Our favorite part of visiting a distillery generally comes at the end, when we get to try the spirits we’ve just seen being made. And fortunately, many brands now offer well-appointed tasting rooms.
But there are a few distilleries across the country that go way beyond that, boasting full- service bars where you can order a cocktail made with liquor produced just a few feet away. You’ll definitely want to check out these truly special watering holes. Safe travels!
The Windy City’s newest distillery (it opened in August) is also its newest fancy-cocktail joint. (It’s pictured above.) A window behind the bar displays its stills, which on any given day might be pumping out vodka, gin, rum or whiskey. Sample the products in one of the tipples, created by Kyle Davidson of local hotspots Blackbird and The Publican. What to Drink: Rhymes with Orange (serrano chile-infused vodka, CH Orange Curaçao, lime, watermelon)
Enterprising brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin started out in 1974 with a single bar, but they’ve built the McMenamins name into a hospitality empire in the Pacific Northwest that includes dozens of brewpubs, restaurants and hotels, a coffee roastery, a winery and two distilleries. This establishment, part of the Edgefield resort complex just outside Portland, serves a nice selection of classic elixirs containing the house-made rum, gin, whiskies, brandies and liqueurs. What to Drink: Subtle Puzzle (Monkey Puzzle Whiskey, grapefruit, orange bitters, 7Up)
Built in a former 19th-century corset-and-buggy-whip factory, Journeyman Distillery is appropriately old-fashioned: It mills all the grain for its six different whiskies in-house, and each bottle is dipped into wax by hand. However, the sophisticated drinks at its bar are decidedly modern, and you can pair them with snacks made from locally sourced meats, cheeses, breads and produce. What to Drink: Old Country Goodness (W.R. White Whiskey, Michigan apple cider and apple juice, Angostura Bitters, cinnamon)
Hitting the slopes this winter? Head to what High West calls “the only ski-in gastro-distillery in the world,” located right at the bottom of Park City’s Quittin’ Time ski run. They’re not kidding about the “gastro” part: The menu features everything from bourbon-bacon caramel corn to Idaho elk with chanterelles, many with whiskey pairing suggestions printed right on the menu. Have dinner, or just stop in for a restorative beverage. What to Drink: Farmer’s Market Swizzle (Son of Bourye, rhum agricole, house-made falernum syrup, Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters, seasonal fresh fruit)
The Shanty, 405 Leonard Street, New York, 718 412 0874:
Liquor.com advisory board member Allen Katz has taught the art of mixology for years, so when he opened his New York Distilling Company in Brooklyn in 2011, an attached bar was a foregone conclusion. It sells delicious drinks made from Katz’s own gins as well as other alcohol from around the globe. What to Drink: Ba-Zucca Joe (barrel-aged Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin, Zucca, Aperol, lemon)
Located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Sun Liquor makes Sun Rum, Unxld Vodka, two different gins and even an orange bitters. It also runs a restaurant at the distillery, serving up burgers, sandwiches and a popular weekend brunch along with tasty spirited concoctions. What to Drink: Racquet Club (Gun Club Gin, dry vermouth, crème de cacao, Sun Liquor Aromatic Orange Bitters)