When they opened in 2004, Philadelphia Distilling became the first craft distillery in the state of Pennsylvania since prohibition. Their family run facility sports a hand hammered copper still, and is located in northeast Philadelphia. Master Distiller Robert Cassell is a Pennsylvania native, his forefathers purchased land directly from William Penn.
The story behind their Penn 1681 Rye Vodka reads like a locavore's dream. Named for the year King Charles II granted William Penn that land which would become Pennsylvania, Penn 1681 is made from organic rye harvested from Amish fields first planted hundreds of years ago. The bottles are made from recycled glass, and the spent grains from distilling are sent back to the fields as fertilizer for future crops.
The company touts the vodka like their other fine products (Bluecoat Gin and Vieux Carre Absinthe) as a gourmet liquor, to be enjoyed by the high end consumer.
While the caliber and distinctive taste of Penn 1681 do fit that model, Philadelphia Distilling might consider also focusing on another big segment: that composed of college students, true tipplers and other bacchanalians.
To wit: Penn 1681 is relatively inexpensive, checking in at around $20 per bottle at State Stores. And because of the extensive filtering process (Penn 1681 is one of the only vodkas in the country to be filtered through a 4-column still), it is virtually free of impurities.
What does this mean? Well, you can drink copious quantities for low bucks, fully enjoy your evening, and avoid any kind of hangover. (Why yes, I have focus-group tested this, thx very much.)
If anything, the vodka should appeal to all types. It has a slight bite, a sharp but pleasant taste when sipped neat. Which you could happily do; there is plenty of flavor in the straight spirit. An innocuous mixer to dump in a punch bowl this is not.
The forward taste of rye (think a hint of raw whiskey flavor with none of the burn) works extremely well in a classic martini with olives (or a caper berry!), but also is pleasant with a touch of citrus.
And if you really want to get jiggy, see if you can concoct this beauty, the brainchild of Preston Eckman, Resident Cocktailian at Adsum Restaurant.
2oz Penn 1681 Vodka infused with fresh kaffir lime leaf
(Chop 1 small Kaffir lime leaf finely and infuse for 1 hour)
.75oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
3 drops of orange flower water
2 dashes of vanilla cherry bark bitters (try Bittercube)
Stir and strain into a chilled champagne coupe rinsed with Licor 43 (vanilla liquor)
Garnish with an orange flower blossom
This beer finishes crisp, sweet and tangy, almost like a glass of juice. ...read more ›
We also found two online retailers still carrying the first release....read more ›
Never been easier to fight cancer and support your drinking habit at the same time....read more ›
For the first time since Prohibition, making your own beer will be legal in all 50 states. ...read more ›
What do you think are the best beer towns in the USA?...read more ›
Not run-of-the-mill in any way, Doom is definitely worth your consideration....read more ›
Want to go on an awesome road trip? ...read more ›
These two great cultural institutions have more in common than you may realize. ...read more ›
Dogfish Head's first new core beer since 2007 is a wine-IPA hybrid....read more ›
As cocktails trend towards more bitter notes, amaro are coming to the forefront on drink menus across the city....read more ›
It's time to begin thinking about one of the great pleasures of springtime: an afternoon sitting under the shade of a blossoming tree, stationed at a ...read more ›
One category the Mid-Atlantic is doing better than anyone else right now is India Pale Ales, and these five are tops. ...read more ›