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When it comes to cocktails, I’d have to say the classic gin & tonic is my favorite. Better suited for warmer temps, the aromatics and flavors behind gin is not for everybody but I really enjoy it! So I was excited to hear that the newest distillery in town, Durham Distillery, would have gin as their signature product: Conniption Gin…
It was a wet and drizzly evening for Durham Distillery’s VIP event and I was an early arrival. Thankfully, inside Durham Distillery’s small space, it’s warm and inviting! A mix of modern and retro, it gives me a modern speak-easy feel with fabric lamps overhead. They’ve got a tasting for their two primary Conniption gins: American Dry and Navy along with some of their liqueurs! Jazz music is lightly pumping out of the speakers overhead, adding to the ambiance. I’m waiting on some people so I head on back to the distilling area.
In back they’ve got two primary pieces of equipment which I don’t know the names of! One is a traditional copper-metal contraption that’s used to do the primary distilling and imported from Germany (12+ month lead-time) while the second is a more modern cold infuser that’s used to create flavor without any damaging heat in their product.
I meet up with the two owners of Durham Distillery, Melissa and Lee Katrincic who come from backgrounds helpful for starting up a distillery: marketing and chemistry! Very nice folks who have some help from other local Durham businesses today for their grand opening. As the night continues on, I sample some great crostini (Toast) and some delicious cupcakes (Cupcake Bar) during their party.
Back at the bar I sample both of their Conniption gins straight and they are very light and refreshing. The expectation is that a high quality gin can be drunken neat rather than automatically mixed. The American Dry is very light and florally while the Navy has a bit more depth and alcoholic punch to stand up to mixers. I love the bottle design, a great art-deco feel in homage to the roaring 20’s and speak-easy days.
My friends show up and we move on to the liquers: coffee, mocha and chocolate. The coffee liquor is infused with Slingshot cold brew but I admit to loving the chocolate liqueur. Super-creamy and luscious with great mouth feel, you could make a dessert out of this drink. And the timing is perfect for Durham Distillery! A recent change in liquor legislation now allows distilleries to sell directly, one bottle per year to a customer. But the majority of Durham Distillery sales should be going through your local ABC store. So if you’re a fan of gin or flavored liqueurs definitely stop on by for a visit at Durham Distillery. They’ll be doing tours Thursdays through Saturday in the early evening. For $10 you’ll get a tasting flight and souvenir shot glass, nice! They are distilling some great gin here at Durham Distillery and it’s definitely worth a quick visit…
711 Washington Street
Durham, NC 27701