Four Liquors Made With Wine

Wine and spirits meet in these bottles of vodka, whiskey and gin that are produced with a dash of everything from rosé to Sherry.
Illustration by Vincent Bondi

A growing number of liquor producers are adding a splash of wine to their bottlings. Here’s a look at four hybrids that combine the best of both worlds.

Hangar 1 Rosé Flavored Vodka, $32

The California vodka maker launched this carnation-pink spirit in February. It contains 5% California rosé wine, which lends a fleeting, juicy cranberry note. The bottling is “inspired by the Bay Area,” says Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker. “Our Hangar 1 Straight Vodka is made from a Californian grape distillate, which means we work with many local farmers and neighboring winemakers.”

Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, $40

The first permanent addition to the Basil Hayden portfolio mixes a splash of California Port-style wine with Kentucky and Canadian rye whiskeys. The producer claims that it’s “designed to stand out in the ever-expanding crowd of American whiskeys.” The end result: a ruddy hue and warming caramel-cherry flavor profile, recommended to mix into a Boulevardier with Campari and sweet vermouth.

Bourbons That are Perfect for Wine Lovers

J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey, $40

A small amount of 15-year-old oloroso Sherry (about 2%) adds roundness and complexity to this blend of Bourbon, rye and a 10-year-old light corn whiskey. The ingredients are sourced elsewhere, but blended in Kansas City, Missouri.

Rieger Co-founder Ryan Maybee says that Kansas City-style whiskey has contained Sherry since at least as early as the 1800s, when straight whiskey was hard to find. “It was a way to pay tribute to our roots,” he says, although, “it also adds a tremendous amount of flavor.”

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, $39

Made in Australia, this dry gin is distilled with juice from Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes (but not actual wine). The end result bears a distinct resemblance to a spiced, sweetened sloe gin.

“People asked us when we would get around to making a sloe gin,” says Founder/Distiller Cameron Mackenzie. “We don’t grow sloe berries in Australia, but we do have grapes. The Shiraz grapes are medium-bodied and don’t kill the gin.”

Published on August 9, 2018
Topics: Drinks
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip. and NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening, which debuts in September 2018. Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net




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