CHASING AUTHENTICITY QUINCY STREET DISTILLERY’S HISTORIC SPIRITS WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEANNE RUNKLE
hicago is the country's third largest city, and many top mixologists and bartenders call it home. But away from the hustle and bustle, on a narrow street in a small suburb of Chicago, big things are happening. While the country is bursting at the seams with new distilleries, and even new distilling technologies, Quincy Street Distillery is taking things back to the basics. "We're using spirits to teach people the history of the area," tells Derrick Mancini, owner and founder of Quincy Street. Mancini is a retired physicist who loves all
things historical, and through his distillery, he is combining that love of history with another passion of his: bourbon. While Kentucky currently produces 95 percent of all bourbon, that was not always the case. Bourbon was a big Illinois product, too, both pre- and post-Prohibition. It is where Hiram Walker made Ten High Straight Bourbon after buying the Great Western Distillery in Peoria at the end of Prohibition in 1933. Unfortunately, the distillery closed in 1981 when America fell out of love with brown spirits, and that was
the last straight bourbon made in Illinois for more than 30 years. Now that Quincy Street and other distillers are reviving Illinois bourbon, Mancini saw an opportunity to connect with that local heritage. Quincy Street’s recipes and techniques are throwbacks to those early days of local whiskey making, and their product names are historically inspired, too. Take their Bourbon Spring, for example. Historically, the Laughton brothers kept a tavern very close to the current distillery. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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