Small Business Spotlight – Durham Distillery

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Gin Fizz, Gin & Tonic, & Martinis – oh my!

And that’s just naming a few of my favorite gin cocktails.

Lucky for us North Carolinians because we’re home to one of the best gin distilleries in the country – Durham Distillery. In fact, they were voted as the Best Craft Distillery in 2018 by USA Today (read more about that amazing honor, here) and was recently nominated as the 2019 Best Gin Distillery in the U.S. for the 4th year in a row.

Durham Distillery in downtown Durham, North Carolina

Durham Distillery is home to two types of craft gin – American Dry and Navy Strength. American Dry is considered to be the “gateway gin”, and with good reason. It’s crisp, smooth, and lightly aromatic. This is the gin that people who aren’t “gin people” can’t get enough of. It’s 44% ALC (88 proof) and is the perfect accompaniment for your summertime G&T.

Conniption – American Dry Gin

Navy Strength, my personal favorite, is 57% ALC (114 proof). This is my go-to for gin martinis. It’s unbelievably smooth for a “navy strength” gin, which isn’t just a fancy name, it is, in fact, a classification of gin.

Shots, shot, shots, shots, shots, shots

You might be wondering what “navy strength” means. Gin was a popular drink among navy sailors. As a result, they were often suspicious that their gin was being watered down. It didn’t take too long for sailors to come up with a way to make sure that their gin was the good stuff. They would pour gin onto gunpowder and if the gunpowder smoked or didn’t light, it was diluted gin. If the gunpowder actually lit and stayed that way, was it at least 114 proof (57% ABV) – or as we call it – Navy Strength.

Besides having a much higher alcohol content, Navy Strength has six times the juniper in it. So basically, if you’re a gin lover, this gin is for you.

Tour time!
Isn’t she a beauty? She makes some mean gin.

Durham Distillery might be known for their gin but they have a lot of other goodies in their repertoire. They make a cucumber-infused vodka that is a perfect compliment to everything from your Sunday Bloody Mary to a classic Gimlet.

Probably the most unexpected item from Durham Distillery is their selection of “Damn Fine Liqueurs”. Yes that’s their name, and yes, they are damn fine. All your favorites – chocolate, mocha, and espresso flavored made with local ingredients, including chocolate from Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh, NC. My favorite is the chocolate – it’s damn fine served straight over ice or drizzled over ice cream for a little boozy dessert.

Durham Distillery’s canned cocktails – Vodka Soda, Gin & Tonic, and Rosé Spritz.

In the last two years, Durham Distillery has given us all a little something extra to be excited about and that’s the release of their canned cocktails. Last summer brought us Conniption American Dry Gin & Tonic (made with their signature house-made tonic), and Cucumber Vodka Soda.

Durham Distillery’s in-house canning system…
…which makes all of these bad boys.

A little over a month ago, they released their third canned cocktail, the Rosé Spritz, made with a blend of Conniption American Dry Gin, Rosé and Petite Syrah wines, and club soda. Did I mention it comes in the most perfect pink can? Perfect for poolside parties.

Rooftop Rosé Spritz is the best at Unscripted Durham. Many locations sell Durham Distillery’s canned beverages. Did you know you can buy their canned cocktails at Durham Bull’s games?

Each can is the equivalent of two cocktails – enough to share if you’re feeling generous. They come in a four pack and are sold at all ABC stores in the triangle.

I love you, but I don’t share my Rosé Spritz.

Something exciting that is coming to Durham Distillery’s space in downtown Durham (the basement to be exact) – their new craft cocktail bar, Corpse Reviver. The passage of Senate Bill 290 now enables cocktails to be served at distilleries. Corpse Reviver, a name inspired by the classic cocktail, Corpse Reviver #2 (composed of gin, absinthe, Cointreau and lemon juice), and that it will be located in what once was a coffin shop will open its doors in early 2020.


I’ve partnered with Durham Distillery to give you and a friend a complimentary Behind the Scenes tour of their award-winning distillery.

This is Gertrude, named after the owner’s maternal grandmother who also liked gin her martinis. Sounds like my kind of lady. You’ll get to hear all about what happens to get that delicious gin in your cocktails.
The many fresh botanicals that go in to Durham Distillery’s spirits. You’ll learn all about these ingredients on their behind-the-scenes tour.

Behind-the-scenes tours are on Friday and Saturday. The folks at Durham Distillery will into the distillery, and show you how they make their craft gins, vodka and liqueurs – all of which you’ll get to taste with a souvenir shot glass to take home!

Here’s what you have to do to enter:

  1. Make sure you’re following @thedoctorette
  2. Follow both @durhamdistillery and @conniptiongin
  3. Like the giveaway post
  4. Tag a friend you would want to bring with you on the tour if you win!

Giveaway closes on September 9th at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on September 10th.

And you’re in!

There’s a lot of exciting changes happening for Durham Distillery, from extended tour hours, cocktails in the tasting room, and the highly anticipated Corpse Reviver. Be sure to stay on top of all their news by visiting their website and following along on social media.

So as they say, go ahead, have a Conniption – or two.


*This post was not sponsored by Durham Distillery. Durham Distillery was selected as the Small Business Spotlight feature on The Doctorette. The Behind-the-Scenes tour giveaway is a collaboration between The Doctorette and Durham Distillery. As always, all opinions are my own.


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