Welcome to our annual Liquid Assets Issue. Winter seems to have settled in so it seems appropriate to come inside and have a little something to warm you up. With the growing variety of options here in Vermont, choosing something locally made to quench your thirst and support your local mom-and-pop enterprise is easy. Just visit almost any farmers’ market in the state and you can get a chance to sample the product so you can decide which flavor suits you. In some cases you have to take a number and wait your turn to purchase your order of beer brewed by Lawson’s Finest (page 24.)
One of our state’s greatest natural resources, the sap from maple trees, is being incorporated in everything from distilled spirits to natural soda. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of its taste—but Laura Sorkin of Thunder Basin Maple Works on the west side of Mount Mansfield reminds us of the hard work it takes to tap its source. And Marian Burros introduces us to Duncan Holaday, an innovator among the artisan distillers incorporating Vermont flavors. Maple Flavored Rum is one of them.
Back in my college bartending days there was that rarely used single bottle of Angostura bitters languishing near the cash register. (I was told if a few drops were added to club soda it would settle an upset stomach—it works!) Now bitters are gaining in popularity with the resurgence of the classic cocktail and cannot be ignored as a key ingredient in a mixologist’s toolkit. Urban Moonshine is making organic bitters and tonics in Burlington that add distinction to cocktails but also claim health benefits. Their mission is to “rekindle the relationship between herbal medicine and the modern world.”
Exploring Vermont is a lot of fun and we suggest that you sit down with a locally sourced libation as you read this issue. We hope you enjoy this second annual edition.
Stay warm this season,