Since the debut of its Original Label Gin, Letherbee has unveiled a limited-release gin for autumn; a unique "absinthe brun," which aged in a charred oak barrel; and R. Franklin's Original Recipe Malört, an ode to the (in)famous Chicago-centric and wormwood-driven bitter liqueur developed in collaboration with Robby F. Haynes, bar manager at Chicago's first modern craft-cocktail destination, The Violet Hour.
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Ever wonder where Kahlúa comes from? I recently had a chance to peek behind the scenes at the distillery in Mexico City. Here's a look at Kahlúa on its journey from coffee bean to bottle.
With more people adopting the locavore lifestyle, it was only a matter of time before people would start drinking locally too. As Toby Cecchini writes in today's New York Times, the goal to eat-local (or more accurately, drink-local) is becoming increasingly easy to reach in the Northeast, as the number of small-scale distillers booms. But only in recent years has small-scale distilling become even a possibility in most states.
Small-scale distilleries are on the upswing nationwide, as consumers take greater interest in locally sourced products and states reassess the tax revenue such operations can generate. And while many distilleries are truly independent startups, many talented brewers who have learned the business from making quality beer are either adding distilleries to existing operations, or working in tandem with like-minded distillers.
It's good to get excited by the growth of small-scale distilleries, but as more people enter the industry, products of questionable quality will inevitably show up on shelves, bearing the boutique label and a hefty price tag. To better establish a standard of quality for this rapidly growing industry, it's a good idea to keep talking up the distilleries that are doing it right.