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Posts Filed Under Distilling


Fashion model, Phd, homeschool teacher and distillery owner: is there anything Koval Distillery’s Sonat Birnecker can’t do?

Sonat Birnecker can do it all. The co-owner of Chicago-based Koval Distillery, she’s most recently built a reputable brand that makes brandy, whiskeys, gin, vodka and liqueurs with her husband, Robert, while consulting DOZENS of would-be distillers on the trials and tribulations of booze making. But she also bought herself a master’s degree from Oxford and a PhD from …continue reading

Frank, the Catoctin Creek distillery dog

7 lessons you can learn from a distiller that have nothing to do with booze (well, sort of)

Writers and distillers have one sure thing in common: we like to drink. Okay, maybe there’s a second thing: people probably called us crazy when we made our career choices. Luckily we’re okay with both. Distiller Becky Harris and her husband and marketing master, Scott Harris, will tell you the decision to open Catoctin Creek Distilling …continue reading


Lyon Distilling to host Booze for Babes signing, tasting on April 17

Jaime Windon is pretty much the definition of a babe. She’s a world traveler through her work as a journalist and the blonde photographer. She has even run a bed and breakfast. And now, with her partner Ben Lyon, she’s producing rum and whiskey as Lyon Distilling in the quaint Chesapeake Bay town of St. Michaels, Maryland. Once I found her commenting …continue reading

Johanne McInnis

The 5 biggest liquor myths, dispelled by ‘The Whisky Lassie’

I “met” Johanne McInnis via Twitter last year when she brought the controversial and sexist Dewar’s Meet the Baron ad to my attention, and petitioned to have Dewar’s pull it from the web, where I originally saw it on YouTube. They did so nearly 24 hours later, after women and men alike blasted it all …continue reading


6 things you should know before buying your next bottle of rum from Privateer’s Maggie Campbell

By Chas Guy I knew I liked rum expert Maggie Campbell the minute I met her. In the two-mile drive from the Ipswich, MA train station to the Privateer Rum distillery, where Maggie is head distiller and blender, we both dropped F-bombs right away and had each other laughing. I came to the small town about an hour outside of Boston on …continue reading


Five reasons to become a bottling volunteer at a craft distillery

by Chas Guy I never knew how much I truly loved whiskey until I startled bottling it at a craft distillery for free. That may sound funny, but hear me out… While interviewing Nicole Austin, master blender of Kings County Distillery for this Booze for Babes piece last summer, she told me volunteers often fill the bottles …continue reading

Uncouth Vermouth hi-res

Bianca Miraglia of Uncouth Vermouth explains what makes good vermouth, plus how to make it yourself

Bianca Miraglia is a hedonist, through and through. The pursuit of life’s simple pleasures is why, she says, “everything i do is weird,” and that she is a “citizen of the universe.” It’s why she makes funky furniture with wine corks, teaches classes, designs wine lists for restaurants, and now, why she makes artisanal fortified …continue reading

Sarah Peet Photography

How Carin Luna-Ostaseski started SIA Scotch from scratch

It took 10 years for Carin Luna-Ostaseski, a creative director, to take the leap from scotch enthusiast to scotch entrepreneur extraordinaire. She was tired of staring at a computer all day long and wanted to make something “tangible and that connected people. Sitting down with a friend to have a drink is the biggest form of social …continue reading

JAD_Bottle_10_go (2)

Why Krista Haley traded lawyering to open New Jersey’s first distillery since Prohibition (Plus, how to make a real Dark & Stormy)

When Krista Haley, an Ivy League alum and attorney, met her friend, Brant Braue, at a Fairfield, New Jersey brewery, he was dreaming of opening a distillery and she wanted a new challenge. “We both kept thinking about it and I was really tired of divorce and custody battles…everybody at the ugliest times of their …continue reading


How Cacao Prieto’s Celina Perez trained her palate & learned to distill (Plus, what she’s making next)

By Chas Guy Red Hook Brooklyn has become home to several distilleries thanks to its up-and-coming food scene and plenty of warehouse space along the East River. Among them is Cacao Prieto, which began making artisan chocolate before quickly realized that producing liqueurs, then rums and whiskeys was a natural next step, given the attention to detail and careful ingredient …continue reading