The Chemistry of Taste | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Please support our work!

Donate  Advertise

The Chemistry of Taste 

Side Dishes: Smugglers' Notch Distillery sets up shop

Published December 7, 2010 at 5:15 p.m.

foodnews-vodka.jpg

During Prohibition, smugglers rediscovered a mountain route that allowed them to transport booze from Canada to dry Vermont — over the “notch.” Thanks to state bill H.772, enacted in May, Smugglers’ Notch Distillery can sell and offer samples of its vodka without resorting to bootlegging.

Being Vermont’s first private outlet to offer liquor tastings isn’t the only unique thing about the vodka maker. It’s also got a scientific pedigree.

Though chemist Jeremy Turner Elliott didn’t open his store on Main Street in Jeffersonville until this past October, he started working on his vodka five years ago, when his New York City-based employer began outsourcing its research and development.

Elliott admits that he wasn’t passionate about vodka back then, but he thought developing one would be a great use of his skill set while he looked for work. “I knew that, with my chemistry background and understanding about proper process control, I could make a wonderful vodka,” says the 2000 University of Vermont grad. In the meantime, Elliott landed a position at Mylan Technologies in St. Albans — and fell in love with fermentation.

Elliott’s vodka is composed of sweet corn and winter wheat from Idaho, which give the booze the bite for which its maker strived. The powerful product is diluted with water from a Jeffersonville source that Elliott calls simply “Big Spring.”

Several Jeffersonville restaurants, including the Family Table, 158 Main and the Village Tavern at the Smugglers’ Notch Inn, already carry the vodka. But Elliott hopes its popularity will spread if he gives restaurateurs a signature drink in which to use it. For the next two weeks, the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery’s website and Facebook page are running a contest to concoct the cocktail. Elliott says that, since his site launched last Friday, he’s been inundated with recipes.

In the new year, Elliott plans to begin work on a gin. Once he’s happy with that recipe, he’ll try his hand at white and dark rums. Before long, Elliott hopes, spirits aficionados will be able to taste a whole range of liquors at his Lamoille County storefront — no smuggling necessary.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

Bio:
AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.

Comments


Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2024 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation