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Dazzling Distilleries on the Lake County Libation Trail 2021

These four dazzling distilleries provide an absolutely divine concoction of flavors.

From rum to gin, absinthe and bourbon, to vodka and liqueur and everything in between, Lake County’s four dazzling distilleries have the perfect adult beverages for cocktail connoisseurs.

Taste one of these eclectic drinks from our distilleries this Lake County Libation Trail and throughout the year. It’s five o’clock somewhere as we enter the November 10-day Check-in Challenge.


Make sure this month, from November 12-21, you note your attendance at one of these maker’s facilities via outdoor dining and/or carry-out or curbside pickup. During Lake County Libation Trail Check-in Challenge, sippers have the opportunity to win a free VIP 3-Stop Lake County Libation Trail Bus Tour courtesy of O’Toole’s.

To enter, patrons will text “CHEERS” to 224-706-1133. Let’s explore the local distilleries in Lake County.

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich

The Lake Zurich distillery puts the L in “gimme a liddle fiddle.” Copper Fiddle created small-batch gin and other spirits since 2012. The distillery’s story is derived from a family heirloom passed down from generation – that heirloom being a violin. This 1906 musical instrument’s sound is what the Lake Zurich distillery utilized as a metaphor for the smoothness of their gin and bourbon whiskey. The “Illinois-Made” recipient creates each drink from scratch. Copper Fiddle offers gins, rums, and bourbon whiskeys. For their superior drinks, Copper Fiddle has achieved two American Craft Spirit Awards and an American Distilling Institute Award. In 2020, Copper Fiddle also added vodkas to their repertoire. At the beginning of the pandemic, the  distillery provided nearly 100 bottles of sanitizer for police and fire departments in the area. It usually takes around seven days to make a supply, but the Lake County Libation Trail team utilized 45 cases of unsold bottles of rum to accelerate the process.

Copper Fiddle Distillery, 532 W. Illinois Route 22, Suite 110, Lake Zurich.

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks

North Shore Distillery is the first craft distillery in the land of Lincoln. Since 2004, Derek and Sonja Kassebaum (and their larger-than-life friend Ethel) provide vodkas, rums, gins, absinthes and unique seasonal beverages. The self-proclaimed nerds and Illinois-Made inventors love to experiment on new flavors with a plethora of different ingredients, and that’s why the award-winning Green Oaks distillery designs innovative art with their liquid creations. The Green Oaks distillery is open for indoor, outdoor and carryout. At the start of the pandemic, like Copper Fiddle Distillery and 28 Mile, they created hand sanitizer for first responders and heath care workers..

North Shore Distillery, 13990 Rockland Rd., Green Oaks.

Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan

 

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The Waukegan facility that specializes in gin and whiskey is located in Waukegan, but the spirits are created in Wheeling. The Lake County Libation Trail participant creates decadent beverages for the modern townsman, by the modern townsman. The award-winning distillery has notched a slew of awards for their gin – specifically their Reserve Old Tom Gin and American Botanical Gin. The American Gin from Oppidan Spirits contains grapefruit, elderflower, hibiscus for a light floral nose. The superbly balanced gin tastes great neat, or with the complement of a cocktail. For those who aren’t cocktail connoisseurs, Nightshade and Dark’s Brewing Co. is housed in the same residence.

Oppidan Spirits, 220 W. Clayton St., Lot C, Waukegan.

28 Mile Distillery in Highwood

The Highwood facility is the north shore’s premier distillery and lounge. The Lake County Libation Trail participant is donned in art décor (you’ll feel like you’re in a 1920s speakeasy) and has a large garden for live performances. Twenty-eight Mile Vodka also offers space for private parties and tours of the distillery, not to mention a ton of live shows are happening at this venue. The Highwood drinkery has an unbelievable backstory of how these crafters came up with the name and logo of their distillery. The Debonair (the woman on their logo) was a real-life queen during the Prohibition Era. Twenty-eight Mile Vodka also just earned a MicroLiquor Spirit 2019 Triple Gold Award for Extraordinary Taste and Highest Recommendation. The distillery has notched accolades for its liquor and was pivotal during the height of the pandemic as they supplied first-responders with hand sanitizer. The recently created bourbon from 28 Mile Distilling Co. is the November 2021 Libation of the Month.

28 Mile Distilling Co., 454 Sheridan Rd. Highwood.


Looking for a new local drink to try? Click here to learn more about the VLC staff’s favorite drinks on the Libation Trail. Continue here to learn more about dazzling distilleries on the Lake County Libation Trail, and more about the November Check-in Challenge. Click here to register for the check-in challenge.

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