philadelphia distilling bartender q&a hero

If you like your libations with a side of history, you’ll want to sidle up to the bar at Philadelphia Distilling. The first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since Prohibition, it has expertly crafted spirits down to a science. And it goes without saying that the new location, designed by Groudswell, is as well-considered as the cocktails. Co-founder Andrew Auwerda chose Provenance’s herringbone flooring as an accent to the retail space for good reason. “American oak is the key difference in our Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin, so it made perfect sense to incorporate reclaimed flooring made from the same wood. It gives our retail store a feeling of warmth and luxury fitting with our line of spirits.”

While we were at it, we hit up beverage and retail manager Christine Lamb for her expert drink recommendation.

What cocktail should everyone order right now?
The Goretti Girl, a recipe of smoked pineapple, fresh-pressed lime juice, honey, and fresno chili. The cocktail features Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin, which gives an excellent flavor profile to build upon. From the prominent citrus to the subtler angelica root, we take the classic Bluecoat American Dry Gin and barrel it for a minimum of three months. Once barreled, the spirit is evocative of whiskey with hints of wood and caramel, without sacrificing the integrity of our revolutionary gin. And just in case you want to take the heat up another notch, we dust the frothy head of the cocktail with dried espelette pepper.

What’s the best seat in the house?
Right in the center of the bar. Our head bartender is typically positioned on the center bar well, so you can expect an educating and visually exciting experience. You will also find yourself awestruck by the massive copper pot stills, which reside right behind the bartender. You may even catch a glimpse of our distillers crafting spirits such as Vieux Carre Absinthe Supérieure, which will be distilled through the end of July.

Philadelphia Distilling, 25 Allen Street, Philadelphia, PA (215-671-0346).

Photos: Courtesy of Matt Faisetty and Philadelphia Distilling