Belle Isle Moonshine joins Richmond's craft drink craze - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Belle Isle Moonshine joins Richmond's craft drink craze

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

First, craft beer breweries started popping up across Greater Richmond. Now Richmond offers a new moonshine and local restaurants are serving it up!

Mixologists in local restaurants, like Heritage and The Roosevelt, are already concocting classy cocktails with Belle Isle Moonshine.

Three Richmond area friends, Brian Marks, Vince Riggi, and Alex Wotring, decided to make moonshine, not in a bathtub in the backwoods, but, for starters, in a Chicago distillery.

Said Marks, "I think we've been whiskey lovers our whole lives. I've always had an urge to create something. We felt this was a good area where we could create something that had roots here in Richmond."

Those roots are in Belle Isle's history. Explained Wotring, "Belle Isle Manufacturing was on Belle Isle and during the Civil War, it produced premium copper kettles. During the war, bourbon was outlawed because corn was needed to feed the soldiers."

The partners hope to start making Belle Isle Moonshine in a Richmond distillery in a few months.

Once they do, they say you'll find it on all ABC store shelves. Until then, you can order a bottle for $30 through ABC or find it on shelves at Thompson Street ABC store in Richmond.

They're tapping into a renewed interest in craft brewing and moonshine itself. Said partner Vince Riggi, "More distilleries are popping up. Shows like Moonshiners, as well as Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, they create that enthusiasm for whiskey, not just moonshine.

The three hope it's the cocktail for success. "The whole ride, really, has been able to take this dream of ours and put it into a bottle," said Wotring.

The company website BelleIsleCraftSpirits.com lists restaurants that serve Belle Isle cocktails and their drink recipes.

Belle Isle joins the new local market of distilleries, including Reservoir Whiskey and James River Distillers, which plans to reopen the former Cirrus Vodka distillery soon.

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