Durham distillery now offering cocktails in a can

Durham County News

A local distillery is mixing things up by offering cocktails in a can.

The co-owners of Durham Distillery say the canned cocktails are the first of its kind to be made in North Carolina.

“You think about a can maybe not having the best quality product in it, but for us, we’re not going to put out anything that you wouldn’t absolutely enjoy. This is a cocktail you get in a bar, in a can,” said Durham Distillery president and CEO Melissa Katrincic.

Starting Friday the canned cocktails will be available at the distillery, and within the coming weeks, they will be on sale at ABC stores.

The beverages include American dry gin with house-made tonic and cold distilled cucumber vodka soda.

“It lends itself to having hints of cucumber.  We also added a little bit of lime. We amped up the carbonation so it has a lot of fizz,” said Katrincic.

Katrincic and husband Lee Katrincic first looked into opening a distillery in 2013, as Melissa was facing a layoff.

The distillery is now approaching its three-year anniversary. Head distiller Lee, who is a chemist by trade, says they’ve taken a scientific approach to making their spirits such as using vacuum distillation.

The Katrincics say they began toying with the idea of making canned cocktails nine months ago, after seeing the demand for canned local craft beer and wine.

“It’s the portability of them. You take them where you’re going and you can have a high-quality cocktail in a casual environment,” Lee Katrincic said.

The Katrincics say they’ve seen North Carolina’s craft distilling industry grow since they got up and running.

“There was probably only 20 to 25 licensed distillers in the state. Now it’s about 60. They look at sort of the growth of craft distilling in the same trajectory as craft beer and they are saying craft distilling is speeding up,” Melissa Katrincic said.

The Katrincics say they hope as the distilling industry grows, the state ABC system will be more supportive of locally made spirits. 

The couple says if the current canned cocktails are a success, they plan to add more flavors next year.

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