Open House at Djinn Spirits in Nashua is March 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
|Andy and Cindy Harthcock, owners of Djinn Spirits distillery in Nashua, NH.|
By Carol Robidoux
Djinn is another word for an ancient spirit with genie-like powers. The "d" is silent, which is why Andy and Cindy Harthcock settled on "Djinn Spirits" as the perfect name for their brand new gin and whiskey distillery, located just off Amherst Street, in Nashua, NH.
"I especially loved that it's a triple entendre," said Andy Harthcock, who put nearly as much care into naming his business as he does in creating each unique batch of spirits.
|Andy Harthcock designed the still used to make Djinn Spirits.|
Aside from the joy of word play, there is the intrigue of a genie unleashed from her bottle, which doubles as their logo. It's an idea which comes close to capturing how it feels to unleash a signature line of spirits in a small but growing niche business, namely the craft distillery.
Secondly, consider the Latin root of the word djinn – genius – which pertains to the enjoyment of life and "the spirit of social enjoyment," particularly fondness for good living, taste, appetite and inclinations.
And not the least of considerations for the Harthcocks is that there's something truly magical about the start-to-finish process of turning murky malt mash into a smooth, potent liquor.
It's a process that Andy Harthcock explains with the precision of a computer engineer – which he is by vocation – and the finesse of an artist, a role he embraces fully, as integral to the art of distillery.
He explains how, after running his home-brewed beer through the still in 150-gallon batches, the resulting 100-proof "white dog whiskey" – akin to moonshine – ages for two to four weeks in white oak barrels.
"It's magical, what a charred barrel does to spirits," says Andy Harthcock.
More magical than, say, fermenting cheese, or slow-drying pig flesh, two things which almost happened, says Harthcock, as he sought to develop a viable side business that could eventually become his full-time passion.
|The same still is used to make whiskey and gin.|
|Andy Harthcock pours a taste of Beat 3 whiskey.|
Harthcock also will book private tours and tastings, and is open to special personalized on-site events. He looks forward to whiskey and gin appreciation classes, for those who have never learned the fine art and complexity of swilling high-end spirits.
Djinn's Beat 3 White Dog white whiskey retails for $25 per bottle. The name is a nod to Cindy Harthcock's heritage, growing up in a dry Mississippi town – the Beat 3 voting district – where the best kept secret was the smooth, white lightning-hot moonshine underground.
Djinn's signature gin is high caliber, at $30 a bottle. But this is where the crafting comes in, as the Harthcock's have labored over a secret blend of botanicals, including juniper and grains-of-paradise with a twist citrus, resulting in a delicate yet potent gin.
Because alcohol manufacturing and sales are highly regulated, Djinn's products are not available at state liquor stores – yet. Twice a month they send in federal reports and tax forms, a process also necessary for state officials here in New Hampshire.
In the meantime, everyone's invited to Djinn's March 8 open house event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring tours, tastings, prizes and giveaways at the distillery, located at 2 Townsend West, Suite 9, in Nashua, in a small industrial park behind Country Tavern.
For a preview of the tour, click the video below. For more information, find Djinn Spirits online, and click here to follow them on Facebook, or contact the Harthcock's at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 617.649.6972.