- 1 Empire Spirits Project, NY
- 2 Republic Restoratives, Washington DC
- 4 Upstate Distilling Co., Saratoga Springs, NY
- 5 Rocker Spirits, Littleton, Colorado
- 6 Thistle Finch, Lancaster, PA
- 7 High West Distillery at Blue Sky, near Park City, Utah
- 8 Jeptha Creed, Shelbyville, KY
- 9 Scratch Distillery, Edmonds, Washington
- 10 Tate & Co. Distillery, Waco, TX
America’s Best New Distilleries
If there's one thing the 2016 election season has done, it's driven us to drink...and drink…and drink. Luckily, there are plenty of new distilleries across the country to drown our sorrows in a well-crafted tipple. Here, some of our favorites.
Empire Spirits Project, NY
If you're a fan of gin, check out Empire Spirits Project. This Manhattan-based company, which does its distilling in Yonkers, is all about redefining the 400-year-old spirit by incorporating new flavor profiles. That means less juniper and more variations using unusual botanical pairings. We love the Smoked Gin with notes of caraway and peppercorn.
Republic Restoratives, Washington DC
Think the good people of our nation’s capitol need a stiff one? The women behind the crowd-funded Republic Restoratives sure do—so they’ve created Civic vodka, made from North American corn in their dual-kettle still in Ivy City. The reclaimed wood walled Ivy Room cocktail bar is open weekend nights for note-perfect Moscow Mules and NE Side Gimlets.
Upstate Distilling Co., Saratoga Springs, NY
A former bike factory near Albany is now a destination in itself: Upstate Distilling Co. makes peppery vodka, gin, and rye (New York was once reportedly the capitol of rye whiskey). Stop by for a few sips before--and after--a race at nearby Saratoga Race Track, built in 1863.
Rocker Spirits, Littleton, Colorado
Inspired by a 1930s oil can, Rocker Spirits is all about the (nearly!) lost art of craft—for proof (get it?), just sample sips of its three-year-oak-barrel-aged whiskey and six-year-aged rum. Or try the autumnal cocktail, Alpha Adapt, at the bar—it’s a mix of cider, whiskey, hops, chocolate and fall spices, served hot.
Thistle Finch, Lancaster, PA
Calling all locavores: some 90% of the grains used to make Thistle Finch's rye whiskey come from surrounding Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. Slip through an unmarked door in this brick warehouse, belly up to the bar, and order a glass of their black pepper rye, aged in oak barrels with Tellicherry peppercorns.
High West Distillery at Blue Sky, near Park City, Utah
Jeptha Creed, Shelbyville, KY
The first distillery since Prohibition in Shelby County has just opened outside Louisville, crafting non-GMO vodkas and moonshines available in (what else?) Mason jars. Bottom’s up.
Scratch Distillery, Edmonds, Washington
Opened last year in a Seattle suburb, Scratch Distillery makes non GMO, organic liquor of all sorts—including a vodka distilled from grapes and gin aged in onetime bourbon oak barrels. Register for a GINiology class to create your own flavored bottle of gin.
Tate & Co. Distillery, Waco, TX
The hometown of that Chip and Joanna is also home to another Chip, distiller Chip Tate, who won the Best Overall American Whisky at London’s World Whisky Awards in 2014. His brand new distillery is perfecting a brandy made from French-American hybrid grapes that doesn’t even need to be “fixed up.”
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