South County Distillers announced last week the launch of their inaugural batch of spirits (does anyone know why alcohol is called spirits anyway), including vodka and gin. The sister company of Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island planned production of spirits this winter, but when COVID-19 hit they quickly turned their production over to making hand sanitizer for front-line workers. South County’s vodka and gin are produced from grain to glass at their campus in Westerly.
“We are extremely excited to share our first batch of spirits, a true labor of love,” said Jennifer Brinton, co-owner of South County Distillers in a press release. “South County Distillers is unique in that we produce everything on site starting with the mashing of the grains, fermentation, distilling, and to your glass.”
South County Distillers Vodka is made from a select blend of rye and wheat yielding an exceptionally smooth spirit that is dry and crisp with subtle spice notes. South County Gin begins with select grains as a foundation that culminates with the infusion of our secret blend of botanical yielding floral, spice and citrus notes with a classic juniper backbone.
“Gin has become one of my favorite spirits to distill, the possibilities are endless,” said Ryan Gwozdz, Head Distiller in the press release. “I distilled dozens of gin recipes before landing on our final version, which is a versatile, botanical forward gin. South County Distillers is looking forward to sharing our craft spirits with Rhode Island and New England.”
South County Distillers vodka and gin are available for pick-up or order ahead at Grey Sail Brewery in Westerly and in select liquor and package stores throughout Rhode Island. The Beer Garden at Grey Sail Brewing offers South County Distillers craft cocktails such as a gin and tonic with Captain’s Daughter simple syrup or vodka lemonade with raspberry simple syrup. Additionally, South County spirits will be served in restaurants and bars throughout Rhode Island.
Looking ahead, South County Distillers is currently fermenting rum and developing canned craft cocktails for distribution at the end of August. They have also started to age bourbon and rye whiskey in charred oak barrels which will be available over the next few years.