Proof Magazine Summer 2023

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PROOF for Ohio spirit lovers summer 2023 magazine PERFECT FOR Parties Celebrate summer with festive cocktails perfect all season long.

PROOF

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Managing Editor Claudia Plumley

Senior Editor Kelsey Miller

Associate Editor Gwynnie Ball

Assistant Editor Jennifer Coon

Managing Art Director Stephanie Mauric

Art Director Lindsey Smith

Associate Art Directors Michael Hughes, Sel James

What’s your favorite summer cocktail?

I

Editorial Contributors Jason Brill, Nicholas Dekker, Ann Fazzini, Megan Kafka, Alexia Kemerling, Michael Pramik

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Account Managers Nichole Cardinale, Karen Hopkinson, Bryan McMahan, Cosmo Mills, Matt Staugler

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Corporate

Chief Financial Officer George Sedlak

Finance Director Perry Zohos

Accounts Payable Coordinator Geli Valli

I like the Paper Plane Cocktail it has all the best qualities of bourbon with some simple and fun flavors. Bonus if it comes with an actual folded paper plane as a garnish.

OOne of my favorite ways to enjoy warm summer nights is to sit outside with an icy cocktail in hand. The patios are always packed in the summer, so you need to get there early — nothing like an excuse to start relaxing early in the day. Even when we stay at home, you’ll often find me outside picking mint from my flower garden to use in cocktails. In this issue — our first of Proof Magazine — we’ve shared several cocktails perfect for summer. One of my favorites is The Last Word made with Chartreuse, our featured spirit this issue. Made from more than 130 herbs and flowers, it adds an exotic flair to your glass and is an instant conversation starter. Another favorite of mine is falernum, a wonderful mix of ginger, lime, clove and rum. In this issue, Michael Pramik takes you to Maggie’s Farm Rum in Pittsburgh where you can taste their falernum that’s sold at OHLQ locations. Michael retraced the steps I took last summer at three distilleries in Pittsburgh’s fun Strip District. My husband and I spent the afternoon strolling from Wigle Whiskey to Kingfly Spirits and finally to Maggie’s Farm Rum, where we sat at the bar to taste their rum before ordering cocktails with our favorite picks. Like Michael, we went onto Hidden Harbor, the city’s swanky tiki bar, for a cocktail with their custom white rum from Maggie’s Farm. We hope to repeat our trip this summer when the Cincinnati Reds play the Pirates. In every issue of Proof Magazine, we’ll take you to bars and distilleries around Ohio and beyond where you can have distinctive experiences to remember. It’s proof that we take our spirits seriously.

Cleveland Magazine | Ohio Magazine Lake Erie Living | Custom Media Quest Digital 1422 Euclid Ave., Ste. 730, Cleveland, OH 44115 216-771-2833 | glpublishing.com
PROOF MAGAZINE | 01 Copyright 2023 by Great Lakes Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without permission of Great Lakes Publishing. All rights reserved. Great Lakes Publishing is not responsible for errors or omissions. All information is subject to change. “ “ ”
like to make Palomas I love to make my own grapefruit soda with my Aarke, Avion Tequila and fresh lime.
magazine

PEACH HIGHBALL

08
2023 The
TAKE A PEEK
Summer Issue
1.5 oz. Gentleman Jack® 1 oz. Fresh lemon juice 1 oz. Peach syrup Lemon-lime soda Peach slices Shake all but soda with ice. Top with soda to taste. Garnish with peach slices. From Jack Daniels 02 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023

in this

ISSUE

SPIRITED TRAVLER 04

Writer Michael Pramik takes you along on his recent trip to Pittsburgh’s distilleries.

THAT’S THE SPIRIT 06

Chartreuse is known as the elixir for “long life.”

PERFECT FOR PARTIES 08

Celebrate summer with festive cocktails perfect all season long.

WHAT’S NEW 10

Find out what new products are on Ohio’s liquor shelves.

A TOAST TO HISTORY 13

Ohio’s Anti-Saloon League helped lead the U.S. to a last call on alcohol with the 18th Amendment and Prohibition.

A BARTENDER TO KNOW 16

Brooke Rodwancy’s Gristmill bar uses fresh ingredients and house-infused spirits.

PASSPORT FOR ADVENTURE 20

Exploring northern Ohio’s distilleries got more rewarding.

BEHIND THE BAR 22

Two must-visit destinations.

FROM EPIPHANY TO LIQUID GOLD 25

Tim Russell’s journey of defiance at Maggie’s Farm Rum.

SPIRITED COOKING 28

Summertime means grilling with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce.

PROOF MAGAZINE | 03 KINGFLY SPIRITS: WENDY
OF CONGRESS
PRAMIK; GRISTMILL DISTILLERY: KARIN MCKENNA; ANTI-SALOON LEAGUE: LIBRARY
26 17 14

TRAVELER Spirited

Whiskey brings warmth and complexity, while vodka offers a clean canvas. Gin showcases botanical delights and tequila brings the fire.

Yet, it is rum that beckons during summertime, whisking us away to tropical shores and becoming the swashbuckling hero of the spirits realm. It enchants the refined connoisseur and emboldens the adventurous soul.

During my recent sojourn in Pittsburgh, I was thrilled to discover a tiki bar called Hidden Harbor. Established in 2016 and nestled alongside a co-owned brewery, Hidden Harbor is a sanctuary of exotic tiki libations and tropical cocktails, boasting an impressive rum collection of more than 500 labels.

Co-owner Adam Henry says the secret to crafting an exceptional tiki drink lies in the use of fresh ingredients and the artful layering of complexity through quality spirits. Such artistry was evident in the classic Mai Tai that I ordered. It possessed a depth of flavor unlike any I had concocted on my own.

The cool cocktail, elegantly presented in an adorned double old-fashioned glass, was the harmonious marriage of four rum variations, freshly squeezed lime juice and house-made syrup.

While aspiring mixologists may endeavor to recreate such perfection at home, the path to a flawless rum-based cocktail is not always effortless or convenient. But it’s worth trying.

Meet a Master

Adam Henry is co-owner of Hidden Harbor in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Hidden Harbor, which opened in 2016 as a top-shelf tiki bar, joined with Maggie’s Farm Rum distillery to produce the top white rum of the year in 2021 in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

What’s the most popular tiki drink at Hidden Harbor?

Probably the Frozen Painkiller, which came from the British Virgin Islands in the 1970s. We like to think of it as “the professional’s Pina Colada.”

We make our version with a blend of seven rums and toasted coconut cream. It’s helpful that we have it in a frozen drink machine, as we can fly through 50 or more on busy nights.

What is keeping the tiki craze going after so many years?

Tiki is all about escape: escape from everyday life and its problems, and escape to the warmth of the tropics. The longing for escape is probably universal — certainly it is here in Pittsburgh with our cold, gray winters. Plus, the drinks, when made well, can be mind-blowingly good.

What inspired the collaboration with Maggie’s Farm Rum?

The idea was to have a single bottle of rum to make a superior daiquiri. We already did a lot of blending of rums in-house in that tiki tradition. We came up with a formulation that starts with their rum but accents it with Jamaican and other Caribbean rums for fruitier, funkier flavors.

04 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023 HIDDEN HARBOR: WENDY PRAMIK
Writer Michael Pramik takes you along on his recent trip to Pittsburgh’s distilleries.
Sip from fun themed glasses at Hidden Harbor.

CHART REUSE That’s the Spirit:

Sip on a spirit known as the elixir for “long life”

From whiskey to gin to vodka, the making of spirits often feels like a mysterious mixture of science and artistry. For one particular spirit, there’s another somewhat magical element — the romance of a secret.

Chartreuse, an herbaceous liqueur that comes in two shades, brilliant lime green and pale yellow, is produced only by French monks in the Chartreux Order. The only publicly known element of the liqueur’s recipe is a number: 130 plants. Which plants and how they’re distilled is a closely guarded secret.

Perhaps you’ve seen Chartreuse listed as an ingredient on a cocktail menu. The Last Word, a pre-Prohibition cocktail that’s recently made a comeback, contains gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice. This classic drink is one way to enjoy the spirit’s slight hints of spice, licorice and natural sweetness.

Of course, as with trying any new liqueur, it’s worth it to sip the spirit by itself to truly get a sense of its profile. Chartreuse should be served chilled — leave the bottle in the fridge for a few hours or pour a serving over ice.

Green Chartreuse offers notes of pepper, cloves, sap, mint and citrus; whereas yellow Chartreuse draws on turmeric, citrus, anise and floral hints. As you sip the spirit, lean into the natural instincts of your palate. Afterall, with over 100 unknown ingredients, a unique flavor experience might jump out at you.

In an age where it seems that all the information in the world is right at our fingertips, the secrecy of Chartreuse feels particularly novel. Especially when you consider just how long-standing this tradition is.

The Chartreux Order of monks’ lineage extends back to 1084, where a devout community living in the Chartreuse Mountains (note the namesake) dedicated to prayer, silence and living in harmony. Flash forward to 1605 (though the several hundred years between were far from uneventful), when French diplomat François-Annibal d´Estrées gave a mysterious manuscript, origins unknown, to the order. The document listed ingredients for an elixir for “long life.” Years of experimentation and passing of knowledge between orders culminated in success in 1764 with the development of the Elixir of Chartreuse. However, it wasn’t until 1840 when the yellow Chartreuse and green Chartreuse on our shelves today began to be marketed and sold. The digestif quickly became popular and producing it became the monastery’s livelihood.

Centuries have passed and the liqueur remains a cultural icon — from being distilled to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to being referenced by artists like Bruce Springsteen and writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald. The perplexing flavor and endearing legend of Chartreuse make it the perfect staple for both your liquor cabinet and your story repertoire. Furthermore, the spirit may become more rare, as the French monks released a 2021 statement capping their production of the liqueur, as their priority is their faith, not meeting market demand.

While this decision for the monks not to increase production may seem surprising to many, we must remember that staying true to their morals is what created this spirit and kept it alive for the past several hundred years.

When you sip Chartreuse or mix it into a cocktail, take a moment to honor the art of an everlasting culture.

06 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023

The Last Word

¾ oz. gin

¾ oz. green Chartreuse

¾ oz. maraschino liqueur

¾ oz. lime juice

1 Brandied cherry

Add the gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice to a shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Interested in tasting this unique spirit? Use OHLQ.com to search for a store near you that stocks Chartreuse.

PROOF MAGAZINE | 07

PERFECT FORParties

CELEBRATE SUMMER WITH FESTIVE COCKTAILS PERFECT FOR PARTIES AND PICNICS ALL SEASON LONG.

Passion Fruit Martini Mint Pineapple Fresca Smirnoff Berry Firecracker

1 oz. Absolut Vodka

½ oz. Passion Fruit Liqueur

¾ oz. Passion Fruit Purée

⅔ oz. Lemon Juice

⅔ oz. Simple Syrup

1 Passion Fruit, sliced

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all liquid ingredients. Shake a cocktail glass. Garnish fruit. From Absolut

1 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka

5 oz. Smirnoff Seltzer

Red, White & Berry

½ oz. Lemon Juice

½ oz. Honey syrup

4 Raspberries or Blueberries

Muddle raspberries and honey in

2 oz. Jose Cuervo

Tradicional Tequila Reposado

1 oz. Lime Juice

¾ oz. Agave Nectar

1 Pineapple

1 Mint sprig

Muddle pineapple chunks and mint tequila, fresh lime juice and Stir until well mixed. Strain glass over ice. Garnish with pineapple slice and frond. Cuervo

Blue Crush

2 oz. Patrón Silver

½ oz. Blue Citrónge*

2 oz. Pineapple Juice

¾ oz. Lemon Juice

¼ oz. Demerara Syrup

1 Pineapple ring

1 Orange peel for

1 Pineapple leaf

Combine all ingredients with crushed ice and shake

Pour unstrained into glass.

a pineapple

From Patrón

*Blue Citrónge: coloring to Citrónge

Basil Watermelon

1 ½ oz. Grey

½ oz. Fresh

½ oz. Simple Ginger

4 Basil

1 Peeled

2 Large

In a cocktail shaker, muddle three basil leaves with a ginger slice, one watermelon chunk and simple syrup. Add ice, vodka and lime juice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale to taste. Garnish with remaining watermelon chunk and basil leaves. From Grey Goose

Lynchburg

Daniel’s Old No. 7 Syrup

Lemonade/lemon-lime soda

Raspberries to garnish

halfway with cubed ingredients except the lemonade/lemon-lime soda and shake seconds. Fill a highball cubed ice. Strain the glass. Top with lemonade/ to taste. Drizzle the the surface of the raspberries on the From Jack Daniel’s

Captain Jungle Bird

Captain Morgan

Original Spiced Rum

Bitter Aperitivo

Pineapple Juice

Lime Juice

Demerara Syrup

wedge to garnish

cubes of ice to a short rum, Bitter Aperitivo, pineapple juice and lime and stir. Finish off with pineapple to garnish.

PROOF MAGAZINE | 09

What’s Gin

Castle & Key Roots of Ruin Gin - $24.86

Hayner Gin - $19.95

New

Find these new products on the shelves of OHLQ locations. Stay in the know about what’s coming soon on OHLQ.com.

Brandy

Ansac Vs Cognac - $54.99

Courvoisier Xo Royal - $284.99

Mill Street Apple Jack - $49.99

Mill Street Peach Brandy - $49.99

Nardinni Grappa - $30.99

Paul Masson Watermelon - $9.49

Cordials

Chartreuse Green VEP - $151.07

Chartreuse Yellow VEP - $151.07

Dayton Barrel Co. Old Reliable - $39.50

Fireball Anti-Valentine’s Day $14.99

Foursquare 2010 Barbados Rum - $89.99

Kraken Gold Spiced Rum - $19.99

Nashville Barrel Company

Single Barrel Rum - $73.99

Tequila

Astral Reposado - $39.99

The Butterfly Cannon Blue

Flavored Tequila - $34.99

Corazon Expresiones Eagle

Rare 17 Añejo - $79.99

Corazon Expresiones Thomas H. Handy

Sazerac Añejo - $79.99

Del Maguey Vida Puebla - $37.99

Don Julio 1942 Ultima Reserva - $399.99

Don Julio Rosado - $124.99

Fiero Habanero Tequila - $24.99

Herradura Legend - $149.99

Lunazul Primero - $29.99

Siete Leguas Siete Decadas - $114.99

Sotol Los Magos - $35.00

Suavecito Cristalino - $52.99

Vodka

Capital City Vodka - $9.99

Ciroc Honey Melon - $29.99

Hayner Vodka - $19.95

Lost Bridge Beverage Co. Vodka - $35.19

Whiskey

2xo The Phoenix Blend - $99.99

AO Suntory World Whisky - $59.99

Balvenie French Oak 16 Year - $172.99

Bardstown Bottled-In-Bond

Bourbon - $49.99

Bardstown Bourbon Chateau De Labaude Collaboration - $159.93

Bardstown Bourbon Founders

KBS Collaboration - $159.93

Bardstown Bourbon Plantation Rum

Collaboration - $159.93

Bardstown Bourbon WV Great Barrel

Collaboration - $159.93

Bardstown Origin Series KY Straight

Bourbon - $45.99

Benchmark Bonded - $19.99

Benchmark Full Proof - $22.99

Benchmark Single Barrel - $24.99

Benchmark Small Batch - $17.99

Benchmark Top Floor - $14.99

Breckenridge High Proof Blend

Bourbon - $53.23

Breckenridge Port Cask Finish

Whiskey - $53.23

Breckenridge Rum Cask Finish

Whiskey - $53.23

Cameronbridge 26-Year-Old

Single Grain Scotch - $319.99

Castle & Key Wheated

Small Batch Bourbon - $55.76

Chicken Cock Chanticleer Cognac

Finish Bourbon - $499.99

Chicken Cock Island Rooster Rum

Barrel Rye - $199.99

Clynelish 12-Year-Old Single Malt

Scotch Whisky - $199.99

Detrick Single Barrel Bourbon - $97.95

Dublin Ink Irish Whiskey - $39.99

Everwild Seekers Wheated

Bourbon - $80.47

Few Spirits Cold Cut Bourbon

Whiskey - $44.99

Few Spirits Immortal Rye

Whiskey - $44.99

Few Spirits In Bond Bourbon - $49.99

Few Spirits Rye Whiskey - $44.99

Few Spirits Straight American

Whiskey - $44.99

Fort Mose 1738 Bourbon - $57.72

George Dickel Leopold - $109.99

Hard Truth Indiana Rye Whiskey - $38.61

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye - $67.05

Hibiki Suntory Whisky

21-Year Old - $699.94

High N’ Wicked Aeneas Coffey

Irish Whiskey - $89.99

High N’ Wicked Saints & Scholars

19 Year Irish Whiskey - $499.99

High Bank Distillery Premium Whiskey

Sample Pack - $61.99

High West The Prisoner’s Share - $174.99

Hirsch Bivouac - $54.99

Jack Daniel’s 12-Year-Old - $89.99

Jefferson’s Marian Mclain - $300.00

Karriken Spirits JD Wayne

Bourbon - $81.97

Knob Creek 18 Year - $169.99

Leadslingers 10 Year Bourbon - $90.99

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series

BRT-01 - $59.99

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series

BRT-02 - $59.99

Method And Madness Single Grain

Irish Whiskey - $59.99

Nashville Barrel Company Cask

Proof Bourbon - $95.99

Nashville Barrel Company Cask

Proof Rye - $95.99

Old Ezra Brooks 7 Year Rye - $79.99

Old Hickory Hermitage Reserve

Barrel Proof - $56.99

Parker’s Heritage Collection

16th Edition - $174.99

Penelope Valencia - $69.99

Powers Rye Irish Whiskey - $28.99

Proper No. Twelve Irish Apple - $28.99

Puncher’s Chance Left Cross - $149.99

Rattle & Snap Tennessee

Whiskey 8 Year - $99.99

Redwood Empire Grizzly Beast Bourbon

Bottled-In-Bond - $79.99

Redwood Empire Rocket Top Rye

Bottled-In-Bond - $79.99

Singleton of Glen Ord

15-Year-Old - $129.99

Talisker 11-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch

Whiskey - $119.99

Tiger Thiccc Blended Whiskey - $70.99

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Barrel Proof

Cherry 2022 - $89.99

Tuck and Red Charlies Cask

61 Reserve - $13.86

Uncle Nearest Straight Rye

Whiskey - $59.99

Watershed Black Walnut Old Fashioned RTD - $39.99

Whistlepig Piggyback Bourbon - $49.99

Widow Jane 10 Year Bourbon

Anniversary Edition - $99.99

Windsor Apple - $16.99

Writers’ Tears Red Head - $69.99

PROOF MAGAZINE | 11
GS GIMLET canton, oh • gervasivineyard.com
SUMMER AT GERVASI VINEYARD Join us at Gervasi Vineyard this summer and raise your glass to moments of pure bliss. Cheers to unforgettable memories and the finest spirits that capture the essence of the season! 1½ oz GS Small-Batch Gin ¾ oz Lime Juice ¾ oz Simple Syrup 3 dashes Cherry Bitters Add all the ingredients into a mixing tin with ice, shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a skewer of two cherries and a lime wheel.
TOAST TO

TOAST TO History

Anti-Saloon League helped lead the U.S. alcohol with the 18th Amendment and Prohibition.

PROOF MAGAZINE | 13

That message from a 1910-era flier was delivered courtesy of the Anti-Saloon League of America. The group’s mission: to lobby for temperance and legislation to outlaw “the nation’s foe:” alcohol.

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the League’s creation — and a movement that helped define a new United States in the Progressive Era and the Roaring ‘20s.

The story starts in Oberlin, Ohio,

in 1893, when a group of mostly ministers and professors sought to spread the word of temperance and influence the state government. The Ohio-based Anti-Saloon League was formed as a non-partisan lobbying group focused on unifying temperance proponents and fighting for stronger anti-alcohol legislation. That same year, a similar group was forming in Washington, D.C., and within two years the factions had joined forces and took their message to a national level.

The growing unified organization soon relocated its headquarters to Westerville, Ohio, with a goal of opening a publishing house and building more momentum for the cause, says Kathryn Kaslow, a museum specialist at the Westerville History Museum in Westerville. “The railroad ran through Westerville into the main hub of Columbus,” she says. “It was a convenient location to get materials out to more places.”

The American Issue Publishing Company set up a cutting-edge print shop and made a splash with an avalanche of pamphlets and propaganda. “About 40 tons of mail were being processed every month at the group’s height,” says Kaslow. “That illustrates the depth and power of the organization that it could sustain itself financially while cranking out that much literature.”

14 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023 ANTI-SALOON LEAGUE OF AMERICA: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
“ ”
When a man’s tracks point toward the saloon, his back is toward heaven.
GRAB SOME JACK MAKE IT SIZZLE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. RESPONSIBILITY.ORG Tennessee Whiskey, 40% Alc. by Vol. (80 proof.) Distilled and bottled by JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY, Lynchburg, Tennessee. Jack Daniel’s and Old No.7 are registered trademarks. ©2023 Jack Daniel’s. All rights reserved.
Anti-Saloon League of America members in Columbus.

Their rallying cry of “VOTE DRY!” picked up steam among citizens, and the League-backed political candidates picked up more and more influential government roles. Soon national Prohibition was a real possibility.

In 1913, the Anti-Saloon League was at the helm of a full-court press on the U.S. government, and leadership delivered 18th Amendment proposals directly into legislators’ hands. It took six more years and a cultural wave of patriotism brought on by World War I to make it official. On Jan. 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment was ratified, banning the production and sale of alcohol nationwide.

It was a huge win for the League and

the future looked bright — but cracks began forming almost right away. “The League accomplished their goal, so there was no need for this much support anymore,” says Kaslow. “Financial reports showed them publishing less every year and declining revenues throughout the Prohibition years.” Plus, leadership disagreed on the League’s new message: one side wanted to focus on enforcing the new laws while the other side advocated for educating the public on the dangers of alcohol use. For the good part of 13 years, Prohibition was the rule of the land. But the Great Depression left the country in desperate need of job opportunities and

economy-friendly tax revenues. The League, plagued by infighting, waning support and aging leadership, was also running on fumes. On Dec. 5, 1933 — 90 years ago this year and 40 years after the League’s founding — the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition. Over the last century, the League has rebranded several times and still exists today as the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems, with an expanded focus on drugs. But they never quite regained the momentum of the pre-Prohibition years when they took on “the nation’s foe” and succeeded in putting the end to cocktails — for a little while, at least.

Drink Up History

NOBLE CUT DISTILLERY: NOBLE CUT DISTILLERY
The Westerville History Museum, housed in the Anti-Saloon League’s original headquarters in Westerville, traces the history of the movement in photos and their printed literature. While you’re in the area, taste test sips from local microbreweries and spirit-makers, including Central Ohio favorites like nearby 451 Spirits and Noble Cut Distillery along the Columbus Distillery Trail. Noble Cut Distillery

Know A BARTENDER TO

BROOKE RODWANCY’S GRISTMILL BAR SERVES UP COCKTAILS USING FRESH INGREDIENTS AND HOUSE-INFUSED SPIRITS.

Brooke Rodwancy got a taste for doing her own thing while working as a bartender at a local yacht club in Port Clinton, where she took a neglected poolside bar on the property and turned it into a spot where she experimented with mixology using fresh ingredients to make cocktails.

“It was a place where people wanted to be and come and have my cocktails and experience what I had going on out

there,” says Rodwancy, who now owns the Gristmill in Port Clinton.

The poolside bar is also what inspired her to strike out on her own and open the Gristmill in what was an abandoned gas station.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” Rodwancy says. “But I never thought it was going to be a bar!”

It’s proved to be a potent concoction. Since opening in August 2020,

Rodwancy’s bar has developed a devoted following eager for cocktails such as margaritas made with fruitinfused tequila, a lemonade made with raspberry-infused vodka and more. Rodwancy was also named a finalist for bartender of the year at Bar & Restaurant’s Industry Excellence Awards 2022. We caught up with Rodwancy to talk cocktails, how she picks base spirits and more.

16 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KARIN

Brooke Rodwancy’s Faves

When she’s not behind the bar at her spot, the Gristmill, owner Brooke Rodwancy likes to keep it local when she goes out. She’s a big fan of the Orchard on Catawba Island. “They also take a fresh and innovative approach to cocktails and food pairings,” she says. “They source a lot of their juices from like local farms. I know I can get a great cocktail there. I love margaritas — that is definitely my go to when I’m out and about — but I also enjoy a good old fashioned or cosmopolitan.”

PROOF MAGAZINE | 17
Brooke Rodwancy, owner of the Gristmill.

do when community the perfect fresh herbs. right away. people really been color-changing fresh, those? trends coming it. industry

quite really just encouraged keep working hard and doing what I’m doing — but find better ways to do it every day. It was cool to put myself, my bar and my community on the map.

Colorful cocktails make great photo ops.

18 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023
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Sample the ready-to-drink Heart of Glass Vodka Lemonade from Toledo Spirits, made from Ohio-grown strawberries. Master the art of cocktail making through a class at Toledo Spirits’ craft cocktail bar, Bellwether.

Enjoy a bourbon flight and gastropub fare at Everwild Spirits

The “Befores & Afters” menu will have the perfect pairing.

Six-Fifths Distilling is best known for their absinthe experience, which includes a traditional glass fountain, spoon and sugar cubes.

Visit Iron Vault Distillery and try their Old School Moonshine or gin with a local twist with Ohio-grown blueberries. Master your spiritmaking skills in a two-week bourbon making class.

PASSPORT FOR

Ernest Scarano Distillery’s 10 Year embraces yet elevates traditional whiskey. Once it’s gone, it won’t be available for another decade.

Extra credit

As a newly featured stop on the passport this year, The Hangar at City Goods provides an extra adventure. The Hangar carries products from all 14 distilleries in the passport, crafts locally sourced cocktails and has their own local beer and wine collection. Explore the rest of the City Goods complex and shop from 24 local merchants. There is an extra surprise for stopping here for the extra credit stamp and completing the passport!

Adventure

Local distilleries are scattered across the state, but each one has something that makes them special. The Northern Ohio Distillery Passport aims to introduce people to the distilleries across the top of the state and the spirits they produce. Running from April 1 to October 1, this passport adventure includes 14 distilleries. Complete the passport and you’ll get an invite for the Distiller’s Ball, a formal attire masquerade event that you won’t want to miss.

PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023

Lake Erie Distillery’s commitment to the environment is evident throughout the distilling process, starting with locally sourced, non-GMO ingredients.

West Branch Malts & Distillery’s offerings include whiskeys and many flavored vodkas, including guava.

The award-winning Maple Whiskey from Doc Howard’s Distillery, originally an experiment of making bourbon with wheat, is a must-try.

The natural, bold flavors of Seven Brothers Distilling Co.’s spirits are a perk of their unique low-temperature distillation process.

Red Eagle Distillery sources their ingredients locally, even growing and harvesting the grapes used in their brandy and vodka themselves.

BKO Distillery handcrafts their own brand of vodka with pure cane sugar instead of grain to minimize flavors carrying over.

With a rich bootlegging history during Prohibition, Towpath Distillery uses family recipes and new world techniques to produce their spirits.

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PHOTOGRAPHY TOLEDO SPIRITS: MEGAN LEIGH BARNARD; SIX-FIFTHS DISTILLING: SIX-FIFTHS DISTILLING;IRON VAULT DISTILLERY: IRON VAULT DISTILLERY; LAKE ERIE DISTILLERY: LAKE ERIE DISTILLERY; RED EAGLE DISTILLERY: CHRIS CASELLA; MINGLEWOOD DISTILLING COMPANY: WENDY PRAMIK; TOWPATH DISTILLERY: TOWPATH DISTILLERY; GERVASI VINEYARD STILL HOUSE: GERVASI VINEYARD Take a tour and learn about the historic ice house that is now the home of Minglewood Distilling Company. Bourbon, vodka and gin are just a few of the spirits produced at Gervasi Vineyard Try a flight at The Still House.

THE Behind Bar

Spirits enthusiasts know that sometimes the best finds are in the most unexpected places. From a hidden backroom bar in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood to a Mediterranean outpost in charming downtown Delaware, here are a couple bars with collections that make them must-visit destinations! BY NICHOLAS DEKKER

Grill & Tavern

where Mediterranean cuisine meets bourbon

Downtown Delaware is full of great finds, from boutique shops and breweries to old-school diners and art galleries. Nestled amongst the historic storefronts is Opa Grill & Tavern, an eatery known for hearty Mediterranean fare, good drinks and great camaraderie.

When guests enter through the glass door at the front of the restaurant, their eye will immediately be drawn to the many shelves behind the bar layered deep with bottles of all sizes. In addition to their enticing menu, Opa Grill & Tavern is noted for their expansive bourbon and whiskey selection. Guests are already drawn to Opa for its rich and filling fare like fried calamari, Greek salads, saganaki, giant gyros and spicy chicken Argos, but the dynamic and everchanging list of bourbons keeps them coming back again and again.

It would take dozens of visits to explore the full spirits menu, but on top of its constantly growing selection, Opa often features special tastings, one-of-akind whiskeys, barrel-strength spirits and other rarities. Every month they highlight a different flight of four whiskeys, often built around a theme.

The team behind Opa Grill & Tavern takes their love of bourbon and whiskey beyond the walls of the restaurant, often visiting different distilleries and bringing back their new-found knowledge to make your cocktails memorable.

22 | PROOF MAGAZINE Summer 2023 OPA GRILL & TAVERN: OPA GRILL & TAVERN
Sip on a glass of Blanton’s. Order a flight to try several varieties.

Longfellow’s Other Room

Not just another place for rum

Owner Mike Stankovich describes Longfellow’s Other Room, the smaller back bar behind Longfellow in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, as having “the feel of your grandparent’s basement.” You can access the Other Room through a separate entrance off the back alley or through the back of Longfellow, and once inside you’ll discover a delightfully cozy and eclectic hangout with a gorgeous wooden bar, exposed brick walls and floral-themed pictures covering every vertical surface.

Open only Fridays and Saturdays, Longfellow’s Other Room features one of the largest rum selections in Ohio. The list easily tops 100 different types of rum at any given time, with selections coming from around Ohio and across the world. The team there is dedicated to showcasing the large variety of rums available globally and how the sugarcane-derived spirit can be just as dynamic as whiskey, tequila or gin.

In addition to offering tastings, the crew behind the bar at Longfellow’s Other Room also concocts amazing libations that showcase rum. So no matter what time of year you’re visiting, the little back room bar can transport you to breezy tropical locales. And on top of the vast rum collection, the Other Room also features classic cocktails and absinthe.

PROOF MAGAZINE | 23 LONGFELLOW’S
OTHER ROOM: CATHERINE GRACE
Longfellow’s Other Room has eclectic decor. Grab a seat at the intimate bar.
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FROM EPIPHANY TO

Liquid Gold

Tim Russell’s audacious journey of defiance at Maggie’s Farm Rum

Distillery owner Tim Russell recalls the precise moment he decided to chuck his day job and begin producing rum for a living.

It was after a long, boring meeting at his job for a defense contractor in Uniontown, Pa., when Russell trudged back to his office and flipped on the radio. He heard Rage Against the Machine’s version of the Bob Dylan tune “Maggie’s Farm,” a sonic harvest of defiance against conformity.

“I had an epiphany when I heard that song,” Russell says. “I had nothing to lose at that point, so I went for it.”

He decided to call his distillery Maggie’s Farm, which has morphed into Maggie’s Farm Rum, highlighting the distillery’s flagship offering. In the decade since Russell’s inspiring moment, Maggie’s Farm has become a beloved destination in Pittsburgh and has gained national prominence as a top U.S. rum maker.

Nestled at the northern edge of Pittsburgh’s downtown Strip District, Maggie’s Farm Rum stands tall in its unassuming warehouse abode. Its artisanal spirits, represented on their labels by an eccentric skeleton about to take a swig, match the neighborhood’s gritty charm.

Enter the distillery’s walls (once you find it — the sign is rather small), and you’ll notice distinctive aromas that dance through the air as copper pot stills work their alchemical magic, transforming turbinado sugar and water into liquid gold. Soon, there will be more space inside. Russell is moving production to neighboring Upper St. Clair, which will allow the distillery to increase production.

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Order a flight of the various rums at Maggie’s Farm.

That location will include a new bar and restaurant, allowing for Russell to expand the current bar.

Visitors often have come from the Strip District’s other two distilleries — Wigle Whiskey and Kingfly Spirits. While those producers specialize in whiskey and other spirits, Maggie’s Farm’s product line is mostly about rum.

The Difference is the Sugar

Russell’s journey began with unaged, white rum crafted from turbinado sugar, a daring departure from the processed molasses that forms the backbone of most rums. Maggie’s Farm uses Caribbean-derived yeast and slowly ages distillate in pot stills. One expression, produced in concert with noted Pittsburgh-area tiki bar Hidden Harbor, was named the top white rum of 2021 in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The adventure continued with Maggie’s Farm Spiced Rum, which contains a symphony of flavors composed of whole ingredients — Tahitian vanilla beans, freshly grated orange zest and cinnamon sticks — with no added sweeteners diluting its flavor.

Maggie’s Farm then released a pineapple-infused rum and a daring “50-50” blend, marrying its own white rum with a dark, sourced counterpart. Aged rums slowly began to emerge, including a velvety dram aged for three years in ex-Oloroso sherry casks.

The distillery’s crown jewel is five-year aged rum, earning double golds the past two years in the World Spirits Competition. While that expression quickly sells out, Russell unveils a new chapter each year on Black Friday to satiate the palates of local rum aficionados.

Maggie’s Farm also produces a few liqueurs, most notably the tiki staple falernum, made with the distillery’s cane-based spirit rather than neutral-grain spirits that others typically employ. It’s the distillery’s best-selling product by volume and is available in Ohio.

“A lot of customers wondered why we would make rum in Pittsburgh,” Russell says. “Making bourbon and rye whiskey was the original plan, but the aging time for a quality product was a concern, and I just fell in love with rum. After almost 10 years, I still haven’t distilled a drop of actual whiskey.”

In a world where everybody wants you to be just like them, Russell and Maggie’s Farm have dared to chart a different course. It seems they’ve created a recipe for success.

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Hungry for More Ohio Magazine? Visit OhioMagazine.com/recipes for new dishes and reader favorites.

Spirited treasures: Pittsburgh’s Strip District distilleries

Rum lovers visiting Pittsburgh should seek out Maggie’s Farm Rum distillery in the northern section of the Strip District. There are two other distilleries in the heart of the Strip that also beckon spirits enthusiasts.

Wigle Whiskey was the city’s first new distillery since Prohibition when it opened in 2011. It sources grain from local farmers and uses the products for its bourbon, rye and a host of other spirits and bottled cocktails. A distillery tour includes an entertaining tale about the company’s namesake, a key figure in the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 18th century.

Kingfly Spirits offers whiskey, gin, vodka, rum and a line of liqueurs inside a lushly renovated carriage house. It’s a magnet for locals in search of an inspiring space for events, but its bar and seating areas are inviting to visitors. A favorite is house-made limoncello, a sweet-tart liqueur combining zesty lemon notes with a subtle, sugary sweetness.

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Sit outside or head inside to sip on cocktails at Kingfly Spirits. The tasting room offers a full menu at Wigle Whiskey. Take home a premade cocktail from Wigle Whiskey.

SPIRITED Cooking

Summertime means grilling for me, although being a native Midwesterner, I’d argue that any season is grilling season! But the warmer months are the time to let loose, invite some company over, maybe fix up a cocktail using Ohio spirits and try some new recipes.

I love my Weber grill, and one of my favorite things about summer is visiting our local farmers market and trying meats from different farmers and vendors, from bratwurst to burger patties to pork chops to steaks. I love testing different marinades, especially those that incorporate different spirits. One that I love is Weber’s zesty Whiskey Barbecue Sauce recipe. You can read all the details on their site, but here’s a quick breakdown!

What you need

2 tBSP. extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 TBSP. finely chopped garlic

¼ cup whiskey, preferably bourbon

3 tBSP. tomato paste

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tBSP. cider vinegar

2 tBSP. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender but not browned, five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute, stirring constantly to prevent browning. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the whiskey. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the whiskey is almost completely evaporated, about two minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until well incorporated. Add the syrup, vinegar, mustard, paprika, hot sauce and pepper, then simmer for two to three minutes to meld the flavors and thicken the sauce slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside. Then it’s a matter of grilling the steak or burger to your preference and serving it with the sauce!

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Make your burgers memorable this summer with a bourbon marinade. HAMBURGER: STEPHANIE MAURIC

Café Istanbul brings the flair and fare of Turkey to Dublin. Prepare to be dazzled.

Café Istanbul features authentic Turkish cuisine with Mediterranean flavors. The robust menu ranges from creative craft cocktails and Turkish coffee to meze, kebabs, grilled fish, lamb and vegetarian dishes. A visit to Café Istanbul will feel like a getaway with walls of windows with a view of the river and an exceptional patio.

Lunch and Dinner 6125 Riverside Drive, Dublin OH 614-792-9190 | cafeistanbuldublin.com
Dublin
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