Sue's picks for local spirits

Atlanta is flush with home-spun spirits. This isn’t your grandpappy’s moonshine, though.  Distilleries like Old Fourth Distillery and American Spirit Whiskey are making us proud.  This gin is one of my favorites, an impressive rich and smooth pour. Handcrafted Southern Dry Gin from Old Fourth Distillery is distilled from organic Italian wheat and vapor infused with fresh botanicals: juniper berries from nearby Oakland Cemetery, grapefruit, lemon & orange peel, followed by cardamom, pink peppercorn, angelica root and coriander. Also on tap is Old Fourth Distillery Handcrafted Southern Vodka. They start with regionally grown sugar cane, a minimally refined turbinado. It is non-GMO, renewable, environmentally sound, gluten and pesticide free. Because they are located in an urban area they needed something we could convert to alcohol with no waste.

New this year is Lawn Dart. Old Fourth Distillery created this limited edition ginger lemon liqueur from locally sourced ingredients for a slightly sweet, unbelievably refreshing spirit. Best served chilled and shaken.

Old Fourth Distillery was started by childhood friends who decided to open Atlanta’s first distillery since 1906, taking a neighborhood-centric, sustainable approach to creating the finest spirits available at any price.O4D uses sustainable non-GMO sugar cane to make its vodka, requiring less energy and creating zero waste. O4D’s only byproduct is pure, distilled water. Their cane sugar base and hands-on approach creates a naturally gluten-free vodka with a soft, round mouthfeel and a subtle caramelized sugar aroma. Their Southern Dry Gin is vapor infused with only the finest fresh botanicals. Every bottle of O4D is made by hand in their 1100-square-foot distillery in the Old Fourth Ward. Three people create the fermentations, do the distillations, bottle, and package every drop of the signature vodka and gin. O4D uses a custom, handmade CARL copper still.

The Buckhead boys at American Spirit Whiskey continue to create imaginative and well-honed sips. ASW Distillery combines a traditional Scottish-style twin copper pot still system with Southern flavor innovation, including grain-in distillation, to make bourbon, Atlanta’s first rye since Prohibition, and malt whiskies, plus Atlanta’s first-ever fruit brandies. ASW  Fiddler Bourbon is a very high wheat content finished on Georgia oak heartwood harvested by ASW in Jackson County, Georgia

ASW Resurgens Rye is Atlanta’s first rye since Prohibition. ASW Armour & Oak Apple Brandy is Atlanta’s first apple brandy, made using apples from Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge. Cheers to these hard-working local distillers!