Publishers' Note Spring 2013

Whiskey Barrel
Whiskey Barrel

Written on

March 01 , 2013

Maybe you’ve noticed that the “spirits” of Vermont are on the move and showing up at liquor outlets, farmers’ markets, restaurants—even your friends’ homes—throughout the state. Are they friendly spirits, you ask? You bet! As with local food, Vermont is quickly becoming a state with a flourishing locally distilled spirits industry.

Hear, hear! This is a trend to which we can certainly raise a glass (or two, or three). What could be better than handcrafted, small-batch liquors, made right here by creative folks who are rediscovering the artistry of this ancient endeavor and adding an inimitable twist of their own? Keep those kettles and barrels rolling.

In this issue, we begin our exploration of the “spirit world” by diving right in. Recipe developer extraordinaire Claire Fitts has been hard at work devising a number of yummy cocktails that you can make using local elixirs and that ubiquitous Vermont ingredient, maple syrup. (As a local foods magazine, we often feel compelled to run a maple article in the spring issue, but with a twist, and this one has a twist on the rocks.) Find her article here.

In a related article, Helen Labun Jordan takes a look at some of Vermont’s innovative distillers and how they’re harnessing local ingredients to give the spirits in their world some unique “personalities.”

And to round off the theme, we offer a map of Vermont distilleries that, as of this printing, are engaged in active production. If you’re planning a visit make sure to call ahead, as not all locations have tasting rooms.

Knowing that wines are not technically spirits (although they can make us all pretty spirited), we stray a wee bit off topic with a piece about winemaking at home. Sylvia Fagin chronicles the annual tradition shared by a group of friends in Barre and discovers that it takes much more than grapes to make a good wine.

And not to worry—we’ll be covering local beer and brewing in a future issue, but as a nod in that direction, we have two articles on the topic of wheat.

Speaking for ourselves, we sleep better at night knowing that our Vermont “spirits” are afoot. Let’s raise a glass high in thanks to our local distillers who are making it happen!


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A quarterly magazine devoted to covering local food, sustainable farming, and the many people building the Vermont food system.

Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine illuminates the connections between local food and Vermont communities. Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape is changing as the localvore movement shapes what is grown and raised here.


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