LAWRENCEVILLE DISTILLING CO.
INTERVIEW WITH: Joe DeGroot, distiller
YEAR STARTED: 2018
How did your business start?
Joe and Dave were fascinated by absinthe and spent years tasting every sample that they could find and reading about the history of this misunderstood, mal-aligned spirit. At some point this tipped (tippled?) into production methods and distillation, and the dream of producing an absinthe with a pre-ban recipe began.
What do you find to be the most rewarding part about your work?
Releasing each new batch of absinthe and seeing how small tweaks to production methods and the origins of ingredients inform the final flavors. It’s something you can only really observe in small batches, working by hand.
Also, when a customer discovers that they love our gin, after they thought that they were ruined on gin after a night of over indulgence.
What is something about your product that many customers might be surprised to learn?
Our 1129 Ridge Ave. Absinthe Traditionelle is distilled with strict adherence to the traditional 1855 French recipe for absinthe. Absinthe was originally outlawed due to a popular vote as the result of a very successful misinformation campaign propagated by the turn of the twentieth-century French wine industry. Fake news!
What is the most popular item that you sell?
While our Parking Chair Vodka and Ginzer American Gin both have garnered attention locally and have each won medals in national spirits competitions, it is our award-winning 1129 Absinthe Traditionelle that brings people from all over to our distillery.
What are 5 things you just can't live without?
1. My absinthe spoon of course
2. My guitar
When not at the Holy Cross Farmers Market, where can we find you and/or buy your products?
Our distillery is located at 5410 Harrison St. in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and coming very soon to select PA Fine Wine & Spirits stores. Check our website for availability.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses your products that you'd like to share?
An old classic, The Corpse Reviver #2
1oz Ginzer American Gin
1oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon juice
1oz Lillet Blanc
1oz Triple Sec
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass.
Float a dash of 1129 Absinthe Traditionelle on top