Still Life

Mossy Ledge Spirits

The still maker has become the distiller: Jesse Lupo’s new booze line includes cinnamon, toasted coconut, and sweet tea cordials. Photograph by Mark Mccall.

Jesse Lupo started Trident Stills nine years ago as a side hustle to his Etna welding business. Craft distilling hadn’t boomed yet in the U.S., and when it did, most new-wave distillers bought their equipment from European manufacturers. But Lupo, now 48, managed to outfit dozens of booze operations around the country, including several in Maine: Stroudwater, Round Turn, Sebago Lake. In his younger days, he used to make moonshine, and every sale of a still meant more seed money toward his dream to someday run his own distillery. Last year, he and his wife, Kasey, opened Mossy Ledge Spirits. Using one of his own stills, they began producing vodka and cordials and, this winter, added a whiskey, which is Lupo’s particular passion. Handing out free samples in the tasting room, he’s eager to hear one word from customers: smooth. “When you know good liquor from bad,” he says, “there’s no going back.” 1097 Lakins Rd., Etna. 207-269-2244.

Joel Crabtree

Joel Crabtree is a writer and photographer from Orrington.