The art of alcohol distillation dates back to some of the earliest civilizations. The ancient Chinese were known for distilling a beverage from rice beer, Greek philosophers were known for distilling wine, and arrack was being distilled in the East Indies by 800 BC. Today, the practice continues and we highlight some of the coolest places in the world to sip on spirits while gaining an insider view on how they're made.
High West Distillery and Saloon
Located in Park City, Utah, High West is the world's only ski-in distillery and gastro-saloon. Park your skis outside and step inside of one of only a few two-story Victorian style pyramid houses for a Rocky Mountain Rye and High West's famous ribs. The distillery tour takes you to the house's basement, where you'll see how High West distills its small-batch, mountain-crafted spirits.
For tour information, visit Highwest.com.
One of oldest distilleries in the Pays d'Auge, France, Busnel Calvados is known for its strong, sweet apple brandy. Each taste of brandy carries the flavors of as many as 40 varieties of apples. The distillery tour takes you down to the cellars, where you'll wander through golden coppered casks that are more than 200 years old. End the tour with a tasting, but beware: A little Calvados goes a long way!
For tour information, visit Distillerie-Busnel.fr.
Founded in 1625, Fukumitsuya has been perfecting the art of artisan sake for more than 400 years. The quintessential Japanese alcohol, sake involves an extremely unique fermentation process called "multiple parallel fermentation," which is carried out in open tanks in low temperatures. Part of the Fukumitsuya tour includes a tasting of Blessed Water, a 100-year-old water that is used to brew their sake.
For tour information, visit Fukumitsuya.co.jp.
Los Danzantes is one of Oaxaca's most distinguished mescal distilleries. Mescal, a distilled alcohol made from the maguey plant, means "oven-cooked agave" and is distilled the same way today as it has been for more than 200 years. Take a tour inside Los Danzantes and discover the traditional and authentic mescal making techniques.
For tour information, visit LosDanzantes.com.
Ouzo, an anise-flavored apertif, can be found throughout Greece. However, you'll want to make the trip to Barbayanni Ouzo in Plomari for the full story. This family-owned distillery has been producing excellent-quality ouzo for more than 150 years. Take the tour and sample some of Barbayanni's unqiuely flavored ouzo infused with aromatic herbs.
For tour information, visit Barbayanni-Ouzo.com.