New Year, New Booze

With small-batch distilleries popping up everywhere from Belmont to Plymouth, we’re in the midst of a serious craft-spirit renaissance. Here, a cartload of ways to get your buzz on while lowering your carbon footprint.

photograph by dave bradley

photograph by dave bradley

1. In December 2013, Cape Ann’s Ryan & Wood Distilleries debuted its single-malt whiskey, a product that’s distilled exclusively from malted barley, sourced from Hadley’s Valley Malt, and aged three years. $40, Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville.

2. The Nantucket-based Triple 8 Distillery may be known for fruity infused vodkas, but its smooth, rare, and pricey 12-year single-malt whiskey, the Notch, has garnered the respect of serious brown-spirit connoisseurs. $350, the Wine Gallery, Brookline.

3. Each fall, Ipswich rum specialist Turkey Shore Distilleries releases Golden Marsh, a blended rum steeped with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, and seven other spices. It’ll be available through March, which means there’s still plenty of time to pour a glug into a mug of hot cider. $27, Pemberton Farms, Cambridge.

4. Amandine, from South Boston’s GrandTen Distilling, has a subtler, more-biscuity flavor than other almond liqueurs. Try it in the company’s new bottled, barrel-aged drink, “The Godfather,” a blend of Amandine, walnut bitters, and white whiskey from nearby distillery Bully Boy. $26, Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville.

5. A revival of a Colonial-style rum, Ipswich-based Privateer’s dark, unfiltered Queens Share has been three years in the making. Creamy and rich, it’s a great substitute for whiskey in Manhattans and can effectively winterize a daiquiri. $42, scheduled to debut by early February.

6. Distilling and selling exclusively from its space in Belmont, small-batch producer Damnation Alley Distillery focuses on products made from single-origin grain. Its Massachusetts Whiskey collection includes this six-month bourbon, made of Rhode Island White Cap Corn from Wayland’s Mainstone Farms. $40, Damnation Alley Distillery, Belmont.

7. The showcase product from South Hollow Spirits, the first legal distillery on the Cape since Prohibition, is Twenty Boat rum, which comes in this butterscotch-y amber variety, as well as a spiced version. $40 for 750 mL, Needham Center Fine Wines, Needham.

8. At its essence, all whiskey is distilled from beer—which is why Rhode Island’s Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. asked the question, “Why not start with great beer?” Its latest release, Battle Cry, a single malt containing 20 percent rye, is distilled from a Belgian-style brew. $27, Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville.

9. Crisp and aromatic, Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ marquee Greylock gin has earned raves everywhere from industry rags to the New York Times. The company’s brand-new, daintily bottled four packs of Greylock and tonic likely will, too. $30, Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville.

10. Think of Hub Punch, from Dudley Square’s Bully Boy, as more of a “punch concentrate” than a ready-made cocktail. With its blend of rum, lemon, orange, and raspberry, the concoction—based on a drink bottled in Boston in the late 1800s—works well with ginger ale, club soda, or lemonade. $30, Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville.

11. Aptly named Velnias (Lithuanian for “devil”), this take on the traditional honey liqueur known as krupnikas—made by Plymouth-based Dirty Water Distillery—is deceptively strong at 80 proof. The sweet, spiced cordial would be right at home in a mug of tea, a hot toddy, or a pint of Kölsch beer. $25, Liquor World, Cambridge.


A. Maple bitters from Vermont-based Urban Moonshine add warmth to a variety of dark spirits. $16, the Boston Shaker, Somerville.

B. Pit, slice, and notch citrus with this R. Murphy bar knife, custom-designed by the Hawthorne’s Jackson Cannon. $79, the Boston Shaker, Somerville.

C. This ergonomic hardwood muddler from Fletcher’s Mill is crafted in Maine. $15, the Boston Shaker, Somerville.

D. This ice maker from Vermont-based Wintersmiths turns out perfectly clear spheres. $96, the Boston Shaker, Somerville.