This year we have partnered with Silo Distillery to create a line of Hotel Vermont spirits. This project brings a private label gin, vodka and lemon vodka to Hotel Vermont, and do so at a level that would allow for the use of these products to replace international brands as our house offering.
The Hotel Vermont spirits will be the new base for many of our signature and best-loved cocktails. Our vodka was built on a neutral palate with light viscosity to improve its mixability and versatility. The vodka base is enhanced into the gin with juniper through both a steam and steep extraction. Juniper berries, red currant and angelica root are placed in the helmet of the copper still during the initial stripping run and a formulated blend of Juniper berries, red currant and angelica root is steeped in the resultant mix. Hotel Vermont’s experts refined this flavor profile to increase drinkability and included soft green notes from cucumber (added later), and an earthy citrus nose from the angelica. The cucumber, due to its relatively soft nature, goes in right before bottling, for a quick dash of flavor, allowing for further mixing into house-made cocktails, such as tonics and martinis, be they sweet or savory.
Truly making this a farm-to-bar effort, Hotel Vermont’s Food and Beverage Manager, Cameron Keitel, spent two production days with General Manager Erin Bell and Lead Distiller Chris Maggiolo to see their process from grain delivery to fermentation, stripping runs, to finishing. Silo is especially unique in their approach for being the only Vermont Grain to Glass, and also continuing their sustainability efforts beyond their finished product. Corn and rye purchased from Grembowicz Farm in Clarendon, Vermont is fermented, and once stripped of potential alcohol is drained of excess liquid and given to a family pork and dairy operation. Turns out the cows prefer the slimy texture of the rye, while the pigs turn their noses up at anything but the sweet and slightly sour corn mash. The fermentation of the grains actually benefits the livestock beyond the addictive taste, especially in winter, aiding in digestion and allowing for better weight gain of the animals. Silo’s partnership with the farm has allowed the distillery to keep thousands of gallons of wastewater out of the city water system, while the benefitting farm has seen a large enough savings in purchased feed that they have underwritten the construction of larger holding tanks for spend corn and rye mashes.
We are proud to serve this hand crafted Vermont spirit at our bar and are looking forward to many more years of partnership with Silo!