Add to jalapeño popper dip, pair with mild cheeses like Manchego or sweet and creamy cheese like ricotta or cream cheese for simplicity, or spread on a pulled pork slider with micro-greens and mayo.
Blackberry Bourbon Lavender Jam: Pair with rich and creamy, buttery French cheeses such as Bucheron, Camembert, Comte or La Tur, use as topping for Greek yogurt, panna cotta, vanilla bean ice cream, pavlova or spread on rye bread with prosciutto, Camembert, radicchio and ground mustard.
Puff's Preserves can be found at local farmers markets, food co-ops and specialty stores around Colorado. While Farabi has yet to set up a commerce site, online orders can be made through email. Visit the website for more information and to view the rest of the offerings such as Grape Wine Mulled Spice, Blood Orange, Fig & Port Vanilla Jam and more.
Images by Nara Shin