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Cocktails Distilled

Food & Cooking Podcasts

At Cocktails Distilled want to help you to make cocktails at home. In this podcast, we talk to distillers and makers about particular varietals they have created - what they are, why they created them and, more importantly, in what cocktails that particular expression works best. So if there is a brand of gin, whiskey or whatever, that you've been thinking of buying, then we can help you know more about it and exactly how to use it.


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At Cocktails Distilled want to help you to make cocktails at home. In this podcast, we talk to distillers and makers about particular varietals they have created - what they are, why they created them and, more importantly, in what cocktails that particular expression works best. So if there is a brand of gin, whiskey or whatever, that you've been thinking of buying, then we can help you know more about it and exactly how to use it.




Understanding Heritage Grains With Laws Whiskey House

With Laws recently winning the title of 'World's Best Small batch Bourbon', we thought it was a good time to talk with founder, Al Laws, to talk about the very niche yet thriving world of heritage grain whiskey. While heritage grain may sound high brow, for distillers like Laws, who started Laws Whiskey House in Colorado more than a decade ago, heritage is all about unique flavour profiles. As Laws prepares to start the year with a series of new releases, we talk to him about grains, small-scale distilling and the faith required in every step of the whiskey-making process. So whether you're a whiskey aficionado or a curious novice, you'll be enticed by the Colorado terroir at the heart of Laws Whisky House.


Choose Differently With Seedlip's Notas De Agave

Join the conversation as we uncover the craft behind Seedlip's new groundbreaking non-alcoholic spirit, Notas de Agave, with none other than the visionary founder himself, Ben Branson. Tune in as Branson discusses the meticulous creation process, the hurdles the brand faced to achieve the perfect harmony of lime, prickly pear, and peppercorn. Tailored to, and available exclusively in, the US, Notas de Agave is a versitile non-alc , that works equally well in a Margarita, as it does a Sour or Tiki style drink. With the likes of Regé-Jean Page adding a splash of celebrity allure to the Seedlip experience, this episode a must-listen for anyone intrigued by the evolving landscape of non-alcoholic spirits.


Find Your Free Spirit With Feragaia

We thought we would start our podcast year off by talking to one of Scotland's best-known no-alc distilled spirits, Feragaia. You've probably seen a lot about no and low-alc spirits through dry January, but if the 2024 Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report is to be believed, you're about to hear a lot more. The report predicts that the sector will skyrocket by 67% to a value of 359 million by 2026 and that consumers will increasingly seek no and low alternatives year-round. So, with that in mind, we talked to Bill Garnock, one of the founders of Feragaia, about botanicals, experimentation and what it means to distil the wild earth.


On The Hunt For Tequila With La Caza

There can be no argument that Tequila is having a moment. There are so many brands competing for shelf space that it's fair to say that there is a Tequila out there for everyone. In fact, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, Tequila’s popularity has risen to such an extent that they predict it is set to overtake Vodka this year. But what does it take to set up a tequila brand in 2023? And is there still room for new brands to make an impact in the market? To find out more, we talk to Drake Screws, founder of the Tequila brand La Caza about establishing a brand, the insatiable consumer appetite for the spirit and fermenting to classical music. To find out more, go to


Across The Seas With English Bourbon Never Say Die

Many a Bourbon distillery has found favour with the public through the stories they tell. And considering that many of those distilleries are located in Kentucky, it’s unsurprising that those stories often involved a horse. But when you combine bourbon, a horse and a sea journey across the Atlantic to the UK, there is only one distillery that can tell that particular story, and that’s Never Say Die. You see, while Never Say Die is distilled and initially aged in Kentucky, its whiskey-laden barrels are then sent across the sea for a final maturation in England. And where does the horse come in? Well, that ocean journey follows in the hoof-steps of the brand’s namesake, the first American-bred colt to win the Epsom Derby in 73 years back in the mid-1950s. To find out more, we talk to Never Say Die co-founder Martha Dalton about tariffs, thoroughbreds and ageing whiskey at sea. For more information on Never Say Die, go to


The Purity of Nordic Flavour with Mathias Tönnesson

With nature as its backdrop and the exploration of flavour as its aim, Sweden's Purity Distillery is gaining a reputation for creating liquids that are as flawless as its name implies. The brand, probably best known for its Vodka, has just added adds Organic Craft Nordic Dry Gin to its portfolio. Offering a long flavour profile that lasts in the mouth, the gin pushes boundaries with a unique blend of juniper, thyme, basil, coriander, lingonberries, blueberries, lavender, cardamom and angelica. So, crack open a bottle of your favourite tonic and join us as we chat with the master blender and CEO of Purity Distillery, Mathias Tönnesson, as he discusses flavour, organic farming and the love that goes into every bottle they produce. For more information, go to


Unlocking the Wonders of Wood with Teeling's Master Distiller, Alex Chasko

Get set for an Irish whiskey-laden adventure with Alex Chasko, the master distiller at Teeling Whiskey. Discover the Wonders of Wood series, an exploration of how different woods, from American Chinkapin Oak to European Portuguese oak, influence whiskey flavours. Alex pulls the curtain back on these stunning flavour profiles, giving us a tantalizing glimpse into the fascinating world of whiskey making. And it's not just about the flavours - we tackle how online tastings during the COVID-19 lockdown broke down barriers and opened up whiskey lovers to more adventurous experiences. In our chat, we also touch upon Teeling's commitment to environmental stewardship through its partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland. With an eye on sustainability, Alex shares the company's efforts in returning forests to areas around Dublin. We delve into the future of Teeling and explore how the brand is flipping the script on this traditional spirit and looking to change perceptions around Irish Whiskey. So join us for this captivating journey and don't forget to rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes!


Tulchan Gin: Creating A Gin In Scotland's Speyside

When you think of the terroir of the Speyside region in Scotland, your mind very easily goes to the flavours and terroir of Whisky, but what if those same notes you love could actually come through in a Gin? That's what we talk about with Kara Anderson, Global Brand Lead for Tulchan Gin. A recent addition to the Gin market, Tulchan has been created on the banks of the River Spey in the grounds of Tulchan Estate. She shares the fascinating story of how a team of flavour experts walked the land of the Estate to create a bespoke list of botanicals that not only reflect the terroir of the land and also make this gin simply extraordinary. She goes on to talk about the distillation process and shares some of the cocktail recipes created for the brand by renowned bartender Salvatore Calabrese. So, don't miss this intriguing conversation about the world of Tulchan Gin and the distinct flavours of the Speyside region.


Exploring Quiet Luxury With Camus XO Cognac

Ready to immerse yourself in the luxurious world of Camus Cognac? Join us and our guest, US Ambassador Arya Wright, as we journey into the realm of quiet luxury, embracing the heritage and rituals of cognac that evoke old world elegance. Arya gives us an exclusive glimpse into Camus's latest XO offering, designed to bring cognac back to the center of the dining table and exemplify the art of fine dining, or Art de la Table. And she suggest in the middle oif that table should be the XO's exquisite Baccarat crystal bottle. Discover the captivating experience of drinking Camus Cognac and how it can help you slow down and savor the moment. Arya shares why the XO expression is an excellent entry point for new drinkers to the cognac category and how the beauty, elegance, luxury, and art that comes with drinking Camus appeals to a variety of ages.


Ageing In Rye Barrels With Papa’s Pilar Rum

No matter whether you're distilling spirits or drinking them, we're all in search of flavour. But for distillers, there has been an increased movement that blurs the lines of their spirit by finishing them in the barrels of other spirits. We see Whiskey finished in Port barrels, Gin finished in Whiskey barrels and, as in the case of Pappa's Pilar's latest release, Rum that is aged in Rye barrels. Pappa's Pilar, the ultra-premium rum brand inspired by the legendary novelist, Ernest Hemingway, has just released its fourth expression within its flagship fleet. Mixing master distiller Ron Call's two great loves, whiskey and rum, this rye-finished expression is very close to his heart. A seventh-generation distiller who made his name along the Bourbon Trail, Cole brings his roots in the whiskey industry and his nuanced passion for rum to bear. To find out more, we talked to Cole about barrels, blending flavours, and how experimentation changes the nature of spirits.


Spending Some Time With John Troia From Tempus Fugit

When we think of cocktails, we often think of the spirits that we use to make them, but the modifiers, the Liqueurs, the Cremes, the Vermouths, and the Amaris, that balance the drink, often become an afterthought. But one brand not only seeks to bring those liquids into the spotlight but also explore the history and seek out modifiers that may have been lost over time. Tempus Fugit, a Latin term that means time flies, is a brand that has been digging through the annals so as to source and recreate rare spirits and cures and their latest release. Creme De Moka is a perfect example of this. To find out more, we talked to John Troia from Temps Fugit about history, cocktails, and the archaeology of liquids.


Connecting The Dots Of Flavour With Halftone Spirits

We are now all used to hearing about culinary influencers being utilized in cocktails, both in terms of flavour and approach, but what if that same idea was applied to the making of the spirits that go into them? Gin, which is one of the few spirits that utilizes botanicals and spices in its production, would seem like the perfect candidate for this. And it is from that premise that distiller Andrew Thomas established the Brooklyn-based craft brand, Halftones Spirits. Born during the Pandemic, the distillery, which also produces Aquavit and Vodka, is looking to embrace the sensors in terms of flavour, aroma, and colour, while providing a tactile approach to the breadth of tastes around us. To hear more, we talked to Thomas about flavour global flights and the value of agility in a fast-moving world. For more information on Halftone Spirits, go to


Reviving Irish Whisk(e)y With McConnell's

Through the 18th and 19th Century Irish whiskey went from strength to strength, but at the beginning of the 20th century, legislation enacted across the sea in the United States practically brought the whiskey industry in Ireland to its knees. The United States was the biggest international market for Irish whiskey, and that country's enactment of prohibition forced the steals to stop and the distilleries that housed them often to close their doors. One such distillery was JJ McConnell's, a brand that was the darling of Belfast and had existed since 1776. In the decades that followed, the brand lived on only as a memory, a whiskey from another time. But luckily, the brand's story doesn't end there. In 2020, the newest and yet one of the oldest names in Irish whiskey started to be seen again from across bars from Belfast to Boston. To find out more, we talked to global brand ambassador, Sarah Kennedy, about legacy, rebirth, and what it takes to recreate a fabled brand.


Drinking In History With La Marielita Rum

Nearly 43 years ago, a mass immigration of Cubans travelled from Mariel Harbor near Havana to the United States, known as the Mariel Boatlift. The exodus, which happened over several months, saw more than 125,000 Cubans make the journey across the Florida Straits. One of those people was a six-year-old girl, Janet Diaz-Bonilla, who travelled with her parents towards a new life. But it was a journey that would impact not only Janet's life, but also, the fabric of her adopted homeland. While many have looked back on these journeys to freedom through art writing, Janet, a writer herself, decided to tell her story through liquid, releasing La Marielita to rum at the end of last year. To find out more, we talked to Janet about perception, legacy, and how liquid can really tell stories in a very new way.


Exploring The Stories Behind Sorel Liqueur

You may not think that liquids can tell stories, but when you look at Laure like Sorel, which has basically traveled from West Africa through the Caribbean, into Harlem, and then across the river to Red Hook, you can bet that there are some stories to tell. There are stories of commerce both through the slave and spice trade. There are stories of tradition as displaced peoples kept the original sorrow liquid alive, and there are stories of migration as many went to New York seeking a better life. Additionally, there are stories of family as recipes got passed down from one generation to the next. There are stories of creation as the non-alcoholic Sorrel is transformed into a liqueur. And there are stories of determination as the brand starts on its mission to re-establish itself and communicate everything that has come before. To hear some of these stories, we talk to self-proclaimed custodian of the brand. Jackie Summers about flavour, identity, and the origin of the red drink.


Exploring The Non-Alc Road With The Pathfinder

While you might think the use of hemp and cannabis for medical use is fairly new, it has a long history that goes back centuries. In the 1800s in the United States, although they weren't called that at that stage, physicians started to prescribe hemp-derived concoctions for all sorts of maladies and afflictions, and elixirs could be readily purchased in general stores. But then came the 20th century with its inclination to basically prohibit everything. And hemp and cannabis products found themselves lumped in with opioid drugs. And well, you know, the rest. Yet as the attitude towards hemp and CBD products has changed, there has been renewed interest in the elixirs from the past and the flavour as well as the health benefits that can be imparted. One brand that is fully exploring what this means is the Seattle-based fermented and distilled non-alcoholic hemp liquid brand, The Pathfinder. To find out more, we speak to global brand Ambassador Kraig Rovensky about alchemy, blazing new trails and being a destroyer of bad vibes.


Creating An American Agave Spirit With Mean Mule

When you think of agave spirits, your mind naturally goes to places like Lesko and its surrounding areas in Mexico. But what if, instead, it went a little further north of the border? That is what mean mule distilling wants your mind to do when you think of the agave spirits that they are producing in Kansas City, Missouri, located slap bang in the Heart of America. Mean Mule was born of generations of distilling tradition, but this time all above board and legal and with a whole new ingredient. But what does it mean to be an American agave spirit? To find out more, we talked to Jeff Evans about moonshine and agave gin.


Changing The Perception Of Pisco With Suyo

While you might have heard of the Spirit Pisco, there's a fair chance that you don't really know a lot. Sure, you might know that Pisco is basically a young brandy. You might even know that it's mainly produced in Peru or Chile. But you probably didn't know that there are eight approved grape varietals that range in taste from pepper and smoke to almond and roasted walnut. You also probably didn't know that there are five different Pisco growing regions with 42 valleys and over 500 producers, most of whom are small batch. And in the midst of all that liquid is the Peruvian Pisco brand Suyo that aims to help you understand a little more about what Pisco can offer. To find out more, we talked to Alex Hildebrandt and Ian Leggett from Suyo about small batch producers, grape varietals, and creating an impact in the US market.


Distilling Rice Whiskey In The American Style

We're all used to whiskey being made from barley, corn, rye, and even wheat. But what about rice? Rice is the world's third most abundant cereal crop, and yet historically, you would be hard-pressed to find a whiskey distiller that used it as the base of their spirits outside of Japan. But recently, that has all changed. Distillers like Louisiana-based JT Meleck are amongst a small number of US producers who are crafting a contemporary image of what rice whiskey can offer. And the subsequent liquid is distinctly different from what is being created by their Japanese counterparts. To find out more, we talked to Mike Fruge from JT Meleck about fermentation, flavour and the future of rice in a country where corn is king.


Exploring The Secret To Christmas Gin

Whether you grew up with one or only read about them in books, secret gardens have always promised a world of possibilities. And there is one such secret garden at the foot of the Pentland Hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh that fulfils some of that promise by not only providing a refuge for nature but also a location to distil gin. Rooted in nature, Secret Garden Distillery was conceived as a place where nature would not only allow the brand to create liquids, seed to sip, but also inspire everything they do. To find out more, we talked to Daniel Cunningham from Secret Garden Gin about sustainability, botanicals, and, of course, a little Christmas gin.