People notice when awards pile up.
And at Durham Distillery, people are noticing.
Lee Katrincic, head distiller and co-owner, started the company in 2013 after a nudge from his wife. He is still working full time outside the distillery as a pharmaceutical chemist, but he's hoping to make spirits his full-time work.
With the accolades his products are getting, it might not be long.
"The Navy Strength Conniption gin really put us on the map as a gin distillery," Katrincic said on the 919 Beer Podcast.
The top-shelf gin took home double gold, the highest award, from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. With more savory flavors than the distillery's American Dry Gin, the juniper-forward Navy Strength melts from rosemary to bay leaves and notes of rye bread to be what Katrincic calls a "gin-lovers gin."
Durham Distillery is also now making a cucumber vodka and liqueurs. Both the coffee and chocolate liqueurs, bottled under their Damn Fine label, earned bronze medals in San Francisco.
The pair of gins and vodka slip effortlessly into cocktails, which Katrincic isn't shy about sharing. For a full set of recipes, check out their website.