9 months ago

CLM Winter 2018 Food Section


VERY CULINARY Getting in the Local Spirit When it comes to drinking local spirts – the distillery business in North Carolina is booming! The first legal distillery since prohibition opened in North Carolina in 2005. With some 84 legal distilleries now operating in North Carolina, spirits are big business. All mentioned here are available at Charlotte ABC stores and (with some restrictions) you may also buy directly from the distillery. Please know that NC State law limits distilleries to selling five bottles per person, per year. And you may only buy from the distillery after you have taken a tour, so start making plans to visit each and every one as you travel around the state… here are a few delicious suggestions to get you started… Durham Distillery in Durham, NC Durham Distillery is owned by husband and wife team Melissa and Lee Katrincic and is located in Durham, NC at 711 Washington Street. Scientists by trade and distillers by choice, the Katrincics combined their two talents to create a blend of unique flavors bottled in the guise of two distinctive American gins distilled and then kissed with botanicals – Conniption American Dry and the more full bodied and a bit more complex Conniption Navy Strength Gin. The Katrincics also produce a delightful cucumber vodka and in addition, to soothe the sweeter side of things, they also produce a Damn Fine Liqueur series of spirits that include a coffee flavor, a mocha flavor and a chocolate variety. You can go and visit and see how it is all done when next you are in Durham. Hour long tours of the distillery require online reservations and are offered on Saturdays and most Thursday and Friday evenings. You may choose from the hour long behind the scenes tour (which includes a tasting and a souvenir shot glass) or a more abbreviated tour and tasting on Thursday and Friday evenings and during business hours on Saturday during the day. Muddy River Distillery and Paw Paw Murphy’s in Belmont, NC Muddy River was the fifth North Carolina distillery to legally open in our Old North State and is proud to be the Carolina’s First Rum. Muddy River rums are distilled and bottled in Belmont, NC by another husband and wife team or owners, Robbie and Caroline Delaney. This is rum the way this classic Caribbean spirit is supposed to taste, and Muddy River's aged Queen Charlotte rum has been touted to be among the finest rums in the country! Only available in North and South Carolina, the Muddy River line also includes their Silver white rum, a snappy spice dark rum and a coconut rum that is becoming the talk of the town. In a year or two – look for Muddy River to release some oh so fine aged rum – aging in oak barrels even as you read this… stay tuned! You can see the barrels as they rest at the distillery in Belmont, open for tours and tastings anytime they are open. Might want to double check the distillery’s Facebook page for exact hours each week. In addition to their own rum, Caroline and Robbie also distill and bottle for Paw Paw Murphy’s – a local company out of Gastonia producing a series of delicious white and flavored moonshines. The original family recipe dates back to Belfast, Ireland; and the goal of Paw Paw’s owner is to release a new flavor each year. Currently on local ABC store shelves, in the distinctive brown bag, look for Paw Paw’s Crackin’Nut Shine, the Peach Shine and the original White Whiskey on which the brand is based. For more info on Muddy River and the fine rums they create, visit For more info on Paw Paw Murphy’s moonshines visit, 23 | C H A R LOT TE L I V I N G

VERY CULINARY Oak City Amaretto from Raleigh, NC Lots of liquors and liqueurs started as homemade family recipes, and Raleigh, NC based Oak City Amaretto is no different. It’s a family recipe with roots in Italy, and today the Scalabrino family shares the family secret for all to enjoy, filling your glass with the smooth taste of rich roasted almonds. In tasting for this first DRINK LOCAL article, I found I liked this local brand of amaretto simply on the rocks, although it mixes well into any craft cocktail. Like many liqueurs bottled in North Carolina, Oak City is not a distillery, but instead a brand. Owner Anthony Scalabrino makes his family recipe and then has it added to clear distilled spirits at Raleigh Rum Company. Like all the spirits I've showcase here, Oak City Amaretto is distributed at statewide ABC stores. If you don't see it ask. It can be a hard find, but it’s worth searching out. At a customer’s request, any ABC store in NC will be happy to place an order and get it in stock. For more info on the Oak City Amaretto brand, visit TOPO Distillery from Chapel Hill, NC There is plenty of whiskey in the Tarheel state, and as time passes for this relatively new industry we are seeing more and more Carolina aged whiskey, as those first barrels have now had time to rest and age. With the aging (usually done in oak barrels) comes that distinctive rich caramel color and a deeper richer flavor profile of each individual spirit. TOPO Distillery in Chapel Hill is the Carolina’s only organic and LEED certified distillery, producing a host of organic local spirits. In the TOPO line up is a delicious organic Eight Oak Aged Whiskey, the award-winning TOPO Organic Vodka, TOPO Organic Piedmont Gin and TOPO Organic Carolina White Whiskey, all made from grains grown less than 100 miles outside of Chapel Hill. New for 2018 look for a longer aged TOPO Reserve Carolina Straight Wheat Whiskey and a brand new organic spiced rum. The rum is the only TOPO product not made from Carolina wheat. To create this spirit according to traditional recipes, TOPO sources organic cane from the only organic cane field in the United States located near West Palm Beach, Florida. For more info on TOPO in Chapel Hill, NC, visit Southern Artisan Spirits from Kings Mountain, NC Southern Artisan Spirts is proud to be the third legal distillery to open for business in the state of North Carolina. Alex and Charlie Mauney, twin brothers who grew up in Kings Mountain, NC, started with wine, and then tried experiments in making their own vodka… but they wanted something more and so turned their attention to the complexity they found in gin. Steeping the spirits with a host of complex botanicals, the way one would steep tea leaves in hot water, the Mauney brothers hit on a flavor profile they loved and began distilling the blend. That was in 2010, and their flagship Cardinal Gin has since become a household name. The bottle with the mirrored image of red cardinals can be found in bars across the state. The Mauneys’ distillery is housed in an old cotton mill that is still family owned by the Mauney clan in Kings Mountain and offers room for expansion when as the distillery finds itself in need of more space. Currently SAS doesn’t offer tours or tastings, but look for that to come, as just this past year they have expanded their line of spirits to include a delicious barrel rested (aka aged) version of Cardinal gin – perfect as is on the rocks – and an exciting brand new product to the SAS line up – North Carolina’s first rye! Dubbed Turning Point Rye, this local spirit is made from local rye wheat and is destined to be an essential ingredient in many a local craft cocktail! For more info on Cardinal Gin and Turning Point Rye visit ■ C H A R LOT TE L I V I N G | 24

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