North Carolina distilleries have reason to celebrate.
Well, many reasons.
State laws that are kinder to distilleries is one, and one piece of evidence for state support came this week with Gov. Roy Cooper proclaiming October as North Carolina Spirits Month.
A couple of the state’s distilleries are celebrating with anniversaries and new spirits.
Come for the rum, they say.
Top of the Hill Organic Distillery in Chapel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 28, will debut its newest spirit, TOPO Organic Carolina Spiced Rum. On Saturday Oct, 7, Lassiter Distilling Co. of Knightdale will celebrate its first year. The celebration is 4-9 p.m. at the distillery, 319 North First Ave.
Lassiter, which makes some really fine rum, will host bakers, an ice cream maker, and live music, among other rum-adjacent offerings, a news release says. The facility will also remain open for tours throughout the duration of the event. I’ll also be there to sell and sign copies of my book, “Still & Barrel: Craft Spirits in the Old North State.”
“The flavors, characters and uniqueness of these local brands are at the heart of what we wanted to express in our rums and throughout our family owned business,” said Rebecca Lassiter, a distillery co-founder, with her husband, Gentry. “We’re also excited to unveil some new collaborations we’ve been working on during this event.”
The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must be 21 or older to sample.
TOPO is donating a portion of the proceeds from its event to Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts.
“Like the rest of our spirits, our Carolina Spiced Rum is hand-crafted, pot-distilled and USDA-certified organic,” the distillery says in a statement. “Made from organic molasses and cane juice and bursting with flavor from spices such as orange peel, vanilla, peppercorn, allspice, clove, and nutmeg, it’s the perfect base for any rum cocktail.
“In addition, we will be hosting a raffle for a TOPO goodie basket, which guests will be eligible to enter if they bring a receipt for a charitable donation made to any organization working to help with disaster relief.”
The menu will include small bites with a New Orleans-style twist, including baked oysters with braised leaks and Tasso Hollandaise and beignets with Carolina Spiced Rum and chocolate sauce.