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From Bees to Bottles: Caledonia Spirits Crafts Award-Winning, Raw Honey-Based, Landcrafted-in-Vermont Spirits

The internationally lauded company is set to launch its 26,000-square-foot distillery, tasting room, and visitor center in Montpelier on June 29, 2019.

In 1986, after years as a hobbyist beekeeper, Todd Hardie opened Honey Gardens Apiaries, which specialized in making and selling raw, unfiltered honey and health products made from the elixir.

Over two decades later, Hardie began distilling spirits using Honey Gardens’ raw honey. Soon after, Caledonia Spirits was born. Its mission: to make craft spirits from raw local and regional ingredients and materials while supporting local agriculture and working landscapes. 

Fast forward to 2019: mission accomplished and, having exceeded expectations, the company is on the verge of exponential growth. 

Here are a few summer cocktail recipes and ideas for parings for all your summer gatherings:

Moscow Mule

A Moscow Mule, also known as a Vodka Buck, is a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, and is usually served in a copper mug.


  • 2 oz Barr Hill Vodka

  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice

  • Top with Ginger Beer

  • Garnish with lime

  • Ice


To a copper mug filled with ice pour in vodka, lime juice and top with ginger beer. Add garnish.

Paring suggestions are Cheese & Charcuterie…The Mule has a kick so you want to mirror that with Goat Cheese, Farm Cheeses aged at least 10 years plus. For the meats you want to think spicy and salty! Spicy Chorizo or sliced thin prosciutto 



  • 1.5 oz. Barr Hill gin
  • 0.75 oz. Amaro Meletti
  • 0.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
  • 0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz. Honey Syrup (2:1 by weight)
  • 2 dash grapefruit bitters.


    Combine ingredients in mixing tin, add ice, shake, and double strain into coupe. Garnish with an orange twist. (also, a thyme prig if available)

    This cocktail was crafted around the flavors and botanicals of Barr Hill Gin.  Each ingredient highlights specific elements already present in the spirit.

    Paring this cocktail with shrimp cocktail, smoked Salmon or mussels is just delightful.  Cured meats and Lamb curry add a kick to any summer party! 

    Jungle Cat


      • 1.5 oz Tom Cat Gin
      • 0.75 oz Campari
      • 1.5 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
      • 0.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
      • 0.5 oz VT Grade A Dark, Robust Maple Syrup


        Combine ingredients in a mixing tin, add ice, shake, and strain over crushed ice in a tiki mug if you’ve got it.  Go crazy with the garnish, a Campari soaked pineapple works well, and using cherries or pineapple leaves is fun. Try and make it look like a cat’s face!

        The Pairings for this Tom Cat can go from simple hard cheeses, cured meats to Shrimp and Pork steamed dumplings and Crispy Fish and Chips fried in a beer batter. 

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