How to Create artisanal Spirits Through Distillation

Distillation is the process of taking liquid mixtures, turning them into vapor, condensing it and isolating out compounds of interest–in this case alcohol–for separation by condensation. A still is used to do this process and its design varies widely, from simple pot-bellied versions cobbled together out of spare parts to elaborate wonderlands with silver column stills stretching stories high – each still’s style having an influence on both flavor and character of final spirits produced.

Craft spirits have seen an upward trend towards buying local and becoming more connected to their production process, but unlike beer and wine most spirits on the market are produced anywhere around the globe; creating an ambiguity around exactly what one can get when purchasing one gin or whiskey bottle from any specific distillery or backstory with inspirational ingredients or artisanal processes may capture consumer imagination but does little to shed light on its real production methods.

Some larger craft distillers are using fresh local ingredients to craft spirits with more of an in-your-local taste, which is certainly an admirable effort; however, this can also be very labor intensive and the costs involved prohibitive for smaller producers. However, several smaller craft distillers are making quality spirits by paying closer attention to production details – which will likely become the standard over time.