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Why I ditched a day at the beach for Delaware Distilling Co.

Drives have never been all that fun for me. In fact, I always thought that phrase, “it’s about the journey, not the destination,” was just a bunch of hooey. That is until a road trip recently to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Here were hubby Jay, and I driving along Highway One, staring at the vista of strip and outlet malls, when a large Delaware Distilling Company sign caught our eye. Our excitement for the beach suddenly became secondary to our excitement to see what this DE distillery was all about. Yes, I realize some of you may find this preposterous, but…

Seeing as how the next day there was practically a monsoon outside, preventing us from hanging out on the beach, it was the perfect time to check out DDC. We walked in without having many expectations. Designed like a saloon, the atmosphere was comfortable and approachable. Check.

The bev menu included a wide selection of vodka infusions to include some standard flavors like strawberry basil and blueberry mint, some yucky ones like Sour Patch Kids, Cherry Limeade and Orange Creamsicle, and some off-the-wall but intriguing flavors like beet, strawberry agave lemonade, and pineapple basil. We watched the bartender explain some of these infusions to other bargoers, who were excited about the possibility of trying something different. Classic cocktails like the Bloody Mary, old-fashioned and Vesper reigned on the menu. But I had to try DDC’s stuff on its own first to see what I was workin’ with.

Jay and I split a tasting of the DDC’s potato vodka, white rum and gin – three completely different spirits that would make cleansing the palate in between a little difficult. But when in Rome…

Here’s what I found out about the new distillery’s offerings, which were arranged from left to right in the following order:

Vodka: The vodka was made of Yukon gold potatoes, which are high in starch and therefore are distilled to a higher alcohol content than other types of matter like wheat or rye. Candied on the nose, it had almost a saltwater taffy aroma – fitting for being by the sea. When I tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted sweet but not cloying. It was full-bodied and flavorful. Surprisingly, this would become my favorite of the three spirits, and I am not even a vodka girl. This made me glad I came. I hadn’t tried anything like it.

Rum: The rum has got the full-bodied character of a blackstrap, but it is white and unaged, which eliminates the caramely, coffee notes typically found in a blackstrap. I found it to take on more of a toffee taste, and thought about how it might play well with others in the glass. Maybe with tonic? After tasting the vodka, I found similar candied notes in the rum, too.

Gin: This gin tasted kind of like traditional American vodka in that it was largely neutral. When I looked at the description I could see why – it was distilled eight times! There were not many traces of juniper in this gin, which is what differentiates gin from other spirits. There was also citrus on the nose, thanks to the blood orange in the spirit. This is a vodka lover’s gin.

Paired with bar fare like buffalo wings and a salad, the visit had been a fun exploration of a new place at an unexpected time. And for those of you were were wondering, we did eventually make it to the beach at Rehoboth:

 

 

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