FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Twin Spirits Distillery in Minneapolis for our October meeting on Tuesday, October 15. The program began with a welcome and introduction of guests. Our on-going birthday celebration continued with gift bag door prizes from Twin Spirits Distillery for two lucky attenders!
Owner and distiller, Michelle Winchester lead the facility tour. She became interested in distilling as she neared her fiftieth birthday. She was a stay-at-home mom for years and her husband asked her what she wanted to do when she turned fifty. She jokingly mentioned distilling and what started out as a non-serious comment turned into her second act! She attended a distilling conference and found support from other distillers. Through hard work and lots of research, Twin Spirits Distilling was born.
Michelle walked us through the distilling process of vodka and gin along with samples. We learned that many different substances can be made into vodka–not just potatoes as many people assume! The M Vodka is made from raw cane sugar. All vodka must come out of the still at 190 proof to be called vodka. No worries–it is bottled at 80 proof! Many attenders noted that they typically do not enjoy the flavor of gin–but Michelle’s M Gin has a special blend of botanicals that include cardamom. This helps to reduce the piney flavor that comes from the juniper berries–a required element to be considered gin.
After the tour, it was time for us to learn how to make the perfect cocktail from two of the bartenders. We used Mamma’s Moonshine, Michelle’s honey based liquor (which uses local honey!) that is distilled once per month on the full moon as the base for our fancy Old Fashioned. The bartenders shared their trick of rubbing the orange peel on the inside of the glass. This really added to the flavor of the drink.
There was plenty of time to network and socialize and enjoy bites of cheese and sausage. Michelle and her team did an excellent job answering our many questions and providing a fun, relaxed evening.