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June 18, 2018

J. Carver Distillery – Spirits Of Discovery

Post by South Lyndale Liqours

A Personal Look into J. Carver Distillery

J. Carver Distillery

J. Carver Distillery, located in Waconia, Minnesota, was founded by an experienced group with a common love of good food and drink and hospitality. The team is proud to produce distinct spirits inspired by a tradition of craft and curiosity using local grains from just down the road. Jonathan Carver is the namesake for our distillery’s home county. This same spirit of discovery that led pioneers like Jonathan Carver is found at the heart of our distillery. We are driven to succeed in an emerging and undefined industry. Our J. Carver philosophy is based on developing a strong local presence with a broad range of unique and exceptional spirits including vodka, gin, barrel gin, apple brandy, grape brandy, bourbon, rye whiskey, absinthe, grappa, and liqueurs.

Our slogan is “Spirits of Discovery”. We want to explore whatever unique inputs are available in Minnesota and produce products that are noticeably different and exceptional.

Why Two Vodkas and Four Gins?

J. Carver Distillery

Why are there grains in those J. Carver bottles? Not only are we passionate about producing award-winning spirits at J. Carver Distillery, we are equally passionate about sharing our craft with our guests explaining the science and art of distilling and the aging process.

We have two very distinct vodkas in our J. Carver lineup because the base of these two vodkas allows us to distill our four very unique gins. Here is a glimpse into what differentiates our vodkas and gins. J. Carver Vodka is distilled from 100% local winter wheat and our Lake House Vodka is one of the few multi-grain vodkas in production, Lake House will please and intrigue the most discriminating vodka connoisseur.  With robust notes from rye, sweetness from the corn, and the creamy mouthfeel of winter wheat, this vodka adds a smooth complexity to martinis and a bevy of cocktails.

When our guests visit our facility for a tour, we explain the process of taking our handcrafted J. Carver Vodka and carefully distilling it into J. Carver Gin using a hand-selected mix of nine botanicals.  Traditional juniper is balanced with citrus notes and anise.  For many, this is “the first gin I ever liked”, and it was designed that way!  J. Carver Gin plays beautifully in a number of classic cocktails including Gimlets.

Carver Steinhager Style Gin

was developed in collaboration with the landmark “Black Forest Inn” of Minneapolis.  Using our red winter wheat vodka and juniper as the sole botanical, this sweet, soft, and straightforward gin are popular with many Minnesotans of German heritage.  Steinhager-Style gin is traditionally served frozen as a shot accompanied by a German beer, known as a beer and a bump.

Our distilling team takes that same concept and creates our Grimm Farm Gin. Named after Carver County’s legendary Wendelin Grimm, this “gin-lover’s gin” stands alone in its use of two botanicals unique to Minnesota – Grimm’s everlasting clover and wild rice.  Based on Lake House Vodka and distilled with the flavors of twelve other botanicals including cardamom, orris root and grains of paradise, Grimm Farm Gin was designed with the martini lover in mind.

Take a combination of J. Carver Gin and Grimm Farm Gin, rest in new oak barrels coopered in Avon Minnesota, and you have J. Carver Barrel Gin. Yes!  It’s gold in color!  Yet this “whiskey-lover’s gin” has become the darling spirit of top mixologists across Minnesota.  Dynamic and complex, this gin is distilled with fourteen botanicals including orange and cinnamon and finished in new charred oak barrels coopered in Minnesota.  This hearty, 96-proof gin adds something special to gin and whiskey-based cocktails and begs to be sipped neat or on ice. A must try for the gin or whiskey connoisseur.

The grains and botanicals that give J. Carver spirits their distinctly delicious flavors are the bounties of local Minnesota farms surrounding the distillery. Our process is truly grain-to-glass and our mash even circles back to feed the cows of our local farms. Happiest cows ever! 

Destination Waconia – J. Carver Distillery Tours

Our passion is sharing our craft with our guests!  Visit our cocktail lounge, production facility and barrel room to experience a fun, interactive discovery of the science and art of distilling and the aging process. Our tours and events are very popular! Visit our website at and book your tour today!

Cocktail Recipes

Every Monday, our founding partner, and Sommelier, Gina Holman, posts a Martini Monday and Mixology video teaching you how to create a new tasty cocktail each week using simple, fresh ingredients and our broad line of our J. Carver spirits. Enjoy!

  1. Sage Advice Cocktail
  2. Raspberry Gin Smash

J. Carver Distillery

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