I keep pinching myself and/or waking up in the night with minor panic attacks about the craziness of what we’re doing. But, it’s really real, and it’s really going well so far. Joel and I have started a real life, operational micro-distillery! And as of this week, for the first time, our spirits are available for sale in Minnesota. Ahhhhh! Is that not kind of the coolest thing ever? I don’t usually feel very cool, but this makes me feel extremely cool. As does wearing my Vikre Distillery sweatshirt and being all like, “yeah, I’m one of the Vikre’s.”
The spirits we have available now are a line of three gins – inspired by Minnesota’s Northwoods – called Boreal Gins. There’s Boreal Juniper, a traditional dry gin that’s also floral and citrusy with rhubarb we grew in our backyard; Boreal Spruce is super piney and herbal with foraged spruce buds, rosemary, and lavender – it seems to be a favorite with Hendricks lovers; and Boreal Cedar is our most nontraditional gin, infused with black currants, grapefruit peel, and toasted cedar wood in addition to traditional gin botanicals. I came up with the blends myself, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that people like them!
It has been a long journey and a lot of hard work getting here. If you feel like reading more about us and Vikre Distillery, you can check out the distillery blog posts. And, if you’re in Minnesota, go buy some and try some!!!!! It’s really good (in my totally unbiased opinion), and you won’t regret it! Here is a list of the places (and more are being added every day) carrying our gin.
And with that, I have to get back to work, but I won’t leave you without a recipe for a tasty gin cocktail. This is inspired by a recipe Molly Wizenberg shared in her craft cocktails column that’s a spin on a margarita, a rather long spin. And I spun it even farther, including replacing the tequila with gin. It has sweet-tart grapefruit juice complemented by the winey, citrusy notes of Lillet all underpinned by the juniper, berry, and cedar notes of our Cedar gin. If you can’t get your hands on our gin, I think it would be pretty tasty with an Old Tom gin like the one from Ransom, as well. I decided to call it Stopping by Woods after the poem by Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
- 1½ oz. Boreal Cedar Gin (or old tom gin)
- 1 oz. grapefruit juice
- ¾ oz. Lillet blanc
- 1 tsp. honey (you can omit the honey if your grapefruit juice is on the sweet side)
- Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Serve over ice.