21st Amendment Distillery

We are proud to be featured in Hop Culture's Top 5 Places to Drink In Vero Beach - Here's what they had to say about us

21st Amendment Distillery co-founder Jeff Palleschi similarly taps into history—American history, that is—respecting a sort of blue-collar work ethic he feels became the foundation of the country he loves. At his distillery, Palleschi hopes that people can come in, sit down, chat, listen to some music, and have a nice craft cocktail. “I’ve always said we have more in common than we do not in common,” he told me as I sipped on a Bourbon Espresso Martini (because it was 11:59 a.m.).

The former Marine Corps member started getting into spirits in the military. After training exercises, Palleschi says they’d go back to the barracks and drink either beer, bourbon, or American whiskey. “So, really, the choices were beer, Jim Beam, or Jack Daniels,” he laughed.

Expanding his palate and knowledge, Palleschi says he fell in love with what bourbon did for the United States, calling the drink “our spirit.”

“Scotland has Scotch, Ireland has Irish whiskey, the Canadians have Canadian whiskey,” he said. “There are not many things Americans can claim, right?” But bourbon is one of them. 

When Palleschi opened 21st Amendment Distillery, he wanted to capture a “Spirit Worthy of America,” one of the distillery’s mottos.

“I’m pretty patriotic, almost in a nerdy way,” he shared. “We’re making a product worthy of [America’s] hard work and history.”

Palleschi speaks referentially of those blue-collar workers in the early 1900s. “Every day they put on their hard hat, or they went down in their mines, or farmers woke up to work,” he said. “So, to me, it’s sort of plowing a field. It’s like they did that for us and planted all these seeds, and now we have these crops, and we’re so lucky to have what we have because of their hard work.”

You’ll find those nods to American history everywhere at 21st Amendment, from the taproom to the distillery itself. Near the bar, Palleschi plopped a working old-school cigarette machine that he found in an antique store; it reminded the Massachusetts-born businessman of buying packs from similar vending machines for his mom when she dropped him off at hockey practice.

Look above the front door, and you’ll find what Palleschi calls the “Wall of Fame”—flags from deceased veterans encased in local, handmade oak boxes.

In the back of the house, Palleschi keeps a panel of dog tags close to the door. “Anybody that serves…we stick that up there, and they’re a part of what we’re doing here,” says Palleschi.

Similarly, with his stills, Palleschi named both in honor of veterans—one called Jennifer and the other Dale.

The first memorializes Jennifer Harris, a Marine and friend of the family who was the first female killed in Afghanistan. The second pays homage to an Army Corporal and son of someone close to Palleschi who died during an ambush. Each still has a plaque with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. “Those are very special to us,” said Palleschi.

There is something pretty special going on at 21st Amendment Distillery. During the almost three hours I spent with Palleschi, he said hello to almost everyone who walked in the door, on a first-name basis with most.

When it comes to the spirits, “I like to think outside the box,” shared Palleschi.

In the espresso martini, the distillery’s third or fourth most popular cocktail, you’ll find coffee aged in a once-used whiskey barrel that continually rotates for thirty days, picking up oaky characteristics from the barrel.

Palleschi says he hopes to turn whiskey in those barrels soon to mimic how the spirit traveled in barrels back in the day. “When whiskey was coming down the Mississippi River into New Orleans, a lot of times storms would keep boats on the water … sometimes for thirthy days,” Palleschi said. “Well, what people found on the other end in New Orleans was, holy cow … the whiskey is late, but it tastes better. And part of the reasoning was that when it’s on the water, and moving in the barrel sloshing around … it’s touching all parts.”

Cocktails rotate with Palleschi even investing in a system for what they call “Taptails,” or cocktails on tap.

Behind the bar, you’ll find something called a Squarrel. The ten-gallon tank has interchangeable staves, so you can put spirits into it, changing the types of wood to get different flavors.

Most recently, Palleschi says they put their agave in the Squarrel, changing the harsher clear liquid to a mellow, oaky pot of gold. “It’s terrific,” shared Palleschi. “Caramelly and un-fricking-believable.”

But the beauty of 21st Amendment is that you can be any drinker you want to be.

“If you want, [you can] use our best whiskey and mix it with Coke,” said Palleschi, who wouldn’t personally drink whiskey that way (he likes his with a big ice cube in the summer and neat in the winter).

If you want something super fruity, like the best-summer-selling cocktail called Sundress with fresh watermelon juice, go for it.

If you’d rather share one of seventy-six bottles (so chosen after the year 1776) of a 117.7 proof, four-year-aged, rare-release bourbon whiskey from 21st Amendment’s Commemorative Distillery Series, do it! Palleschi gave me a taste from bottle number forty-six that pleasantly popped on my palate like the numbing spice of a Szechuan peppercorn.

Whether you’re a seasoned drinker or new to the game, like me, Palleschi and 21st Amendment will warmly welcome you in, encouraging you to drink a “Spirit Worthy of America.”

Link to the full Hopculture article here



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