Ah, the famous Hazlitt Red Cat wine. Or maybe it’s better to call it the infamous Red Cat (a.k.a. HHJ) wine. Everyone comes to the winery to taste the Cat. Why? Because it’s a great wine with a great story! A forbidden story, that intrigues every patron, even the unsuspecting ones.
Legend tells that in the early 1980s, before the actual winery existed, founder Jerry Hazlitt, a 5th generation grape grower, made wine in his home for family and local friends. The first batch was hand pressed (actually foot stomped) in a big wooden tub in Jerry and wife Elaine’s driveway. The wine they called Red Catawba, for the native New York grapes used to make it, would soon be nicknamed Red Cat.
Some of this early Red Cat(awba) wine made its way down to a First of May Party at Hazlitt beach on Seneca Lake. Jerry’s sons, renown for their gracious hospitality with the fairer gender, “borrowed some of Dad’s grape juice” and hosted a waterfront bash with a big bonfire and a homemade hot tub. It was quickly noted that as Red Cat was consumed, less apparel was worn in the hot tub. Thus HHJ, the original hot tub wine was born.
These days Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards makes many thousands of gallons of Red Cat a year. Tens of thousands of visitors each year stand at the horseshoe bar and bellow the Red Cat chant with friends and staff. Red Cat offers logo T-shirts, golf balls, beer & wine koozies, and of course thong panties. The rumors still circulate, new stories are told, and Red Cat still brings smiles and fun to a party.
What’s the Red Cat chant?
RED CAT RECIPES
Get your party started!!!
Red Cat on the Beach
Pour Red Cat over ice.
Add a squeeze of lime and a tiny umbrella.
Wear flip flops, relax and enjoy!
Red Cat Jellerz
25 two oz. Plastic souffle’ cups
One cup boiling water
One 3oz. Box Raspberry Gelatin
1/4 Envelope unflavored gelatin
1 3/4 cup Hazlitt Red Cat
1/2 Cup Ice
Bring one cup water to a boil. Stir in gelatins until dissolved. Remove from heat and add ice. Allow the ice to melt which cools the blend before adding the wine. This will prevent the alcohol from burning off. Stir in Red Cat and pour blend into cups. Refrigerate overnight. Makes apprx. 25 shots.
Red Cat Slushie
In a standard counter top blender combine.
2 parts Hazlitt Red Cat
1 part Pink Lemonade
Ice (fill to blender top)
Blend to your liking.
Hazlitt’s Special Red Cat Sauce
Sauté for 5 minutes:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
2-28 oz cans tomato puree
2-28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 c. RED CAT wine
2-6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. fresh basil finely chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 lb. Each sweet & hot Italian sausage cooked, drained, and crumbled
Simmer for about 3 hours. If sauce is too thick add a bit of water or more RED CAT