El Tesoro Tequila’s Farm and Distillery, Arandas

Exploring the Jalisco region's agave treasures with Master Distiller Carlos Camarena

“Historically, these plants can provide people with shelter, food, spirits, of course— tools with their needles to sow. Everything!” Carlos Camarena tells us, standing on the red clay earth amid a field of agaves. He goes on to explain how the succulent’s dried leaves are still used in the region for roofing and building walls, its quioxotes (long pistols) for fences, and fibers used for …

NYC-Made West 32 Soju

A smooth take on the Korean alcohol

by Sun Pak Step into any Korean restaurant on a weekend night and you’ll find similar set-ups at every table: a green bottle of soju perched next to plates of sizzling meats (or bubbling stews) and a collection of small vegetable sides. The clear, simple liquor—akin to a less-alcoholic vodka—washes down the spicy dishes well, and it would be considered egregious to consume less than …

Stillhouse Moonshine

A clear corn whiskey in an unbreakable stainless steel can

Bottling moonshine and distributing it undermines the very meaning of the word—it’s your grandfather’s sitting-in-his-backyard-lawn-chair drink, not something made in a factory and sold in stores. But we just could not resist the stainless steel cans that Stillhouse’s 100% 80 proof corn whiskey comes in. They kind of look like gigantic flasks, or maybe brake fluid or gasoline cans. The fun packaging is also useful: …

Stonecutter Spirits, Vermont

Not even a year old, the award-winning aged gin makers release their first whiskey

Traditionally, gin is a clear, unaged spirit but the industry is warming up to the concept of adding another dimension to the juniper-flavored spirit. Australia’s Four Pillars soaks their scrumptious gin in nine French oak chardonnay barrels; Utah’s Beehive Distillery does something similar. Not even a year old, Middlebury, Vermont-based Stonecutter Spirits’ flagship product—the Single Barrel Gin—is aged in bourbon barrels, and has already become …

Brahms & Liszt, London

The Hackney liquor store with an enthusiasm for the hard stuff and the obscure, and a try-before-you-buy policy

For ages, the semi-secret, word-of-mouth Quiquiriqui Mezcal and 184 Hackney Road/Mezcaleria Quiquiriqui bars on East London’s Hackney Road were underground favorites for London’s liquor connoisseurs. Now the woman behind the mezcal-loving venues, Melanie Symonds, has opened a liquor shop—Brahms & Liszt—on Chatsworth Road, Clapton. At Brahms & Liszt, the focus is on the hard stuff. This is the place to come to for unusual liquor …