Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about locally crafted beverages of many persuasions: beer, wine, coffee, spirits and more.
As it turns out, there’s more than one spirited beverage that can be crafted from local honey. Krupnikas is a spiced honey liqueur that Durham based Brothers Vilgalys Spirits began distilling in 2012. They started crafting the traditional Lithuanian style liqueur in small batches, from scratch, perfecting the recipe on their stove top at home to serve to family and friends before going bigger and moving into a 1,300 square foot distillery on Ramseur Street (near the soon to open Bull City Ciderworks and Honeygirl Meadery – must be something in the Durham water). Interested in seeing the process up close and personal? Sign up for a tour of the facility on the website (here).
They use a blend of whole spices and NC wildflower honey along with pure grain alcohol resulting in an 80-proof spirit that’s very versatile. It can be sipped warmed, on the rocks, or in a variety of cocktails (you’ll find several cocktail suggestions on their website here). You’ll find Brothers Vilgalys Spirits Krupnikas in your local ABC store (in the NC section) and soon beyond North Carolina borders as the company expands into Atlanta, Maryland, DC and Delaware. Recently, the liqueur won a Silver Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (an international event that includes more than 1,400 spirits). I’m looking forward to more good things from this local start up distiller in the future. For now, there’s a bottle in my liquor cabinet to savor.