Gin, vodka and cordial from Caledonia Spirits

The bees are to thank for Caledonia Spirits' gin, vodka and cordial

Caledonia Spirits has some unusual workers on the payroll: bees.

Credit those swarming laborers with the fragrant lemon-yellow beeswax that seals each bottle of Barr Hill Gin and Vodka--and for the honey used in the excellent product found within those bottles.

During distillation, corn-based Barr Hill Gin ($43 for 750 ml) is washed over a basket of juniper berries and finished with a touch of raw honey before bottling. In the bottle, it's the color of the last rays of sun on an early spring day, and vivid with juniper's resinous kick. On the tongue, it's equally springy and snappy.

The supremely smooth Barr Hill Vodka ($33 for 375 ml) is made from cold-fermented honey wine. It hits cleanly, as you would expect from a vodka, but with a residual floral touch. This Vermont-based distillery also makes an easy-drinking Elderberry Cordial ($35 for 375ml) that combines the rich depth of elderberry (known for its cold-fighting properties) with apples and raw honey.

Along with those bees, due credit is most certainly also owed to Todd Hardie, who has been working with hives since the tender age of 12 and is behind these accomplished spirits.

Life takes a village; sometimes good spirits take a colony.

Available at Astor Wines & Spirits, Chambers Street Wines, Park Avenue Liquor Shop, Prospect Wine & Spirits and Borisal Liquor & Wine.

Astor Wine & Spirits 399 Lafayette St. New York NY 10003 212-674-7500 Chambers Street Wines 148 Chambers St. New York NY 10007 212-227-1434 Park Avenue Liquor Shop 292 Madison Ave. New York NY 10017 212-685-2442 Prospect Wine & Spirits 322 7th Ave. # A New York NY 11215 718-768-1232 Borisal Liquor & Wine 468 Fourth Ave. New York NY 11215 718-788-8214


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