By Alison Bailin Batz
Distilleries are popping up all over Arizona, and with Halloween on the horizon, October marks the perfect month to sample some locally made spirits. Here are some that are all treat and no trick.
Gold Miner Agave Rum
Desert Diamond Distillery
Arizona’s oldest craft distillery never rests on its laurels. Case in point: this dark, spicy rum that has been infused with agave, the chief ingredient in tequila. It is smooth, full-bodied and warming to the taste. It’s so different, best to first enjoy neat or over ice. $29.99. www.desertdiamonddistillery.com.
Arizona Distilling Company
This popular distillery, the second-oldest in Arizona, expanded to a 5,000-square-foot space in Tempe last year. With products like the Mission Vodka, it’s easy to see why. The 100% Arizona corn-based vodka inspired by 18th century Spanish missions across the Sonoran Desert is crisp and clean with a touch of lovely sweetness. $18.99. www.azdistilling.com.
Grand Canyon Distillery Thunder Snow
Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery
When this northern Arizona brewery launched a distillery in 2017, the owners aimed to create spirits that stood out. Made with white corn and completely unaged, this bold, clear whiskey almost tastes like a hybrid of whiskey and vodka, yet with delightful candy corn and baked bread notes. $25. www.grandcanyonbrewery.com.
Winter Flower Gin
Thumb Butte Distillery
It may be called gin, but this offering’s delicate flavors of flower, tangerines and spice make it feel more like a wholly new spirit. Available now through the new year at the Prescott distillery, Winter Flower Gin is a perfect gift or bottle for the bar during fall and winter soirees. $29.99. www.thumbbuttedistillery.com.
Apple Pie Liqueur
CaskWerks Distilling Co.
One of the few liqueurs made in Arizona, this sweet treat is aged in bourbon barrels for several months. With it, CaskWerks owner and distiller Rick Burch, also known as the bassist of Jimmy Eat World, has achieved fall in a glass, as it explodes with flavors of spice, crisp apple, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. $45. www.caskwerks.com.
Arcadia Coffee Vodka
O.H.S.O. Brewery and Distillery
This nutty vodka truly tastes like medium-roast coffee, but also has hints of caramel, toasted sugar and vanilla. Distilled from sugarcane, it is blended with cold-brew coffee, which is also made in-house and sourced from Infusion Coffee and Tea in Tempe. $25. www.ohsobrewery.com.
Papago White Rum
Starting with only natural grains or molasses, Adventurous Stills uses its own handmade equipment to make every spirit in its lineup. Developed to complement Tiki-style cocktails or enjoyed on its own, this white rum bursts with pineapple and banana on the nose and tastes like a beach vacation in a glass. $32. www.adventstills.com.
Saint Anne’s Citrus Rosé Gin
After over a decade of building its craft beer brand, SanTan Brewing Company opened SanTan Spirits, a craft distillery, in recent years. The St. Anne’s Botanical Spirits brand uses a mix of traditional and unconventional ingredients to create distinctive flavors. This gin is a blend of nine botanicals, for example, including rosebuds, grapefruit, lavender and hibiscus flowers. $25. www.santanspirits.com.