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David Souza out in his family’s farm as sweet potatoes are harvested.

America’s First Sweet Potato Vodka

If I had to guess, I’d say 42-year-old David Souza III is a gambling man. Not because he dropped out of college to be a successful entrepreneur in the Las Vegas restaurant and club promotions industries, but because one...

Dedicated Follower the of the Craft

Robert Spruill (pronounced “Sprool”) used to have the kind of job many of us would envy: He made movies. His first movie, Squeeze, told the tale of three teenage boys trying to fight back against the drugs and violence...

The Quest for Local Grains

“We are ready for our first batch of whiskey!” my husband Steve exclaimed. “Where’s the grain?” For two years we had spent every evening, weekend and holiday building our distillery from the ground up. How could it be that suddenly...

Are We Ready for Accelerated Aging?

“There is hope that 1-year-old whisky may soon rival 16-year bonded liquor in taste and smell and at a vastly lower cost. … Chemists are glad Prohibition is over so they no longer have to listen to bootleggers for...

The New Orleans Distilling Scene

Let’s back up the van. If you were reading this article, say five years ago, it would be an entirely different story. In fact, I did write a piece about New Orleans’ fledgling distillery scene the summer of 2016....

The Dodo Bird of
 Distillation Resurfaces

The distilling community got a small jolt of reverse innovation when Leopold Bros. began using a once-extinct style of still, based on designs from the late 19th century — when rye whiskey was king. One of the early spirits the...
Paso Robles Distillery Trail map

Blazing a Trail in Paso Robles: Central Coast Distillers Stake Out a New Route...

I’ve packed my car with essential gear and headed to California’s Central Coast. Wine and red oak barbecue country calls for folding knives, wine keys and lots of bubble wrap. With over 4,600 wineries and an estimated 600,000 acres...
Karen Hoskin of Montanya Distillers

Stills with Personality: A look at the Spirits Producers Who Give Their Stills Names

At Montanya Distillers in Crested Butte, CO, Karen Hoskin has assigned names to her trio of rum-producing copper pot stills: Bella, Bellisima and Bellatrix. Each has its own personality, she insists. Bellatrix, for example, has a “spike-heeled attitude” and...

2020 Distillery of the Year — Spirit Works

I’m thrilled to announce that this year, the American Distilling Institute Bubble Cap award goes to Spirit Works Distillery in Sebastopol, California, founded by Ashby and Timo Marshall.  ADI began in 2003 with the vision of supporting the burgeoning distilling...

22 of the World’s Best Bars

When you visit over 600 restaurants and bars every single year, some call you obsessed. They aren’t wrong. When it’s your work and your obsession, such relentless pursuit for “the great” is an exhausting  joy. I am blessed to...