Old Dog, New Tricks:  White Dog Distilling Makes a Mean Moonshine (and Whiskey, and Rum and Gin)

Carlo Catucci didn’t set out to start a distillery, he was just a guy looking for a hobby. Five years ago, when everyone else was brewing beer at home, Carlo wanted to try something different:  making his own spirits. He started out with vodka then moved on to whiskey and bourbon, finding that, with a little effort and creativity, he could make some good quality booze. What started as a hobby quickly became a passion, and from that, White Dog Distilling was born.

White Dog is a small operation (like really small) run by Carlo, his wife Alecia and their long-time friends – and fellow aficionados – Vincent Greene and Eric Sylvestre. While visiting a local brewery in the Lorraine Mills in Pawtucket a couple of years ago, Carlo looked around and thought to himself, “Wow, look how much can be accomplished in such a small space!” So he and his wife partnered with Eric and Vin to start their own distillery. They rented a space in those same mills where they now make and sell their one-of-a-kind house-made spirits.

Their focus is on quality, their tagline being, “We’d never serve a drop that we wouldn’t drink ourselves.” If you visit the distillery, you can sample their gin, rum, whiskey and even moonshine.  Moonshine, you ask? Isn’t “quality moonshine” an oxymoron? Not necessarily, as this isn’t your weird toothless uncle’s moonshine; it’s a crisp, flavorful drink meant to be served over ice and sipped slowly. The moonshine comes in flavors like mocha and limoncello. Right now they’re serving green apple, which is proving to be a big hit.

Maybe you’re a purist and prefer your booze without fancy flavors. You’re in luck, as White Dog makes a white corn whiskey. The whiskey is white because, unlike other whiskeys and bourbons, it’s not aged in a barrel. You can sip it, or try it in a “white old fashioned,” one of White Dog’s signature cocktails they serve in their tasting room (see recipe below, along with their super popular garden gin and tonic).

No matter what your preference, there’s something for everyone who likes a good drink. If you love trying locally made, high-quality products, head to White Dog Distillery on a Saturday afternoon from 1 – 5pm (more days/hours to be added soon). Their distillery is sadly the only place you can purchase their incredible spirits. That could change, as they plan to start exhibiting at festivals and collaborating with other local entrepreneurs. For now, though, plan a trip to the Pawtucket Mills soon and stock your bar for the summer.

White Old Fashioned: 

Muddle together 1/2 oz cherry juice, 4 splashes aromatic bitters, orange zest & cherry

Add 1 large single cube of ice

Pour 1.5 oz White Dog Corn Whiskey over ice and fruit

Stir and serve with a cherry

Garden Gin & Tonic:

Pack a rocks glass with ice

Add add 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, wedge of grapefruit, lemon and a slice of cucumber

Mix 1.5 oz of White Dog Gin topped with tonic

Pour into shaker and then back into glass gently

Garnish with a strawberry

White Dog Distilling, 560 Mineral Spring Ave, Unit 2-143, Pawtucket; whitedogdistilling.com

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