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A creative spirit

Mason jars containing Idlewild Distillery's spirits.
Travis Poulin / Sky-Hi News |

Idlewild Spirits Distillery in Winter Park offers both unique and classic cocktails from gin, vodka, and several types of bourbon that are distilled on-site. Owner Jeff Ruhle originally wanted to start a brewery after he finished business school at CSU, but found that a distillery would be a more unique offering, especially in Grand County.

Ruhle has home brewed beer for a long time, and in this process he began looking into recipes for distilling. He read many books and DIY manuals on the process, and now uses his own recipes for his spirits.

Idlewild will eventually have a kitchen and offer small plate fare that can be sampled along with their taster flights of spirits. Ruhle said his aim is to have a variety of samples, much like a brewery, but with taster flights of spirits instead of beer. He eventually would like to have about 15 different products of his own available. This is unique to distilleries as most have only one or two signature products that they focus on. They also offer a variety of craft brews on 10 taps, six of which are rotating. To accompany their distilled products, Idlewild also makes many of their own mixers such as ginger beer.

Idlewild is in the process of ordering bottles and will start bottling their products soon. They offer a 20 percent locals discount, so if you are looking for a new place to grab a drink Idlewild would love to give you a taste of Grand County made spirits. Idlewild is located at 78737 US Highway 40, #1000 in Winter Park and is open from 3 – 10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.


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