Durham Distillery is just four years old, but some consider it one of the top makers of craft gin in the country.
But is it the best? Well, a lot of that depends on you.
For the second year in a row, Durham Distillery and its twin flagships of Conniption American Dry gin and Conniption Navy Strength, are in the running for USA Today’s 10Best competition for the best gin in America. Last year it finished second in online fan voting and is in third place this year – so far – with about a week left to go in voting.
The 88 proof Conniption American Dry and its boozier Navy Strength sibling have built a strong local following. They’re featured prominently on the menus of some of the best cocktail bars in the Triangle and also breathe new life into classics like martinis, Negronis and the basic gin and tonic.
A panel of spirits experts built the field of 20 American gin makers, with Durham Distillery one of only two from the Southeast. So far, Florida’s St. Augustine Distillery is leading the pack. Other contenders hail from Portland, Maine, to Holland, Mich., and Hardwick, Vt., to Denver.
Durham Distillery was started in 2013 by husband-and-wife distillers Lee and Melissa Katrincic. Their copper pot gleams through the window of their Washington Street distillery in Durham, and Conniption gin can be found throughout North Carolina, in corners of the Southeast and as far away as London, a town that knows a thing or two about gin.
The Triangle boasts a pretty successful track record as far as alcohol-related 10Best competitions are concerned, with Cary’s Bond Brother’s Beer Co. named the country’s best new brewery earlier this year.
Voting in the best American gin competition is allowed once per day until noon Monday, Sept. 11. Go to www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-craft-gin-distillery-2017/.
Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson