Split Rock Distilling
16 Osprey Point Rd., Newcastle,207-563-2669
Why We Dig It
It’s unnerving that most fruit-flavored vodkas are as clear as water. (Oranges are orange, raspberries red, and peaches peach, after all.) But the blueberry vodka at Split Rock Distilling in Newcastle is the color it ought to be. That’s because co-founders Matt Page and Topher Mallory don’t inject some industrial-grade flavoring into their organic corn vodka. Instead, they buy low-bush berries from Elderflower Farm in Lincolnville, load 100 pounds of them into a cheesecloth sack, and drop that straight into a 100-gallon vat of vodka. The result is tart, dry, and colorful. “It’s about playing to flavors,” Mallory says, “not trying to sneak alcohol by someone’s palate.” Down the road in Damariscotta, Van Lloyd’s Bistro uses Split Rock vodka in a fine blueberry martini (pictured here). It’s also nice to sip neat or on the rocks, perhaps at the outdoor bar Page and Mallory are adding at the distillery this summer.