City Editor Cat here. Allie and I ventured to our neighboring friends in Durham to celebrate Durham Distillery’s 10th anniversary with a spirited night at Corpse Reviver Cocktail Bar & Lounge.
Founded in 2013 by Melissa and Lee Katrincic, this gin-centric craft distillery — and its head science-driven distillers — consistently receive top honors. For example, its Conniption Navy Strength Gin has won the best Navy Strength Gin in the US for four consecutive years.
Melissa, who studied physics and astrophysics at Bryn Mawr College + The University of Edinburgh, trailblazed her way into the industry as the first US female distiller to be inducted into The Gin Guild, a major industry honor.
You can say they have it down to a science — along with producing award-winning gin, cold-distilled vodka, and liqueurs, the couple has created a booming business including Durham Distillery and its adjoined Corpse Reviver Cocktail Bar.
The swanky downtown spot is dressed for the season, outfitted in holiday decor featuring tinsel, twinkling lights, garland, drinks served in cheerful mugs, and a faux crackling fireplace to complete the cozy vibes.
Must-try sips of the season: Not The Gumdrop Buttons sip complete with a gingerbread man treat and the Bah-Hum Beer frozen butterscotch cocktail served in a nostalgic Santa mug.
Time-tested classic cocktails: Martinez + Corpse Reviver (of course).
Pro tip: On Wednesday starting at 4 p.m., you can order spirits + sweets from a specialty pairing menu featuring items like spiked warm cider coupled with an apple streusel cheesecake from Durham’s Little Barb’s Bakery.
After we savored every sip from our festive bevs, we headed to the distillery to see where the magic happens. There, we met Gertrude, the team’s esteemed still. Did you know? Every bottle from the distillery is hand-filled with care.
I highly recommend booking a behind-the-scenes tour to better appreciate and understand the art + science behind these famed spirits, while tasting along the way.