In keeping with the name of this blog I think it appropriate I relate the story of our little road-trip to my favorite gin maker over the July 4th weekend. As many of you know, I am a gin snob and a few years ago I discovered a new gin on the market that blew me away. http://www.inebriatedepicurean.com/fun-miscellany/the-rise-of-craft-distilleries-out-of-the-bathtub-and-into-polite-company/ What surprised me even more was the fact that it is made in Missouri! Yes, dear readers, my previous favorite gin, Junipero from Anchor Steam in San Francisco, was supplanted by an upstart mid-west gin! Fly-over country indeed! So, on a gorgeous summer day we set off for the town of New Haven. Back in the early 1800’s Pinckney Bend was a navigational hazard on the Missouri River, located at the 83 mile marker above St Louis. The Pinckney Bend Distilling Company http://pinckneybend.com/ takes its name from this historic location and is based in the town of New Haven in Daniel Boone country.
We were fortunate to have a tour of the distillery by Distiller’s Apprentice, Keith Meyer, who is pictured here with the very first still. Anyone stumbling on the facility back then would have been justified in mistakenly thinking they had stumbled upon a meth lab…well it is rural Missouri! Pinckney Bend started producing craft gin about 4 years ago with the goal “to produce premium quality, hand-crafted spirits worthy of their heritage, one small batch at a time.” They have succeeded magnificently and now boast several international gold medal winning spirits as well as their American Craft Gin, including American Corn Whiskey, Three-Grain American Vodka and Rested American Whiskey. Their newest product, Classic Tonic Syrup, takes the gin and tonic to a whole new level. There is no way I can ever go back to a garden variety tonic after this sublime take on a very classic syrup.
My husband Scot, the brewer in our family, was enamored with the gorgeous still which replaced the original! It really is a thing of beauty! If you have read my previous posts regarding small businesses built from passion such as family wineries you know I am a huge supporter of these enterprises. Pinckney Bend is such a business and we had a very enjoyable visit to the tasting room and were lucky to not only taste superb spirits but to spend time with people who love to share their passion for a product, traditions and a classic craft.