Eight New England-Made Small-Batch Spirits for Your Wish List

Once the stuff of moonshiners and Hazzard County hillbillies, small-batch booze has become serious business. In just 10 years, the craft-spirits industry has skyrocketed from 50 trailblazers to almost 800 strong. In New England alone, there are now more than 60 DIY distillers. Here, eight local bottles to better your bar cart.
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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

1. Dry Line Cape Cod Gin
South Hollow Spirits, North Truro

The Cape’s first post-Prohibition distillery, South Hollow uses strictly locally sourced botanicals in its gin, including dried cranberries and eastern red cedar berries found on-site at Truro Vineyards.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

2. Art in the Age Chicory Root Vodka
Tamworth Distilling, Tamworth, NH

Dubbed the “punk-rock prince of small-batch spirits,” Steven Grasse (Sailor Jerry rum, Hendrick’s gin) has now set his sights on vodkas flavored with Granite State herbs, root vegetables, and even maple syrup.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

3. Triple Sec
Short Path Distillery, Everett

With organic bitter orange peel and 40 percent less sugar than bottom-shelf  Triple Sec, Short Path has crafted the rare orange liqueur that’s as much digestif as it is margarita mixer.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

4. Fernet Michaud
Liquid Riot Bottling Co., Portland, ME

Fans of the aggressively bitter Italian amaro Fernet-Branca will love this version, which is aged in Maine blueberry wine barrels and macerated with 23 herbs and roots.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

5. Barr Hill reserve Tom Cat Gin
Caledonia Spirits, Hardwick, VT

Lighter than Dutch genever and more viscous than London dry, apiarist Todd Hardie’s honey-infused gin is aged in indigenous white oak barrels forged by Vermont coopers.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

6. Putnam New England Malt Whiskey
Boston Harbor Distillery, Boston

Rhonda Kallman’s latest elixir has pronounced cocoa notes from roasted chocolate malt.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

7. Cask Finished Bourbon Whiskey
Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Sheffield

Four-year-old bourbon is aged in Samuel Adams Utopia barrels for a portlike finish.

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Photograph by Kelsey Cronin

8. The Old Fashioned
Bully Boy Distillers, Boston

To make this pre-batched Old Fashioned, just pour two fingers over ice, add a maraschino cherry, and serve.


Christopher Hughes Chris Hughes, Food Editor at Boston Magazine chughes@bostonmagazine.com