Philadelphia’s bars and restaurants like to show a lot of love to locally made products, whether that’s supporting farmers or craft breweries, and over the past couple years there has been a boom of local distilleries, harkening back to our state’s distilling legacy.
As you pull up a seat at the bar or browse some drink menus, give a try to these local heroes.
Made From PA has perfected a Kumquat Rosemary Smash, and our mouths are watering from this flavorful mix. "The Luxembourg: A Kumquat Rosemary Smash" 4-5 kumquats Sliced leaves from 1 sprig of fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons sugar 2 oz Bluecoat gin 1/2 oz rosemary-infused Aperol Shaved or crushed ice Splash of club soda 1 sprig of fresh rosemary to garnish Roughly slice 4-5 fresh kumquats. Muddle kumquat slices, rosemary leaves and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add gin, Aperol and a handful of whole ice cubes to the shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a tumbler full of shaved or crushed ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Their signature blue bottle will definitely catch your eye on any back bar in the city. A bartender’s favorite, this gin makes for some pretty excellent cocktails including a Philadelphia classic, the Clover Club. Their two signature products include the original gin and Barrel Finished gin.
Tapping into Pennsylvania’s history of distilling rye whiskey, founders Herman C. Mihalich and John S. Cooper have created an award winning portfolio of products including the original rye whiskey, rye whiskey finished in vermouth barrels, rye whiskey finished in port wine barrels, Pennsylvania white rye, single barrel cask strength and a limited edition two year old straight rye whiskey. Why rye? Well historically it was America’s original whiskey, farmers in the region used to distill their surplus grain, but it all went to hell once the Whiskey Rebellion broke out after the government enacted the whiskey tax. If you’re feeling up a little trip outside Philadelphia, you can book an appointment to take a tour of their distillery located in Bristol, PA and learn more about Pennsylvania’s distilling history.
Visit the distillery at: 925 Canal Street, Building #4, Bristol, PA 19007
Manned by Dean Browne, this distillery is located along buzzing Frankford avenue in Fishtown. Coming off the stills are four products, a hand distilled Irish style moonshine called Poitin, Rowhouse Gin made with organic botanicals, DEMON Rum, a funky white rum made from molasses and panela, fermented with a funky strain of yeast from the Basque region of Spain, then pot distilled twice; and two liqueurs, one herbal called Bear Trap—flavored using 19 distinct and organic botanicals which lend it an anise forward flavor profile; and one coffee called Le Coeur Noir—made with locally roasted cold brew coffee by Reanimator Coffee and fresh herbs, 100 bottles at a time.
Visit the distillery at: 2440 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, 19125
Founded by Jared Atkins, this new distillery and tasting room offers a few award winning products including a four grain bourbon, a gin, a rye whiskey, a vodka and a sugarcane rum, and a white rye whiskey. Their tasting room offers hand-crafted cocktails made with fresh produce, daily fresh squeezed juices and other house-made cocktail ingredients.
Visit the tasting room at: 100 Bridge St, Phoenixville, PA 19460
Manatawny means “the place we meet to drink.” They’ve got an award winning portfolio of spirits on deck—which you can taste at their distillery—including an un-aged white whiskey called J. Potts, a double-distilled white rum called T. Rutter, Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin, Three Bitches Wheat Vodka and a small batch series of whiskey, rum and gin.
Visit the distillery at: 320 Circle of Progress Dr #104, Pottstown, PA 19464
Named PA whiskey distillery of the year, this brand has an expert team behind the still, including their founder and master distiller Robert J. Cassell, who created Bluecoat Gin. Their house distilled product lineup includes New Liberty 80-Proof White Whiskey, New Liberty Barrel-Strength White Whiskey, and New Liberty Rye Vodka.
Visit the distillery at: 1431 N Cadwallader St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Located a quick train ride away from Center City, in Manayunk. Their spirits are handcrafted and made with spring water from the mountains of Pennsylvania and distilled in an 18th century style copper pot still. Their products include the award winning Liberty Gin made with six classic ingredients using an old dutch recipe, and Manayunk Moonshine made with Pennsylvania corn from an 18th century recipe used by one of the founding fathers.
Visit the distillery at: 376 Shurs Lane, Building A, Philadelphia, PA 19128
If you can’t make it out to visit these distilleries and tasting rooms in person, keep an eye out and ask for them at the bars you visit while here. And if you tasted something you really like, check out our local Fine Wine and Good Spirits shops or visit the distillery websites for online ordering availability.