Derek and Sonja Kassebaum started North Shore Distillery in 2004, selling their first bottles in 2005.
Derek had the initial inspiration to start a distillery.Once the idea grabbed him, he got to work and designed the process, initial equipment setup, and space. He researched distilling equipment, processes, history and techniques extensively, and met with many advisors along the way. His experience and education as a chemical engineer certainly helped, too.
Sonja is an attorney by training, which also comes in handy – distilling is a heavily regulated industry, with many “compliance opportunities”, as she calls them. She is also the resident cocktail geek and loves to play with new spirits, ingredients, tools and techniques behind the bar.
All the spirits that are made here spend time with their handmade still, that they call Ethel. Ethel was named for Sonja’s grandmother and was handmade and custom made for them in southern Germany. Derek worked with the still manufacturer to design Ethel, and she has several custom elements that make her unique. Ethel’s capacity is 250 liters, or the equivalent of about 60 gallons. Ethel is one of the smaller stills in commercial production today, but is still versatile and skilled.
Unlike any other gin on the market, Distiller’s Gin No. 6 has a nuanced, complex aroma and flavor, with balanced juniper, citrus, spice and floral notes, with a long, smooth finish.
“We hand prepare a range of herbs and botanicals for each batch of gin, including juniper berries (of course), hand-grated fresh lemon peel, rich spices like cardamom and cinnamon, and delicate floral accents. We infuse the botanicals into our base spirit for varying lengths of time depending on their particular characteristics, and then distill them through Ethel the Still using a slow, meticulous process that enables us to create fresh, bright flavors.” – Sonja
North Shore Distiller’s Gin No. 6 is the perfect spirit to enjoy while embracing the great outdoor weather that the spring season blesses us with! It is light and refreshing! Try a cocktail at the next weekend barbecue!