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The latest and greatest addition to Dorchester blends old and new for a beautiful and inviting space that is steeped in history and delicious spirits. We have been looking forward to visiting Boston Harbor Distillery since we first started to hear about it, and a trip to the boat mechanic right next door on Saturday was the perfect opportunity to stop in.

The space absolutely beautiful, jaw-dropping, really, with massive high ceilings, exposed beams and brick, an historic building lovingly refurbished into a rustic yet modern tasting room and distillery space.  

Boston Harbor Distillery

Our visit was a quick one, and as a result I didn’t take many photos, but you can probably see just from these two how lovely all of the details are. Upon our arrival, distillery co-owner Corey took us around for a tour, sharing the history of the building, which had previously housed a nail factory and boat builder. All of the distillery’s products are named with a nod to previous building occupants, a nice way to fold in the old with the new. With so much having happened in one building, I wondered if the spirits in the bottle and barrels were the only spirits in that space?

As we went along we learned about the distilling process and saw what we were really looking for, Boston Harbor Distillery’s Putnam New England Whiskey, still in the barrel. We also got to taste the spirits that are currently available, Lawley’s New England Spirit, Lawley’s Dark New England Spirit, and Seymour’s Local Roast Coffee Liqueur, all really delicious and different from one another. We also tried a sample of a New England Daiquiri, made with Lawley’s New England Spirit. You can find the cocktail recipe on the Boston Harbor Distillery website.

Boston Harbor Distillery  The two New England spirits are basically rums, but because the distillery distills them from molasses and maple syrup, they can’t legally call them rum. Either way, they are delicious.

Boston Harbor Distillery

We left with a Lawley’s Dark New England Spirit, which is perfect with some ice and seltzer, we found. After some discussion my husband returned the next day for Seymour’s Local Roast Coffee Liqueur, which we think would be the perfect addition to an iced coffee on a hot summer afternoon. The whiskey is not quite ready yet, but we will be keeping a close eye on our emails to find out when it will be. The distillery has some fun plans in the future, including possible sale of cocktails, which would be a really great addition to the Dorchester going out scene. Hopefully they will be able to cut through all of the red tape and to make these ideas realities in the not-so-distant future.

It’s great to have a new small business in Dorchester and to give more people reason to come down to our part of Boston so they can see for themselves how great it really is. I look forward to seeing what comes next for Boston Harbor Distillery and wish  them all the luck as they make their way into a hopefully very busy summer.

For more on things to do in Dorchester, visit this post.

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Tags: Boston, cocktails, distillery, Dorchester, rum

Boston is constantly surprising me with new restaurants, new events, new friends, and new business opportunities. I complain about it once in awhile, but I am constantly pleased by its growth and the innovative people living and working here. (As long as winter stays warm, I might even stay awhile.)

Last night I attended an event organized by a blog friend, Lena at what I predict will be one of South Boston’s hottest new businesses, Grand Ten Distillery.  Just a short walk between the Broadway and Andrew red line stops, nestled in the complex with the famed Peter Welch’s gym that I fear, is a distillery, craftily cranking out some fantastic spirits.

Wire Works Gin

Grand Ten’s location, once part of the ocean, went through an interesting history, once an iron foundry and then a wire making facility. Today it’s fairly industrial, but in a fun, clean, way, and the owners of Grand Ten, Matt and Spencer, really have put a lot of work into making it a great space. South Boston

Grand Ten Distillers

I liked all of the nice touches, including this wooden sign and door. Rustic wood and clean white walls make for a nice contrast, and I can’t wait to see when the official tasting room is open.

Grand Ten

Grand Ten had quite a few spirits up their sleeves for us to try.

Grand Ten

First up was their Wire Works Gin. I am typically a little afraid of gin unless it’s mixed with a good bit of tonic and lime, but I was able to enjoy this very smooth gin, which gets a nice acidity from Massachusetts cranberries, on its own. It was also great in a gin and tonic, no lime, because the gin itself has enough acidity. I never really thought about it before, but it made sense.

Wire Works Gin

While we sipped gin and tonics or martinis, we toured the distilling facility.

Grand Ten Distillery

There’s a lot of fun stuff going on in this distillery and lots to see and smell. Most of all I loved the open top fermentation tank of molasses. In addition to gin, Grand Ten is making a ridiculously good vodka called Fire Puncher whose name has Southie roots and whose flavor is all smoke and spice, perfect on its own and ideal in a Bloody Mary. They’re using that molasses to make Medford Rum, an old style rum rumored to have been consumed by Paul Revere.


Everything at Grand Ten is hand made, hand bottled, hand labeled, and basically hand sold. The owners physically bring their product to stores and bars for bartenders and store owners to taste, and it has been a hit so far. The only other distillery I have visited was Bushmill’s in Northern Ireland which produces on an international scale. This time around it was neat to see a small and local production happening so close to home.


Grand Ten gin can currently be found in a bunch of bars and liquor stores in the Boston area, and once others taste these easy-to-drink, tasty spirits, I am sure they will be selling like wildfire. Here’s where to go to look for Grand Ten right now.

Grand Ten will be opening up to the public within the next few weeks for tasting and touring, and from the looks of it they have a bunch of delicious projects in the works. My husband will love the vodka, and we will definitely be making the short journey from our Dorchester home to visit.

Thanks to Grand Ten for hosting us and Lena for inviting me!

What’s your favorite cocktail/spirit?

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Tags: cocktails, distillery, local business, South Boston, spirits

What is your favorite cocktail? I usually stick to wine or beer, but every now and then I do enjoy a cocktail, and I definitely like to mix it up. Right now, my cocktail of choice is Bushmills and ginger ale, simple but zesty and flavorful. On our recent visit to Northern Ireland, the Bushmills Distillery was a must-stop.  After a long, breathtaking coastal drive, we found ourselves at the centuries-old, still working distillery, ready to tour and taste.


Beyond the parking lot, a complex of old stone buildings sit in front of the River Bush.


Arrows pointed us to the visitor center where we purchased our tickets and did some browsing before the tour.

Bushmills Visitor Center

Bushmills barrels

Whiskey barrels and an old still make up some of the décor in the center, which also houses a café and tasting bar.

Bushmills tasting room

Once inside, we also saw a gift shop, complete with walls of whiskey, whiskey candies like caramel and fudge, glasses, and Bushmills apparel.

Bushmills whiskey

When our designated tour time came, we met our small group and our guide, Peter Wilson, who ended up being completely fantastic. Unfortunately, due to the alcohol vapors in the air, all electronics had to be turned off, lest a spark cause the entire place to explode. Safety first, but that meant no photos of the actual tour. I decided not to risk it for the sake of the blog Winking smile

As we walked through the distillery, we learned that all Bushmills, no matter where you drink it, comes from this little factory in the North of Ireland which gets its source of water from the River Bush. They actually built the distillery over the river, so as we walked through we were walking over the river; we just couldn’t see it!  We got to see (and smell!) the process of making whiskey, which you can read about in their illustrated, step-by-step explanation on the Bushmills website. From the mash to the bottle room, we got to see the birth of new whiskey. The tour ends back at the tasting bar, where participants can choose from several types of whiskey for a taste.

Bushmills whiskey

I opted for the Bushmills 12 year single malt whiskey. Only available at the distillery, Bushmills says the following about this whiskey:

The Bushmills Malt ‘Distillery Reserve’ 12 Year Old, is matured mainly in former Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks which lend a deep amber colour and wonderful dried fruit aromas to this whiskey. Like all Bushmills whiskeys, it is gentle and approachable, with added weight.

Bushmills whiskey

Before we left, we purchased a bottle of Bushmills Black Bush whiskey for Eric’s parents. It was later turned into late-night hot whiskeys, sipped while watching The Quiet Man, listening to the hubby play the piano, and thawing out in front of a fire before bed.



Now, tell me, what is your favorite cocktail?

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Tags: Bushmills, distillery, Northern Ireland, tourism, tours, Travel, whiskey

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