Is there any better way to spend a Saturday than with brunch and a vodka distillery tour? That's exactly what my friend, Vinocity Vicki, and I did. Tossing aside our new year's resolutions to not overindulge, we headed first to Frankford Hall for brunch, then to Federal Distilling for a Stateside Urbancraft Vodka tasting.
Located in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, from the outside the building looks rather nondescript. When you walk inside, it's a very hip, industrial biergarten, complete with a ping pong table and big picnic table type seating. There are even giant garage doors that open, so that when the weather is nice, the garage doors come open creating an even more open space.
Well, it’s a Steven Starr restaurant, so with restaurants including Buddakan, the Continental (just to name two in the Starr restaurant group), you know it’s going to be great! Frankford Hall serves traditional German fare like giant pretzels, wursts and spatzle, but we were there for brunch! So what does that mean? Bloody Marys for starters! For food, Vinocity Vicki and I each ordered buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote, and split potato pancakes with smoked salmon. Everything was delicious, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We should have split an order of pancakes like we did with the smoked salmon.
After a fantastic brunch, we headed a few blocks over to Federal Distilling Room (aka, “FDR”) for a vodka distillery tour of it’s Stateside Urbancraft Vodka (aka, “SUV”)!
FDR/SUV had humble beginnings - brothers setting up a still in their parents’ basement. Five years later, after perfecting their craft, they’re making some seriously delicious vodka. The tour started with a vodka sample, which is… a shot of vodka. Now I’m not a big drinker, but the vodka was delish! The distiller then takes you into the actual distillery to explain how FDR got started, where the name came from and the distilling process, most of which I don’t remember after a Bloody Mary AND a shot of vodka, but I'm pretty sure it was super interesting! You can read the whole story here!
FDR is not just a distillery, there’s also a tasting room/lounge. When Vinocity Vicki and I walked in to take our tour, there were people in the lounge, just there for drinks. After the tour, we decided to indulge in cocktails. Why not? I had “Imma Come At You Like A Spider Monkey” made with, well, vodka, cider, orange bitters and cinnamon….YUM! Vinocity Vicki had a “Fall Inclusive” made from jalapeno infused vodka, lemon, lime, orange liqueur and cranberry juice…also yummy!
They also have a limited food menu, so you can even have a bite to eat with your cocktails!
Cool re-purpose: Imperfect vodka bottles that can't be used in the bottling process get re-purposed into drinks glasses! And you can buy them! How cool is that?