Display of Sweetdram's moonshine liqueur alongside a nosing glass

A Moonshine Liqueur

Sour Cherries Allspice Coriander Hibiscus


Kings County make a smooth, estery moonshine, so rather than mask it with artificial flavours and processed sugars, we tried to complement it with a fairly subtle two-month infusion of botanicals and local upstate-grown sour cherries.

Escubac distiller reaching for a pipette to test spirit in a flask

Allspice imparts high levels of eugenol, which roughly mimics the dry wood and vanilla notes extracted from charred new oak during regular maturation, grassy-orange coriander seeds bind the overall flavours, and hibiscus amplifies any berry-jam notes then stretches the finish with a slight acidity.

Escubac distiller erecting a bespoke glass distillation system

At the lower pH, proteins and longer-chain fatty acids come out of solution as in chill filtration to leave a clear magenta liquid. Andrew and Dan fly to Brooklyn twice a year to make A Moonshine Liqueur in very small batches. Pair it neat with a small bar of single-origin dark chocolate.

Display of Sweetdram's smoked spiced rum alongside a rocks glass with ice and lime wheel

A Smoked Spiced Rum

Grains of Paradise Chamomile Lime Leaf Fennel Cardamom Lapsang Souchong Figs

Demerara Rum

Distilled on the only surviving wooden continuous column then matured for at least three years, the rum sourced from Guyana by East London Liquor Company makes for an ideal base, with traces of molasses, butterscotch and raisin bread.

A selection of materials used for designing Escubac recipes

We macerate just enough grains of paradise to stimulate the palate with a gentle mentholated heat then add chamomile and lime leaf for subtropical notes of green pineapple and fleshy coconut milk, anchored by the fennel, cardamom and rich, dried organic figs.

Display of Sweetdram Escubac botanicals in glass jars on shelf

The heavy phenolic content of pine-smoked lapsang souchong gives the false impression of an unusual, lightly-peated single malt. Shake vigorously with fresh lime juice, simple syrup and ice for a complex modern daiquiri.