Back in the fall, I spent a few days at TOPO Distillery’s facilities as part of the Terra VITA Sustainable Classroom. It was a strange sort of torture being so close to their organic, 99.6% local (more on that later) array of spirits that includes white whiskey, vodka, and gin. So I asked Esteban McMahan, TOPO’s spirit guide, if he wouldn’t mind hosting a tour and tasting for food bloggers in the Triangle. And he said yes!
The evening started with us bloggers slowly trickling in, a few having fallen prey to the oft-made mistake of going to Top of the Hill restaurant and brewery down the road first. That restaurant provided us with some delicious appetizers.
The pork banh mi on crostada was especially delicious.
It’s also quite loud to crunch on when someone’s speaking. I may or may not know that from personal experience.
Esteban plied us with libations featuring their spirits as we filtered in, and I loved the blueberry cocktail.
It was made with blueberries, simple syrup, lemon juice, and TOPO gin. The gin was a subtle undercurrent, which suits me quite well as I can often find gin overpowering in a drink. Other drinks which I did not sample were a vesper cocktail, heavy on the gin with a pretty curl of lemon—