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Clear Creek Distillery: Artisan Spirit Pioneers

Clear Creek Distillery: Artisan Spirit Pioneers

Du behøver ikke at være en kortbærende cocktailnørd for at vide, at modeord som "håndværker" og "håndværk" er brød og smør i nutidens spiritusleksikon. Men overvejer Ryd Creek Distillery’s Steven McCarthy har været i gang med at lave håndværksmæssig eaux-de-vie i mere end 26 år, det er sikkert at sige, at han ikke begyndte at bruge udtrykket til at beskrive sin forretning for trendfaktoren.

"Afhængigt af hvordan du tæller det, var vi en af ​​de første håndværker, håndværksdestillatorer i landet," bemærker indehaveren af ​​det meget roste Portland, Ore.-baserede destilleri.

Forretningen blev inspireret af et ønske om at finde den bedste brug for pærerne og æblerne fra hans families frugtplantage, især i magre eller vanskelige år, hvor der var behov for at få mest muligt ud af den tilgængelige frugt. Efter at have oplevet og studeret traditionelle brandy-fremstillingsteknikker i Europa havde McCarthy ideen om at kombinere gammeldags håndværk med sine tilgængelige ressourcer for at skabe en enestående lokal ånd.

Williams pære og æblebrændevin var først stille, Kirschwasser (kirsebær) og grappa fulgte, og Clear Creek udvidede til sidst deres sortiment til et utroligt repertoire af produkter, der i dag indeholder en vifte af eaux-de-vie, likører, grappas, pot- destilleret brandy, og endda en single malt whisky.

Det er imidlertid klart, at fremstilling af ægte eau-de-vie af høj kvalitet stadig er hjertet og sjælen i denne operation. "Virkelig hele vores marketingstrategi var at finde de to eller tre tusinde mennesker i Oregon, der ønskede rigtig eau-de-vie, og fokusere på at sælge til dem," forklarer McCarthy. Denne urokkelige dedikation til ægthed er en taktik, der ser ud til at have virket, og i sidste ende førte destilleriet langt ud over deres hjemstatsmarked. Nu, mere end to årtier senere, importeres og distribueres Clear Creaks amerikanskavlede Poire Williams endda i Frankrig, hvor åndens fremstilling stammer fra, og McCarthy selv lærte håndværket. Tal om at komme i fuld cirkel.

Så hvad er eau-de-vie, og endnu vigtigere, hvordan skal du drikke tingene? For de uindviede er "eau-de-vie" (som bogstaveligt talt oversættes til "liv af vand") en meget tør, typisk farveløs brandy-type destilleret fra knust, gæret frugt. Generelt ser man ca. 80-bevis på eaux som et fordøjelsesmiddel-en kraftfuld og aromatisk tippel efter måltidet, der dog hjælper med fordøjelsen.

"Disse skal nippes efter middagen, serveres i et lille hvidvinsglas eller sniffer, hvis det er alt hvad du har, og måske lidt kølet," forklarer McCarthy.

I betragtning af det interessante udvalg af eaux-de-vie Clear Creek-produkter-blå blomme, hindbær, eveb Douglas gran ("smager som forårsskov i Oregon")-er det ikke overraskende, at cocktail-sindede folk fristes til at eksperimentere med dem i en blandet blanding drikke eller to. Bare forvent ikke, at destilleriet fortæller dig, hvad disse cocktails skal være. Da McCarthy er hurtig til at understrege, fortæller han ikke folk, hvad de skal lave med sine produkter, eller har cocktailopskrifter med mærkevarer, de reklamerer for restauranter og mixologer. Destilleriet lægger snarere vægt på et stærkt uddannelsesprogram i smagslokalet og butikken, der inviterer fagfolk fra industrien og besøgende til at prøve spiritus, lære om hvordan de er lavet og danne deres egen mening.

Mens McCarthy er sikker på sit produkt ("jeg forsøger ikke at sælge det for det, det ikke er"), og med rette er det forbrugerens mening, der virkelig hjælper med at definere, hvordan han måler succes. "Selvfølgelig vil du tjene nogle penge," siger han, "men det vigtigste for os er at få vores produkt i de bedste butikker og restauranter - at få disse kyndige fagfolk, sommeliers og mixologer til at smage vores produkter og vil servere det fordi de synes, det er det bedste. "

- Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation

Mere fra The Drink Nation:

Beer Review: Freigeist Bierkultur Abraxxxas
Oregon Public House: The Brewpub with Heart
Præsident Obama bringer øl i Det Hvide Hus på Campaign Trail


American Distilling Institute 6. årlige bedømmelse af håndværker amerikanske ånder og priser

BourbonBlog.com vender lige tilbage fra den 9. årlige håndværksdistilleringskonference i Louisville, Kentucky, hvor American Distilling Institute 6th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits fandt sted. Hundredvis af håndværksdestillatorer fra hele landet kom for at lære, dele, netværke og smage hinandens spiritus med fokus på whisky og rom.

Fotoet af bordet, du ser på ovenfor, repræsenterer en række af de håndværksdestillatorer, der deltog, og vi vil snart offentliggøre mere fra konferencen her.

Her er vinderne af den 6. årlige bedømmelse af håndværker amerikanske ånder. BourbonBlog.com anbefaler dig at tjekke disse ud og også støtte håndværksdestillatorer baseret i nærheden af ​​dig!

Bubble Cup Award — Distillery of the Year

Peach Street Distillers, Palisade, Colorado

Bedst i klassen

Artisan destilleret whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Grainiac 9 Grain Bourbon

Jaxon Keys Winery & amp Distillery – Jepson Old Stock Brandy

Turkey Shore Distilleries – Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rom

Smooth Ambler Spirits Co – Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whisky

Hubers Starlight Distillery – Brandy

______________________________ ______________________________ _

Copper Fox Distillery – Wasmund ’s Rye Spirit

Deerhammer Distilling Company – Whitewater Whisky

Tennessee Distilling Company – Collier og McKeel Charcoal Mellowed White Dog

Dark Horse Distillery – Long Shot White Whisky

High West Distillery – High West Silver Whisky – OMG Pure Rye

Finger Lakes Distillery – White Pike Whisky

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Limestone Branch Distillery – T.J. Pottinger Moon*Shine

Asheville Distilling Company – Troy & amp Sons Moonshine

Colorado Gold Distillery – Colorado ’s Own Corn Whisky

Dark Corner Distillery – Moonshine Corn Whisky

Balcones Distillery – Balcones True Blue

Kings County Distillery – Kings County Moonshine

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery – Corn Whisky

Pinchgut Hollow Distillery – Corn Shine

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Grainiac 9 Grain Bourbon

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Nashville Bourbon

Tuthilltown Spirits – Hudson Whisky Four Grain Bourbon

Kings County Distillery – Kings County Bourbon

Tuthilltown Spirits – Hudson Baby Bourbon

LIGE BOURBON

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Colorado Gold Distillery – Straight Bourbon Whisky

Ballast Point Spirits – Devil ’s Del Whisky

Peach Street Distillers – Colorado Straight Bourbon

MALT WHISKEY

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Golden Distillery – Samish Bay Single Malt Whisky

Golden Distillery – Samish Bay Whisky Reserve

Rogue Ales & Spirits – Oregon Single Malt Whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Pils American Malt Whisky

New Holland Artisan Spirits – Double Down Barley

Rogue Ales & Spirits – Dead Guy Whisky

Darek Bell, ejer af Corsair Artisan Distillery, med en af ​​de mange ADI Awards Corsair sammen med BourbonBlog.com 's Tom Fischer

LIGE MALT WHISKEY

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Ballast Point Spirits – Devil ’s Del Whisky

istilleri – Hogshead Whisky

New Holland Artisan Spirits – Zeppelin Bend

RYE WHISKEY

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Breuckelen Distilling – 77 Whisky

1512 Spirits – Aged Rye Whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Ryemageddon

IKKE-TYPISK WHISKEY

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Balcones Distillery – 𔃱 ’ Texas Single Malt

1512 Spiritus – Signatur Poitin

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Havregryn Stout Whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – PreProhibition American Malt Whisky

Florida Farm Distillers – Palm Ridge Reserve

Koval Distillery – Lion's Pride, 47th Ward Whisky

Old Sugar Distillery – Queen Jennie Sorghum Whisky

Glacier Distilling Company – Wheatfish Whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Quinoa & Barley Whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Triticale & Barley Whisky

Koval Distillery – Lion ’s Pride Millet Whisky

Middle West Spirits – OYO Whisky

RØGET WHISKEY

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Balcones Distillery – Brimstone

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Egrøget hvede whisky

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Cherrywood Smoke

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Triple Smoke

Square One Brewery & amp Distillery – JJ Neukomm Malt whisky

HOPPET WHISKEY

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Citra Whisky

Spirits of St. Louis – Hopskey

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Elderflower Bohemian Whisky

SMAGET WHISKEY

Corsair Artisan Distillery – Old Punk

Artisan Merchant Bottled Whisky

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Smooth Ambler Spirits Co – Old Scout Bourbon Whisky

Bull Run Distillery – Temperance Trader Bourbon

Great Lakes Distillery, LLC – Kinnickinnic Whisky

______________________________ ______________________________ _

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Clear Creek Distillery – Eau de Vie of Blue Plum (Slivovitz)

Westford Hill Distillers, LLC – Kirsch Eau de Vie

Peach Street Distillers – Jack and Jenny Peach Eau de Vie

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Peach Street Distillers – Peach Brandy

Peach Street Distillers – Pear Brandy

Harvest Spirits LLC – Sjælden pærebrændevin

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Westford Hill Distillers, LLC – New World Aged Apple Brandy

Clear Creek Distillery – 8 år. Eau de Vie de Pomme (æble)

Colorado Gold Distillery – Colorado Gold Brandy

Carolina Distillery LLC – Carriage House Apple Brandy

Huber ’s Starlight Distillery – Apple Brandy

Huber ’s Starlight Distillery – Apple Jack

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Clear Creek Distillery – Grappa Muscat

Clear Creek Distillery – Grappa Nebbiolo

Flag Hill Distillery – Graham ’s Grappa

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Jaxon Keys Winery & amp Distillery – Jepson Old Stock Brandy

Jaxon Keys Winery & amp Distillery – Jepson Signature Reserve Brandy

Dakota Spirits Distillery – Bickering Brothers Neutral Brandy

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Sidetrack Distillery – Hindbærlikør

Clear Creek Distillery – Likør af Oregon Tranebær

Huber ’s Starlight Distillery – Black Raspberry Infusion

Huber ’s Starlight Distillery – Raspberry Infusion

Clear Creek Distillery – Eau de Vie fra Douglas Fir

Bloomery Plantation Distillery – Cello Cremma Lemma

Clear Creek Distillery – Liqueur of Oregon Cassis (Creme de Cassis)

Harvest Spirits LLC – Core Black Raspberry

Apollo Fine Spirits – Queen Esther Sweet Fire Liqueur

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Ballast Point Spirits – Three Sheets White Rum

New Deal Distillery – Distiller ’s Workshop Rum

Dancing Pines Distillery, LLC. – Dancing Pines Rum

Bull Run Distillery – Pacific Rum

Turkey Shore Distilleries – Old Ipswich White Cap Rum

Guldmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Turkey Shore Distilleries – Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rom

Desert Diamond Distillery – Gold Miner Spirits Barrel Reserve Rum

Ryan og Wood Distillery – Folly Cove Rum

Dancing Pines Distillery, LLC. — Cask Barrel Aged Rom

Rogue Ales & amp Spirits – Dark Rum

New Deal Distillery – Distiller ’s Workshop Rum, Amber

Old Sugar Distillery – Cane and Abe Freshwater Rum

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Barrel House Distilling Co. – Oak Rum

Privateer Rum – Privateer Ægte amerikansk rom

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Dogfish Head – Brown Honey Rum

Duncan ’s Idea Mill, LLC – Dunc ’s Mill – Elderflower

Sølvmedalje, kategoriens bedste

Dancing Pines Distillery, LLC. – Rom med krydderier med smag

Artisan Merchant Bottled Rom

New Holland Artisan Spirits – Huron Rum

Firefly Distillery – Sea Island, Java

Firefly Distillery – Sea Island, Spice

Spirit of Texas – Pecan Street Rum

Særlig tak til American Distilling Institute (ADI), ADI's præsident Bill Owens, Andrew Faulkner, dommerdirektør og personalefotograf ved ADI, Leah Hutchinson ADI Conference and Advertising Director, Amber Hasselbring, Assistant to the President at ADI, Huber ’s Starlight Distillery at Huber & #8217s Orchard, Winery & amp Vineyards i Borden, IN for at være vært for os, og alle destillerierne og vennerne, vi mødte undervejs!


Clear Creek Distillery fejrer 30 frugtbare år: The Cocktail Hour

Clear Creek Distillery laver flasker brandy med pærer i dem! Hvordan gør de det?

Pærer på McCurdy Farms i Parkdale, uden for Hood River, bliver til pærebrændevin på Clear Creek Distillery i Portland.

Det kræver mere end 20 kilo frugt at lave en flaske Clear Creek 's signaturpærebrændevin, produktet der lancerede destilleriet i Portland. Omtrent til at fejre sin 30 års fødselsdag i denne måned, sælger Clear Creek stadig mere af det brandy end noget andet.

Det er mange pærer, der får det til hvert fald at falde fra Hood River Valley til destilleriet i det nordvestlige industridistrikt, hvor frugten gæres i en mos og fodres i en tysklavet gryde, før den ender i en flaske. Hvis du vil sprænge, ​​kan du få den flaske med en pære vokset indeni, som ved magi.

"Vores pærebrændevin er stadig vores bedste og mest populære ånd," siger brandforvalteren Rachel Inman. & quot Intet slår næsen på de perfekt modne Bartlett -pærer, der fanges under destillationsprocessen. & quot

Det er sandt, men Clear Creek Distillery har betydeligt udvidet sin produktserie til at omfatte andre frugtbrandies, spiritus og likører fokuseret på nordvestlige produkter. Og ganske snart får disse flasker et helt nyt look til at fejre 30 år.

Inspireret af hans families overdådige plantager og likører og brandier i europæisk stil grundlagde Stephen McCarthy virksomheden i 1986. Han rejste til Frankrig for at se, hvordan de bedste i verden lavede deres eaux de vie, især Poire Williams. Den naturlige lighed mellem Williams -pæren og Bartlett udløste hans første pærebrændevin. I årenes løb er produktserien og anerkendelsen vokset. I 2014 besluttede McCarthy at gå på pension og solgte virksomheden til Oregon-baserede Hood River-destillatorer. Holdet på Clear Creek har stort set været på plads siden.

Definitioner

En eau de vie er et klart brandy fremstillet af fermentering og destillering af frugt. Det kræver meget frugt at lave, kan sammenlignes i bevis med spiritus og har en tør finish. Ud over high-end cocktails kan du prøve at nippe den pænt eller afkølet som en fordøjelse. Derimod er nogle billige frugtsmagede versioner, du ser på de nederste hylder i din lokale vinbutik, grundlæggende druebrændevin, der er blevet aromatiseret, nogle gange kunstigt. Likører kan laves med en brandy eller neutral spiritusbase og derefter smages til og sødes efter ønske.

Forbrugeruddannelse og skiftende smag har udvidet publikum for Clear Creek 's line. "For 30 år siden havde de fleste meget lidt erfaring med ren frugtbrandies fremstillet i europæisk tradition," siger Inman. & quot I årenes løb er deres popularitet vokset, og den seneste eksplosion af interesse for håndværksprodukter har bragt en ny generation af entusiaster. & quot

Eaux de vie er hjertet af Clear Creek 's lineup. Smagen omfatter pære, æble, kirsebær (kirschwasser), framboise og mirabelleblomme. Hvis du kan lide din spiritus på den sødere side, kan du prøve rækken af ​​frugtlikører, blandt dem kirsebær, tranebær, marionbær og cassis, solbærlikør. Destilleriet byder også på sin egen single-malt whisky og en håndfuld grappas. Måske er det mest usædvanlige blandt produkterne Douglas Fir eau de vie, der er udviklet over 10 år til at fange komplekse, blomsteragtige smag fra Nordvest. Det er blevet en favorit blandt lokale bartendere. "Folk er ofte tilbageholdende med at prøve det, og det er dejligt at se dem glædeligt overrasket over ånden," siger Inman.

Bartender ros

"Clear Creek Distillery var med til at sætte Oregon's destillationsscene på kortet," siger Daniel Osborne fra Bull i Kina, en lokal drinkware -maker og cocktailkonsulentfirma. "Der er så meget integritet i hver flaske og tønde, for ikke at nævne kvaliteten til at blande cocktails eller nippe til pænt." For Becca June, barchef på Altabira City Tavern, har Clear Creek altid været hendes favorit for lokale destillatører: fremragende produkter, der er lette at blande og også kan stå for sig selv. Jeg kan godt lide deres smagsprofiler, og hvad de bringer til cocktails. Deres æblebrændevin er min favorit. & Quot

For sin 30 års fødselsdag, forvent et nyt udseende på hylderne, der starter omkring den 1. maj. "Den nye emballage og branding vil binde alle vores produkter sammen," siger Inman. & quot Vores linje er vokset så meget gennem årene med meget forskellige etiketter. Med de nye etiketter vil der ikke være nogen forvirring om, at de har skabt af os. De nye etiketter vil stadig være i overensstemmelse med vores historiske look. & Quot


Indys Premier Bourbon -fest

  • Fredag ​​den 6. marts 2020
  • 18:30 22:00 18:30 22:00
  • Eugene og Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center (kort)
  • Google KalenderICS

Nyd alle udstillinger på History Center, mens du prøver berømte spiritus og lærer mere om destillationens fine kunst. Eksklusive bourbon -pakker er tilgængelige under vores stille og live auktioner.


Top 10 håndværksdestillerier over hele landet

Disse højt ansete, prisvindende, innovative, håndværksmæssige og luksuriøse spiritus laver små portioner rigtigt.

St. George Spirits Alameda, Californien

St. George strækker grænserne for traditionelle gin -stilarter meget vellykket. For mere end 30 år siden blev en ung tysk mand ved navn Jorg Rupf forelsket i Bay Areas madkultur og kvaliteten af ​​frugtdyrkning i Californien og grundlagde efterfølgende St. George Spirits i 1982. Han begyndte at lave eau de vie (en klar , farveløs frugtbrændevin) fra pærer, hindbær, kirsebær og endda kiwifrugt, før der var en håndværksdestillationsbevægelse i USA at tale om. Mange tidlige gin-destillatører her holdt til en London Dry-stil, hvilket er meget enebær-fremad, men som redaktøren for Bevvy.co bemærker, skaber destillatorer nu moderne gin, der er meget mere forskelligartet. ”Citrusskræl er en af ​​de botaniske stoffer, der er kommet på spidsen, og lokale urter og krydderier bliver populære hos folk, der gerne vil lave gin med en smule stolthed over hjembyen. St. George Terroir Gin er et godt eksempel på det, det smager som Californiens kyst. ”

Koval Distillery Chicago, Illinois

Det første destilleri i Chicago siden godt før forbud, blev Koval grundlagt af en dynamisk mand og hustru duo, der ændrer den måde, Amerika destillerer på. Dr. Robert Birnecker og Dr. Sonat Birnecker-Hart har vundet utallige priser for deres tørre gin, 100 procent midwestern dyrket økologisk rugwhisky, hirsebaseret bourbon og mere. Power -parret prioriterer også uddannelse og er vært for et udvalg af cocktailklasser og whisky -workshops på deres North Ravenswood Ave -placering. Talent ser ud til at løbe i familien-deres markante laserskårne etiketter har også fået stor opmærksomhed, designet af Sonats søster og hendes firma Dando Projects.

Seven Stills San Francisco, Californien

Tim og Clint fra Seven Stills Distillery startede med at komme alt baglæns - ingen skubbede whisky fra ølvinklen, men et enormt håndværksølsegment i San Francisco Bay Area sammen med deres omfattende ølkendskab gav et godt sigue til at lave whisky fra håndværksbryg af ekstrem høj kvalitet. Nu inkluderer deres robuste vejkort over spiritus "en still for hver bakke" i San Francisco ved hjælp af en anden kunstner til at designe hver flaske (Chocasmoke er lavet af en chokolade-havregryn stout til ære for Twin Peaks, og Fluxuate destilleres fra en kaffeporter for at fejre en hurtigt skiftende, post-Gold Rush Rincon Hill), at tilføje til deres samling af små partier, sæsonbetonede bitter som Meyer citron, stikkende pære og tranebær.

Clear Creek Portland, Oregon

I de sidste tre årtier har Clear Creek Distillery respekteret det intime ægteskab mellem landbrug og destillation ved at bruge frugt i verdensklasse fra gårdene omkring deres hjemmebase i Portland, Oregon. Kendt for sin eau de vie (en klar, farveløs frugtbrændevin), konkurrerer Clear Creek's mangfoldige portefølje med mere end 25 produkter med de bedste af deres europæiske kolleger og er forankret af flagskibet Williams Pear Brandy, der er blevet kåret som en af ​​de bedste ånder i verden.

House Spirits Distillery Portland, Oregon

Kær og meget respekteret i branchen, House Spirits Distillery laver whisky, der er blevet opført blandt de bedste i deres kategorier. Deres Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whisky modnes på nye amerikanske egetræsfade i mindst to år, hvilket tillader Oregons tørre, varme somre og våde, kolde vintre at bidrage til dens rige, glatte smag. Ledsaget af Aviation American Gin, Krogstad Aquavit og Volstead Vodka er næsten alt inden for deres spiritus ideelt til blanding af en cocktail. Deres nye destilleri og smagslokale på Portlands berømte destillerierække åbnede for offentligheden i november 2015 og afholder regelmæssige klasser i at lave whisky, cocktails og bitter.

Kings County Distillery Brooklyn, New York

Grundlæggerne af Kings County Distillery skrev bogstaveligt talt bogen om at gøre whisky til en thome. Deres Guide til Urban Moonshining er et kig på Amerikas oprindelige spirt, fra whiskyen lavet af de tidlige kolonister og spredte destillerier i Kentucky til de eventyrlystne, moderne håndværksdestillatorer i næsten alle stater. Det hele er ganske passende, da de driver NewYork Citys ældste whiskydestilleri, det første siden forbud, der ligger i det ikoniske Brooklyn Navy Yard og kun få skridt fra det legendariske sted for Brooklyn Whisky Wars i 1860'erne. Deres moonshine, bourbon, tørvede bourbon og tøndestyrke -bourbon har alle vundet adskillige priser sammen med deres nylige anerkendelse af at blive kåret til årets destilleri i 2016 fra American Distilling Institute.

Corsair Distillery Nashville, Tennessee

Corsair -grundlæggerne Darek og Andrew er indfødte i Nashville, der har samarbejdet siden gymnasiet. De begyndte med at brygge øl og vin i Dareks garage, men besluttede snart, at whisky ville være "meget mere tilfredsstillende." Deres eventyrlystne, innovative og store smagshåndværks whiskyer-herunder en quinoa-whisky, en håndfuld rugwhisky, nogle maltwhisky og mere-får konsekvent høje karakterer blandt respektable kritikere sammen med utallige internationale spirituspriser. Dem der skal prøve: Triple Smoke Malt Whisky og Wry Moon Unaged Rye Whisky.

Få ånder Evanston, Illinois

Few Spirits er opkaldt efter talsmand for suffragette og temperament Frances Elizabeth Willard (FEW) og er et sandt græs-til-korn destilleri, der køber alt deres korn (majs, hvede, rug og byg) fra ikke mere end 150 miles væk. Det er også det første (lovlige) alkoholproduktionsanlæg af nogen art i Evanston, en by, der forbød alkoholsalg i fire årtier efter forbuddets ophør. Deres flasker dukker op overalt blandt craft spirit -samfundet, og deres rugwhisky har modtaget anerkendelse som Whiskey Advocates 2013 Craft Whisky of the Year, som en guldmedalje vinder i 2014 World Whisky Awards, og blev bedømt som en af ​​de fem bedste whiskyer i verden af ​​Beverage Tasting Institute.

Death's Door Spirits Middleton, Wisconsin

Det, der engang var en robust kartoffelbrugsregion, Washington Island, Wisconsin, blev offer for lodret integration i kartoffelindustrien i begyndelsen af ​​1970'erne. Mere end 30 år senere begyndte to brødre at dyrke hvede på øen, og snart blev Death's Door Spirits født med fokus fra begyndelsen på, hvordan man støtter lokalt og bæredygtigt landbrug på øen. Death's Door var banebrydende for hvid whisky, som blev meget populær som en cocktailingrediens, med et forhold på 80:20 mellem Washington Island Wheat og maltet byg fra Chilton, Wisconsin. Andre Death's Door-familiemedlemmer inkluderer en gin i London Dry-stil, en dobbeltdestilleret vodka og Wondermint Schnapps Liqueur-den første og eneste håndværksmæssige pebermynte-snaps i verden.

Montanya Distillers Crested Butte, Colorado

Montanya Distillers er bedst kendt som leverandører af håndværk i stor højde, destilleret i de betagende Rocky Mountains. Ikke overraskende læser deres ingrediensliste som en ode til Amerikas inspirerende udendørs skønhed: Ikke-GMO sukkerrør fra familiebønder i Louisiana, der vokser og fræser vand for dem fra en af ​​de reneste forår og snesmeltede ladede akviferer i USA, og de opvarmer endda deres bygning fra de alembiske kobbergryder. Prisvindende Montanya Platino og Oro rom får selskab af en Exclusiva rom med begrænset frigivelse, der er lagret i 30 måneder på amerikanske hvide egetræsfade og derefter færdiggjort på franske egetræsfade, der tidligere havde Sutcliffe Vineyards ’Port.


Blake Bailey tager på en flaske Clear Creek Distillery Blue Plum Brandy

Blandt den behagelige og ikke så behagelige ting, Ernest Hemingway husker i "A Moveable Feast"-om hans ungdom i Paris i 1920'erne-var hans besøg på 27 rue de Fleurus, hvor Gertrude Stein og hendes ledsager, Alice B. Toklas, ville give ham kager og eaux de vie. Jeg kan ikke håbe at forbedre hans fremmaning af sidstnævnte, som, skriver han, "smagte som frugterne, de kom fra, konverterede til en kontrolleret ild på din tunge, der varmede dig og løsnede den." Hvor passende, hvor helt rigtigt, at de civiliserede franskmænd skulle kalde disse eliksirer for ”liv i vandet”.

Østeuropæere er især glade for slivovitz, en eau de vie lavet af dæmonblommer, så lækker og berusende, at selv den tempererede Ashkenazim quaff det til bryllupper og påskesedder (når kornlud er forbudt og en fin kosher sliv ofte er, for sekulær sindet, højdepunktet i en langvarig aften). I Serbien er tingene så populære, at folk rådes til at bygge huse nær de bedste steder at dyrke blommetræer.

Slivovitz er alsidig: Nogle drikker det varmt, andre kolde endnu andre bruger det til at lave en sorbet eller en kraftig version af et jødisk forkølelsesmiddel, guggle-muggle. Efter min mening er hovedspørgsmålet, om man skal drikke det som aperitif eller fordøjelse. Som en praktisk sag foretrækker jeg at vente til efter jeg har spist, for at jeg ikke bliver ude af stand til at nå bordet.

Jeg tilskriver min hellige tyske mor, Marlies, for den kultur, jeg besidder i ganespørgsmål. Blandt de mange bekvemmeligheder i hendes hjem - et charmerende sommerhus i stavene i det landlige Norman, Okla. - er flasken slivovitz i fryseren, der uafladeligt venter på hvert besøg. På et tidspunkt begunstigede hun den kraftfulde (100 bevis) serbiske Navip i sin flotte runde flaske, men som en skør serbisk hjemmeside informerer mig om, er spiritussen blevet afbrudt. (Navip, der står, "egsister [sic] ikke længere ... slugt af dårlig privatisering.") Mor kan i hvert fald godt lide hendes slivovitz kraftfulde og runde flasker. Skønhedsdelen, hos Marlies, er de særlige tinneskudglas, hun bryder ud til dette hellige post-prandiale ritual. Hæld den iskolde væske i, og tinet bliver som en frossen flagstang, man ikke skal røre med tungen. Selve libationen forbliver kold og brændende begge to, mens vi nipper og erindrer.

Ved første rødme forestiller jeg mig, at min mor ville se en svag udsigt over Clear Creek Distillery slivovitz (alias Blue Plum Brandy), som min redaktør på The Wall Street Journal sendte min vej. Det er kun 80 bevis, for en ting, og den aflange, hvis elegante flaske ville passe akavet i hendes fryser. Men den virkelige deal breaker for en sparsommelig tysker ville være den fancy pris, omkring $ 50 i gennemsnit for 750 ml flasken.

På vin: Lettie Teague

Flaskepost

Steve McCarthy, ejer af dette håndværksdestilleri i Portland, Ore., Tilbyder ingen undskyldninger. Som han forklarer, er deres produkt kun fremstillet af frisk frisk frugt, lokalt dyrket og destilleret i små gryderetter: "Resultatet er meget godt og meget dyrt." Faktisk går ry for deres slivovitz - ligegyldigt deres endnu mere berømte poire, fremstillet af pærer dyrket på familieplantagen i nærliggende Parkdale - næsten undertrykkende forud for sig selv. Siden 2004 har den vundet guldmedaljen næsten hvert år ved den amerikanske Slivovitz -konkurrence, hvor et glas Clear Creek holdes til rådighed for hver dommer ved hjælp af en "referencestandard", mens de forsøger at sammenligne de omkring 40 mindre poster.

Så ja, det er lækkert. Når jeg propper min næse ind i et koldt skudglas og huffer den dejlige krystallinske likør, bliver jeg mindet om en scene i Somerset Maughams "The Razor's Edge", hvor den dandyish Elliott Templeton tillader sig selv (på trods af skrøbeligt helbred) at svømme over et glas af Zubrovka: "Som at lytte til musik i måneskin," rapsodiserer han. Jeg har det på samme måde med denne oregonske nektar, selvom jeg må sige, at jeg ikke finder den helt så blød, som den er sprækket på trods af det relativt milde alkoholindhold. Ikke at jeg har noget imod disse svage noter af terpentin og dieselolie - snarere som insinuationen af ​​en mindre akkord i et ellers lystigt Wagner -motiv.

Således afspejler jeg, at al stor fornøjelse kommer med en pris, og jeg er nok bedre til bare at have det ene glas. Lad os trods alt huske efterfølgeren til den scene i "The Razor's Edge": Fristet af Elliott's effusions, stakkels stakkels Sophie MacDonald forsvinder med en flaske Zubrovka og er sidst set - jeg tænker nu på filmatiseringen fra 1946 - tragisk pudset i Rue de Lappe. "Som at lishne til mushig af moonlie," læser hun, eller sådan leverer Anne Baxter linjen. Derfra er det kun et spørgsmål om tid, før hun bliver fundet med halsen skåret.

Men lad os slutte med en mere munter note. Ofte når jeg tænker på drinkens nydelser og især eau de vie, tænker jeg på min gamle teologilærer hr. Osborn (lad os kalde ham). Forestil dig en lidt mindre louche Gaston Godin fra "Lolita": "en slap, dej-ansigt, melankolsk ungkarl" med "fænomenalt robuste ben." På vores katolske skole i Oklahoma City skar den portugisiske Osborn en mærkeligt kosmopolitisk skikkelse. I skolen ændrede hans uniform af navy blazer og grå flannelbukser sig sjældent, selvom han havde en imponerende samling af trykte silke sløjfer og påvirkede hornfælge og et rør, der sjældent blev tændt.

Han plejede at give mig whisky ud af en porcelæn tepotte, da jeg kom efter skole til min "uafhængige undersøgelse" -time hver anden uge. I det omfang han var seksuel, var han sandsynligvis homoseksuel. En gang, da vi diskuterede Aquinas, bekræftede han, at han var, ja, en 40-årig jomfru. "Men hvorfor?" Jeg spurgte. Han lagde sine pudgy hænder og holdt dem mod mit ansigt: "Det er lidt jeg kan tilbyde Vor salige Herre," sagde han.

A figure of some pathos, then, or so it seemed, but later I saw a jauntier side—that is, after I graduated and would occasionally visit him at the big old house where he lived with his mother (whom I never saw). After a lunch or dinner of many courses, Mr. Osborn would remove the plates and somberly choose a few bottles of eau de vie from the cupboard. I got my first taste of slivovitz in his company, but I was especially enchanted by the poire with its enormous pear right there in the bottle.

Every month or two, he explained, he made a special trip to Dallas to procure his more exotic liquors and other delectables—“the only things that make this benighted place” (Oklahoma) “bearable.” This, I gathered, was simply the truth in Mr. Osborn’s case, but at least the eau de vie and whatnot did, in fact, seem to do the trick. Once, after lunch, we walked tipsily in the afternoon sunlight to a cigar store in Shepherd Mall. Waddling along in his Panama hat, beaming dreamily in the heat, Mr. Osborn seemed at peace with this little world he’d made for himself.

Blake Bailey

— Blake Bailey is the author, most recently, of “The Splendid Things We Planned.” He is working on a biography of Philip Roth.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


Clear Creek Distillery

Advertising itself as “orchard to glass,” Clear Creek specializes in authentic, fruit-based spirits. Sourcing their produce from the Mount Hood countryside and the broader Pacific Northwest, this distillery has brought European-style brandy and liqueur to the opposite side of the globe. From Pear Brandy to Loganberry Liqueur, Clear Creek has European staples alongside American inventions. If you like fruit and you like liquor, check out Clear Creek.


Gold Rush! West Coast Distillers

America&rsquos West has long been known for its pioneering spirit, from the gold prospectors who arrived seeking fortune to the dot-commers who helped push the digital frontiers.

The distillers of the West embody this pioneering spirit, too. Each of the five distillers profiled on the following pages have blazed trails in their own way, whether that means being among the first to distill local fruit into high-end eau-de-vie (Steve McCarthy of Clear Creek Distillery), developing a new spirit category (Ryan Magarian, with his &ldquoNew Western Dry&rdquo Aviation Gin) or cutting through a tangled thicket of regulatory red tape (Kent Fleischmann and Don Poffenroth of Dry Fly Distilling), clearing the way for other would-be distillers in Washington State.

Another defining quality all five share: Each produces Western terroir-rich spirits worthy of national recognition.

Charbay Distillers

(Napa Valley, CA)


Marko Karakasevic is a Master Distiller&mdashthat&rsquos with a capital M, capital D. The designation has been passed down through the family business for 13 generations, from Europe to the St. Helena-based Charbay Distillery, which his parents, Miles and Susan, started in 1983, first making wines and brandy.
&ldquoMy family has been distilling since 1751,&rdquo Karakasevic says proudly.

&ldquoThe definition of Master Distiller in my family is that one must source, distill and bring to market a spirit equal to or better than something produced by your teacher&mdashin this case, my dad.&rdquo

His spirit: Doubled & Twisted Whiskey, released in late 2009. Karakasevic, who had brewed beer since high school, used fruity, malty California IPA beer as the base, barrel-aged the spirit for a single day (to appease the legal definition of &ldquolight whiskey&rdquo), then aged it for four years in stainless-steel tanks.
&ldquoWhen I finally released it,&rdquo Karakasevic says, &ldquomy dad said, &lsquoCongratulations, you&rsquore a Master Distiller.&rsquo And we smoked cigars. It took me 26 years.&rdquo

Charbay is also known for its artisanal infused vodkas, like Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange, as well as brandies and more. But whiskey remains near to Karakasevic&rsquos heart, and increasingly he&rsquos working on &ldquobarrel programs&rdquo with customers like New York bars Ward III and Employees Only, creating bespoke small-batch whiskies.

Is there anything that he has not yet tried? &ldquoGin,&rdquo says Karakasevic, a new father. &ldquoBut I&rsquoll leave that up to the 14th generation.&rdquo

Charbay Napa Valley Iced Tea

2 ounces Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka
1 teaspoon Chambord
4 ounces iced tea (regular or mango flavored)
Lemon wedge, for garnish

Fill a 12-ounce Collins glass with ice. Add the vodka and Chambord, and top with the iced tea. Stir until well blended, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Dry Fly Distilling

Four-year-old Dry Fly Distilling, which makes vodka, gin, a delectable 100% wheat whiskey and a newly released Bourbon, was the first distiller in the state of Washington.

That accomplishment didn&rsquot come easy to co-owners Kent Fleischmann and Don Poffenroth. The two met on a &ldquofly-fishing boondoggle&rdquo during their former jobs as marketing executives. Celebrating the day&rsquos catch, they broke into a bottle of &ldquowhat was the world&rsquos greatest vodka back then,&rdquo Fleischmann says. They declared the vodka &ldquohorrible,&rdquo and said&mdashjokingly&mdashthat they could probably make a better vodka.

&ldquoThen Don, who is more scientific than I am, said, &lsquoWe could do this,&rsquo&rdquo recalls Fleischmann.

While they continued at their marketing jobs, the pair spent the next two years studying how to produce the spirit, invested &ldquoa small fortune&rdquo into the business and made the vodka.

However, a new challenge emerged. Washington, a control state, didn&rsquot allow producers to sell their spirit from the distillery. It was legal to open a distillery, they discovered, but not to sell their wares at the facility. Luckily, &ldquowe like challenges,&rdquo says Fleischmann, and so they set out to get the laws changed.

&ldquoWe dusted off our high school government books, got a lobbyist&rsquos help and got a bill drafted.&rdquo The Craft Distillers Bill passed unanimously, effectively creating a new industry for the state.

The vodka subsequently came to market, and in 2009, Dry Fly Vodka scored a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition and beat over 200 spirits to win Best in Show.

&ldquoThat was our goal, to prove we could do better,&rdquo Fleischmann says. &ldquoAnd we proved that we could.&rdquo

Blueberry Caipiroska

2 ounces Dry Fly Vodka
1 lime wedge
¾ ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce blueberry liqueur
3 blueberries, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the vodka and the lime. Add the simple syrup and ice, and shake until well blended. Pour into a chilled rocks glass and drizzle with the blueberry liqueur. Garnish with three blueberries and lime wedge.

Clear Creek Distillery

If there&rsquos one product for which Clear Creek is known, it&rsquos the Williams (Bartlett) pear brandy, especially the &ldquopear-in-the-bottle&rdquo version. Remember the ship-in-a-bottle that may have puzzled you as a kid? Similarly, there&rsquos a simple explanation for how Clear Creek fits that fully grown pear within the slender-necked bottle.

&ldquoWe actually grow the pear inside of the bottle in the orchards,&rdquo reveals Clear Creek owner Steve McCarthy, &ldquoand then fill the bottle with eau-de-vie.&rdquo Although this is common practice in Alsace, one of the European regions from which McCarthy pulls inspiration, it&rsquos a more unusual sight to see an Oregon pear tree in summertime sprouting bottles where the still-ripening pears should be.

McCarthy has been making spirits for 26 years. His family had cultivated apple orchards for many years before that, but it was when he was traveling through Europe that he realized: Just as the French make Cognac from grapes and eaux-de-vie from any number of fruits, he could use local produce and make it into something wonderful.

&ldquoFor 15 years or so, the artisan distilling industry was four guys,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThat&rsquos changing for the better. Some good ones are coming along.&rdquo
The pear brandy was the first product, made using stills found in Germany.

Now, he makes 28 products, including a wide range of eaux-devie, grappas and brandy, all made with local fruit. But his &ldquogreatest product,&rdquo he says, is not the pear-in-the bottle, but McCarthy&rsquos Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, inspired after sampling peaty Lagavulin 16-year-old during a trip to Scotland.

Hopscotch & Berry

Created by Kelley Swenson of June in Portland, Oregon, for Clear Creek Distillery.

1½ ounce McCarthy&rsquos Oregon
Single Malt Whiskey
½ ounce Clear Creek Eau de
Vie Framboise
½ ounce Punt e Mes or Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
2 streger Angostura bitter
1 raspberry, for garnish

In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the whiskey, eau-de-vie, vermouth and bitters. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a raspberry.

St. George Spirits

Lance Winters, master distiller at St. George Spirits, is an energetic and commanding presence. So it&rsquos hard to imagine him as a spirits acolyte, learning at the feet of a master. Yet that&rsquos the story. His mentor was Jorg Rupf (now retired), who founded St. George Spirits nearly 30 years ago. The company operates out of a former Navy hangar near San Francisco.

Although Rupf began by making fruit brandies, as his family had done in Europe, the company really made its name a decade ago when it began the Hangar One Vodka line, which was among the first to produce artisan flavored vodkas. (The brand was purchased by Proximo Spirits in 2010.) St. George has developed a reputation as an incubator of innovative new spirits, ranging from St. George Absinthe Verte to Firelit Coffee Liqueur.

Winters, a former Navy nuclear engineer who started brewing beer while in the service, describes his apprenticeship under Rupf as a &ldquovery Mr. Miyagi-Karate Kid relationship.&rdquo Rupf taught a young, impatient Winters how to select raw materials, as well as distillation craft and aging techniques.

As a brewer, Winters has a soft spot for the nutty, complex St. George Single Malt. But his latest and greatest project is launching a line of three new gins, including the Douglas fir and bay laurel-spiked Terroir, an aromatic ode to local hiking spot Mount Tam. &ldquoIt&rsquos like drinking a martini out in the woods,&rdquo he says.
Why not launch one gin, instead of three? Winters says, &ldquoWe like to do things the hard way here.&rdquo

The Lucky Tiger

Courtesy of St. George&rsquos Chris Jordan and Sascha Wen

1½ ounce Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka
½ ounce Qi Black Tea Liqueur
½ ounce Hangar One Citron Buddha&rsquos Hand Vodka
½ ounce 1883 de Philibert Routin Passion Fruit Syrup
2&ndash3 dashes Angostura bitters

In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine vodkas, tea liqueur, passion fruit syrup and bitters. Stir well, then strain into a coupe glass.

House Spirits

(Portland, Oregon)

Rolling up on its seventh anniversary, House Spirits describes itself as &ldquothe first bartender-distiller partnership in history.&rdquo

The bartender is Ryan Magarian, partner in House Spirits and cofounder of its flagship product, Aviation Gin, a &ldquoNew Western Dry&rdquo gin beloved by aviation cocktail devotees. Meanwhile, the distiller is House Spirits founding partner Christian Krogstad his name is on the Krogstad Aquavit, a robust American incarnation of the Scandinavian spirit flavored with an array of herbs and spices.

Their differing viewpoints are evident in the vernacular each uses to talk about spirits. For example, Krogstad leans toward scientific language, calmly explaining at length the efforts to create a clean, balanced botanical profile for Aviation, dialing down the juniper quotient and avoiding &ldquoflavor defects&rdquo in the finished spirit.

Meanwhile, Magarian favors more colorful turns of phrase, declaring the gin &ldquoa botanical democracy.&rdquo

Yet, both remember when &ldquodistillers were wary of bartenders,&rdquo Magarian says. As recently as a few years ago, many &ldquococktails were burying, rather than enhancing, spirits.&rdquo

And both agree that their distillation and drink-making aesthetics incorporate &ldquoa sense of minimalism,&rdquo Krogstad says. &ldquoUsing a few good ingredients and putting them together well&rdquo as opposed to concocting needlessly complicated cocktail recipes or &ldquooverprocessed&rdquo spirits. So what's next? Among other things, a barrel-aged golden aquavit and a limited-release batch of coffee liqueur made with rum and locally roasted Guatemalan coffee beans.

Viking Quest

Courtesy of Tim Davey, Beaker & Flask, Portland, Oregon

1 ounce Krogstad Aquavit
1 ounce Barolo Chinato
1 ounce Campari
1 orange slice, for garnish

In a pint mixing glass, add the aquavit, Barolo Chinato and Campari. Stir well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

More Noteworthy West Coast Distillers

Here&rsquos a short list of pioneering distillers worth a look.

Germain-Robin (CA) Though known for a wide range of spirits, its domestic brandy in particular has found fans.
Modern Spirits (CA) Devoted to an organic approach, Modern Spirits also distills under the TRU label, and produces mixologist-inspired Barkeep Bitters.
New Deal Distillers (OR) Creates locally sourced organic liquors under the Loft label.
Oola (WA) This one-year-old distillery is located within Seattle&rsquos city limits.
Pacific Distillery (WA) Among other products, known for making historically accurate Pacifique absinthe and Voyager gin.
Sound Spirits (WA) Producer of Ebb & Flow vodka and gin whiskey in the works.
Sub Rosa Spirits (OR) Bartenders love its culinary-inspired vodkas, in flavors like tarragon and saffron.


5. Autumn

Young's own ode to pear spirits is a stirred drink that combines pear brandy, applejack, sherry, maple syrup and apple bitters. The cocktail is versatile, and he suggests it could be warmed and served as a toddy, with a wedge of lemon alongside.


32 Independent Craft Distillers You Need To Know Right Now

It’s Craft Beer & Spirits Week at Food Republic, which has us taking a close look at the small producers of fine potables. We can’t go long with all of these producers, like we previously did with Atsby vermouth and Tito’s Vodka . But we wanted to call out some of our favorite American craft spirits makers — as decided on by the Food Republic editors and regular spirits writers — for the next time you are sitting at the bar, or standing in your favorite neighborhood bottle shop, in need of some inspiration.

By Alia Akkam, Richard Martin and Matt Rodbard

Atelier Vie
Jedd Haas founded his New Orleans craft distillery to “address the need for a greater variety of locally produced distilled spirits.” The company first earned notice with Toulouse Red, a red absinthe that is pot distilled with herbs and infused with additional herbs to create the lush red color. More recently, Atelier Vie earned a gold medal from the American Craft Distillers Association for its Euphrosine Gin #9. ateliervie.com

Balcones Distilling
Whisky from Waco? Yup, and this fast-emerging brand’s range of single malts is attracting more and more fans as word spreads far beyond the Lone Star State. The company’s Texas Single Malt Whisky recently beat back even Scottish competitors to win Whisky Wizards’ 2014 World Whisky of the Year. Distiller Chip Tate has a hit on his hands, it seems. balconesdistilling.com

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits
San Diego’s Ballast Point started out brewing beer, but their efforts making spirits have attracted even more notice. Their colorful line includes Fugu Vodka, Old Grove Gin, Three Sheets Rum and a limited-edition single malt whiskey that won bronze in the American Craft Distillers Association’s 2014 craft spirits awards. ballastpoint.com

Bone Spirits
The Texas craft spirits scene is thriving (thanks, Tito’s Handmade Vodka) and this Smithville distillery attests to its creativity. Smiths, a triple-distilled vodka, is made from local grains and purified water Moody June Gin is lush with hand-picked botanicals and Fitch’s Goat Corn Whiskey and Moonshine celebrate fresh-milled corn. bonespirits.com

Breckenridge Distillery
Breckenridge may be known as one of Colorado’s winter sport meccas, but this distillery is fast becoming an après-ski favorite. Visitors can get in on the action at the 4,000-square-foot space, watching staff mash, ferment and distill products like high-rye bourbon and vodka made from snowmelt water. breckenridgedistillery.com

Brooklyn Gin
This small-batch producer makes a beautiful gin with hand-cracked juniper berries and fresh citrus peels, which allows for a distinct lavender finish. Though the name hints at an urban pedigree, the pot stills are located 50 miles north of New York City at the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. brooklyngin.com

Cacao Prieto
Single-origin chocolate bars and pistachio and apricot bonbons are among the products made by Cacao Prieto. But the Red Hook, Brooklyn–based company from Daniel Prieto Preston, scion of a family who has farmed organic cacao in the Dominican Republic for more than a century, doubles as a distillery. There is Don Rafael Cacao rum and Don Estaban Cacao liqueur, but the star is Widow Jane Straight bourbon whiskey. Made with limestone-rich water from the Widow Jane mine in Rosendale, New York, it’s rife with spice and caramel. cacaoprieto.com

Caledonia Spirits
Caledonia Spirits is found on the banks of the Lamoille River, in the charming farming town of Hardwick, Vermont. Here, founder and organic beekeeper Tom Hardie’s love for nectar spawned the birth of delicate spirits like Barr Hill Gin, made with raw natural honey, and Barr Hill Vodka — which integrates a cold fermented version. The not-so-boozy elderberry-honey cordial makes for a distinctive digestif. caledoniaspirits.com

CH Distillery
Opened last fall on Chicago’s burgeoning Randolph restaurant corridor, CH Distillery is a sort of gastro-pub with a pretty major spirits operation attached to it — you can see it right through the big glass dividing wall. The company is an ambitious upstart that already produces a high-quality vodka, two gin variations, limoncello, rum and now a bourbon, all available in sleek-looking bottles or mixed into cocktails at the restaurant. Given the frantic growth of CH’s line since we visited the distillery this past winter, we’re guessing that you’ll be hearing more about these spirits in the year ahead no matter where you live. chdistillery.com

Charbay Distillery
This Napa Valley pioneer, run by the Karakasevic family, has been around since 1983 — alembic pot still brandy is how they first found their groove. They make everything from vodka flavored with tree-ripened fruits — the blood orange is a stunner — to rum made with Hawaiian sugarcane and Tahitian vanilla beans. There’s also a scene-stealing whiskey collection that cleverly embraces hops. Try the R5, distilled from Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA. charbay.com


Steve McCarthy’s Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon creates lively eau de vies.

Clear Creek Distillery
Steve McCarthy had an affinity for European spirits like Poire William eau de vie, and considering the bounty of fruit in his family’s orchard, he decided to open Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. Recently acquired by Hood River Distillers, Clear Creek is an ode to both fresh Oregonian fruit and Alsatian and Swiss distilling techniques that yield eau de vie in lively flavors like Douglas Fir, Mirabelle plum and a sold-out Framboise. Apple brandy and local Pinot Noir grappa are also part of the mix. clearcreekdistillery.com

Copper Fox Distillery
Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky, with its honeyed and orange notes, is the star of this Sperryville-Virginia-based distillery which malts its own barley and flavors it with apple and cherry wood smoke. Other gems include a rye whiskey heavy on the smoked malt and a gin that incorporates ever-shifting botanicals from the distillery garden. copperfox.biz

Corsair Distillery
Everybody knows that corn, rye, and wheat make some mighty fine whiskey. But at Corsair Artisan Distillery, they don’t limit themselves to just the common grains. Based in Nashville, Corsair was started in 2007 by Darek Bell, along with his wife Amy Lee and childhood friend Andrew Webber. In addition to their regular production runs of award-winning liquors: gin, vanilla bean vodka, red absinthe, Corsair also takes advantage of their small batch stills to create experimental and seasonal concoctions like Citra Double IPA. That’s right: a whiskey made with hops usually found in beer. corsairartisan.com

Death’s Door Spirits
Twenty-two-square-mile Washington Island sits all lonely out there in the open waters of northern Lake Michigan. In 2005, the brothers and island residents Tom and Ken Koyen started growing organic winter wheat, which was originally intended for flour but ultimately formed the base of a vodka, gin and whiskey company that has a cult fan base, and which also gives back to local sustainability causes. deathsdoorspirits.com

Delaware Phoenix Distillery
New York’s first absinthe distiller, Cheryl Lins, uses quality herbs and wormwood hand harvested by small family herbalists up in the Western Catskills. Beyond her Walton Waters absinthe, though, Lins also makes a slew of whiskies under the Delaware Phoenix name, including the eau-de-vie-like un-aged Rye Dog. delawarephoenix.com

Few Spirits
The once-dry Chicago suburb of Evanston now flows with booze thanks to lawyer-turned-master distiller Paul Hletko of Few Spirits. Hletko has a way with small-batch spirits, like bourbons aged in charred oak barrels, spicy rye and a citrusy, whiskey-based American gin. fewspirits.com

Germain-Robin Distillery
This Mendocino, California distillery is famous for producing one of the finest brandies in the world, with a limited production of 3,000 cases per year. They also make an absinthe that has been a personal project of assistant distiller Crispin Cain for years. Seek it out. craftdistillers.com

High West Distillery
High West is Utah’s first legal distillery to open since 1870, located in Park City some 7,000 feet above sea level. Whiskey is the name of the game and the pot still a nice selection of aged and un-aged products. Seek out the rye and double rye, as well as a product called Campfire — which is described as “the world’s only, and possibly first, blend of Scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys.” They also sell a 90-day barrel aged Manhattan, which is worth a trip to the distillery’s general store alone. highwest.com

Hillrock Estate Distillery
When legendary master distiller Dave Pickerell (best known for his 14 years in Kentucky at Makers Mark) presides over your whiskey, you know it’s going to be good. At this Ancram, New York distillery, home to owner Jeff Baker’s family farm, Pickerell makes a rich Solera-aged bourbon finished off in 20-year-old Oloroso sherry casks. The ambitious Hudson Valley estate also grows its own grains — those rolling fields in the background are filled with barley — and malts on site. hillrockdistillery.com

House Spirits Distillery
Former brewer Christian Krogstad founded House Spirits in 2005, opening in Corvallis, Oregon before moving to the heart of what is now considered distillery row in Southeast Portland. Nearly a dozen sprits are available, including the award-winning Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, a Stumptown coffee liqueur and a number of small-batch whiskeys, including an un-aged product that actually tastes good. housespirits.com

Industry City Distillery
Five friends, who also work together at design firm City Foundry, launched this experimental distillery in August 2012. It’s located in a desolate section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which is hardly a hotbed for spirits production. But the “vodka” (by name only) the crew turns out is something special. It’s made from beet sugar, which offers more floral notes than your basic vodka. drinkicd.com

Jack From Brooklyn
Jack Summers lost his production space in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook during the wrath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. But now the proprietor’s back, cranking out his only — and divine — specialty, hibiscus liqueur. An ode to the pervasive Caribbean drink, Sorel melds organic grain alcohol, pure cane sugar, Moroccan hibiscus, Brazilian clove and Indonesian nutmeg and cassia. jackfrombrooklyn.com

Kings County Distillery
Not only do they make a whiskey on the banks of the East River in Brooklyn, Kings County distillers Colin Spoelman and David Haskell wrote a guide to help others along their path, Guide To Urban Moonshining. A taste of their smooth-drinking bourbon suggests that they know of what they write, and a visit to their industrial distillery in Brooklyn’s rustic Navy Yard showcases a determination of spirit. Look for the medicinal bottles at a growing number of retailers carrying craft spirits. kingscountydistillery.com

Koval Distillery
The first distillery to open in Chicago since the mid-1800s, Koval launched in 2008 when founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker abandoned their academic careers in the name of historic Austrian distilling methods. Now they spend their days sourcing grains from local farmers, mashing and milling on the premises and making delightfully unusual offerings like single barrel whiskey from millet, rose hip liqueur and organic sunchoke brandy. koval-distillery.com

Leopold Brothers
The brothers Scott and Todd Leopold run this environmentally sustainable distillery in Denver, Colorado that has grown a cult following with Mile High tipplers and cocktail geeks around the country. Their Silver Tree American Small Batch Vodka is the highest ranked in the country, winning a gold medal at the 2009 San Francisco Spirits Competition. But what we’re really into is a range of fruit whiskies made with apple, peaches and blackberries. leopoldbros.com

Letherbee Distillers
This small batch distiller broke onto the Chicago scene in 2013 with an “original label gin” and a limited “autumnal” — a smart seasonal move meant to prolong gin’s usefulness into the chillier months (the duo behind the brand suggested swapping in an orange for the usual lime). Now, Letherbee’s also touting an absinth and even a malört, that unusual Swedish concoction that has a weird following in Chicago. letherbee.com

New York Distilling Company
Gin’s the thing at Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based New York Distilling Company, where co-founders Tom Potter and Allen Katz turn out their signature Dorothy Parker American, Perry’s Tot Navy Strength and Chief Gowanus New Netherland renditions. Anticipation is mounting, however, over the arrival of their forthcoming, in-the-midst-of-aging rye. Sample the spirits in the form of cocktails at the Shanty, their adjacent bar that doubles as one of the neighborhood’s most welcoming lairs. nydistilling.com

North Shore Distillery
In Lake Bluff, a suburb of Chicago, Derek and Sonja Kassebaum make small-batch gins — the martini-perfect Distiller’s Gin No. 6 as well as the London dry style Distiller’s Gin No. 11 — and vodkas that include a vibrant chamomile-citrus version. There’s an aquavit and absinthe to boot, but the limited-edition releases are the most interesting, including such one-time-only finds as Ceylon Tea or Medjool Date gin. northshoredistillery.com

Philadelphia Distilling
Pennsylvania’s first distillery since Prohibition, Philadelphia Distilling is best known for the flagship brand in its portfolio: Bluecoat, an American dry gin distilled with spicy, organic juniper berries. The company’s Vieux Carré absinthe Supérieure is popular, as are its bold XXX Shine corn whiskey and Penn 1681 Rye Vodka. But their most interesting creation yet is undoubtedly the Bay, their Chesapeake Bay spice-seasoned vodka that’s a compelling savory alternative to the surge of cloying cotton candy flavors on the market. philadelphiadistilling.com

Ransom Spirits
Tad Seestedt started Ransom Spirits in 1997, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where some of the grains are grown on the farm and are milled, mashed and fermented in small batches. The distillery’s Old Tom Gin, a spot-on recreation of a circa-1800s recipe made in collaboration with David Wondrich, gets the most buzz, but there other treasures like a Gewurztraminer grappa and Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey aged in French oak barrels. ransomspirits.com

St. George Spirits
Pioneering Northern California craft distillers St. George Spirits had already been in business 18 years when they launched their groundbreaking vodka, Hangar One. For the product that has taken home numerous awards, they source citrus and flowers from California growers. The company’s range of products also includes whiskey, eaux de vie and three styles of gin, including one made with rye. stgeorgespirits.com

Templeton Rye
Templeton Rye is a unique small-batch rye originally created by bootleggers during Prohibition — it was originally distilled in the center of Iowa and was snuck into Chicago on cattle cars. For fans of Boardwalk Empire, this is the stuff Al Capone serves at his brothel. In modern times, the recipe is much the same (made from an old farmhouse still), but with some marketing razzle dazzle and solid distribution (we’ve heard they are sitting on a lot of liquid), they’ve grown into a major player in the ever-growing rye game. templetonrye.com

Read these stories from last year’s Craft Beer & Spirits Week on Food Republic:


Drink This Now: The Portland 75

The smell of a Christmas tree in the house is one of my favorite memories growing up I couldn't tell you what presents I got when I was 8, but I know what the house smelled like. Recapturing that particular sense memory is now part of my holiday tradition it's the reason there's a new fir tree in my living room every year. And in the liquor cabinet: Clear Creek Distillery's Douglas Fir Eau de Vie. Somehow this Oregon distillery has bottled the smell of a Christmas tree and made it into drinkable form.

While nice to drink on its own, finding a cocktail to complement the strong, woodsy character of this spirit is tricky. But I hope you'll find the following recipe useful—it's a new twist on the French 75, named for the town where the Douglas Fir Eau de Vie is made.

Fresh lemon, gin, and fruity sparkling rosé make good foils for the eau de vie, complementing the subtle citrus notes found in the fir. A herbaceous gin (such as St. George Botanivore or Heritage Distillery Crisp Gin) works here to create a more complex layering of earthy flavors. If you care to make this at your holiday party this weekend, you can mix up batches of the gin and eau de vie base. Stir 3 servings at a time with ice before pouring the properly diluted mix into individual flutes, then top 'em them off with the chilled sparkling wine.


Se videoen: Clear Creek Pear Brandy review (Januar 2022).