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With three generations of distillers in her family, it’s hardly surprising that Maria Hristova is now in the business herself — as a partner in an old-school farm distillery.
Granted, Hristova’s grandparents and great-grandparents made apricot eau-de-vie in Bulgaria, not whisky and gin like she does now at Prince Edward County’s Kinsip House of Fine Spirits. However, her deep knowledge and brilliant palate help when she’s developing products, as well as stirring up delicious cocktails for visitors at the distillery’s cocktail bar.
Cooper’s Revival Rye Whisky took home a gold medal from the 2019 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition, thanks, in part, to its unique orange marmalade and Port flavours, which come from time spent aging in red wine barrels from neighbouring county wineries. Juniper’s Wit is very much a “modern” gin, featuring plenty of botanicals, including locally sourced lavender and earthy hops, which work together to create a savoury flavour profile — not just the punchy juniper you might taste in a more traditional gin.
We’re really trying to focus on that notion of ‘terroir’ by using local raw ingredients and creating products that are very much of the county. We grow a lot of our own wheat, corn, barley and rye, so that puts us in a very small category of distillers who actually make spirits from our own grain.
Started by two couples (Hristova and her husband, Michael Waterston, with his sister Sarah and her husband, Jeremiah Soucie) on a 70-acre working farm in Bloomfield, Ont., Kinsip is reviving old grain-to-bottle distilling traditions. This family-run farm distillery really comes alive in the summer, when chickens can be seen strolling around the cocktail bar patio, right outside Cooper-Norton House, one of the region’s most striking heritage buildings.
YOU MUST BE 19 YEARS OF AGE TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ONLY DELIVER IN ONTARIO / VOUS DEVEZ AVOIR AU MOINS 19 ANS POUR ACHETER DE L'ALCOOL. VEUILLEZ NOTER QUE NOUS NE LIVRONS PAS À L'EXTÉRIEUR DE L'ONTARIO.