Welcome to stop #5 on the Brews and Choos project.
Distillery: 28 Mile Vodka, 454 Sheridan Rd., Highwood, Ill.
Train line: Metra Union Pacific North, Highwood station.
Time from Chicago (Ogilvie): 52 minutes, zone E
Distance from station: 300 m
Chicago has far more breweries than distilleries, even though the foundation of all spirits is beer. Also, Chicago's distilleries often congregate in far-out industrial parks away from train lines.
Fortunately, 28 Mile Vodka is exactly what it says on the sign, and only a 3-minute walk from the Highwood station (mile post 28).
Highwood has a colorful history, to say the least. It abuts formerly-dry Highland Park to the south and Fort Sheridan to the north, so for decades the wealthy elite from HP rubbed shoulders with the soldiers from the army base. Now that Fort Sheridan has scaled back to a few Army and government offices, and Highland Park allows booze, Highwood has gotten a better reputation.
Enter a brand-new distillery that produces really good spirits. I had 1-ounce pours of their flagship vodka and their new gin. They also have white whiskey, which I'm happy to pass on until it becomes Bourbon in a couple of years. The vodka had a lovely sweetness and smoothness that would make it great on the rocks or as a top-shelf mixer. The gin had floral and citrus notes and a clean finish, which I wouldn't want to sully with tonic but I would put a drop of dry Vermouth in and take it up with a twist.
I'd like to see the place on a weekend night. I'd bet it's fun.
Beer garden? Yes
Dogs OK? No
Serves food? Small bites, including caviar
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes