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From Our Editors
It's been a long time since Keith Nordan and Chris Hollifield have had a case of the Mondays. Since 2008, in fact. That was the year that, after several Monday afternoon meetings, the pair decided to open Carolina Distillery. The distillery's original location was an old carriage house in downtown Lenoir, which inspired the name of its award-winning Carriage House apple brandy. In the years since, however, Carolina Distillery has expanded and moved to a 40,000-square-foot, three-story building it shares with Howard Brewing. Read on to learn more about its signature spirit and a few of its recipes.
The distillery makes several spirits, including Carriage House strawberry-infusion brandy, but Carriage House apple brandy is the most popular. Like its cohorts, the apple brandy is made with a Hollifield family recipe that's distilled in copper pots and single-barrel proofed. It begins with fresh cider, which is made from Perry Lowe Orchards's apples and distilled 1,000 gallons at a time. Despite all the fruit, the 80-proof brandy is only slightly sweet after aging for a year in charred oak, providing drinkers with hints of caramel, brown sugar, and apples.
There's no shortage of libations that can be made with the apple brandy, including a twist on a classic old-fashioned.
- 2 sugar cubes
- 2–3 dashes of bitters
- 2 ounces of Carriage House apple brandy
- Place the sugar cubes in a rocks glass, then add bitters.
- Crush the cubes with a muddler or wooden-spoon handle until the sugar is nearly dissolved.
- Add brandy and stir until the drink is well blended.
- Add ice, then stir to chill.