News & Events

The Best of Vermont Festival

Find us at the Best of Vermont Festival presented by Okemo Valley! We’ll be serving tastings on Sunday, August 29th from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM as we celebrate Vermont products, distilleries, wineries, food and art. Pick up some bottles of your favorite Mad River Distillers spirits, and find other local food and drink. There will be music, dance, balloon rides, animals, games, crafts, contests, and fireworks!

The Best of Vermont Festival

Find us at the Best of Vermont Festival presented by Okemo Valley! We’ll be serving tastings on Saturday, August 28th from 12:00-7:00 PM as we celebrate Vermont products, distilleries, wineries, food and art. Pick up some bottles of your favorite Mad River Distillers spirits, and find other local food and drink. There will be music, dance, balloon rides, animals, games, crafts, contests, and fireworks!

VRGA ReConnect Burlington

Join the VRGA (Vermont Retail and Grocers Association) at our Tasting Room in Burlington on Thursday, August 26th to “ReConnect” for an evening. Members and local business owners are all invited to join the VRGA team for a drink and to learn how they support businesses every day. From cost saving benefits (such as a managed 401k program, dental insurance, reduced processing fees) to keeping members up to date on the latest rules and regulations, VRGA makes it easier to own your business. Come and grab a seat at the bar to learn more!

Pig Roast & Mad River Cocktail Pairings

Join us at Lock 50 Restaurant & Wine Bar in Worcester on August 19th at 6:00 PM for a Pig Roast & Mad River Cocktail pairing on the patio! Tickets include a pig roast with all the fixings, cocktails, a raffle, and live island music by Panneubean Steel. Featured cocktails include a Rum 44 Grapefruit Mojito, Birds of Paradise, Tiki Fashioned, and Coco Loco Swizzle. We hope to see you there!

VCWA Virtual Global Trivia Night

Join the Vermont Council on World Affairs (VCWA) at Mad River Distillers on Wednesday, August 18th at 6:00 PM ET for a Virtual Global Trivia Night! Test your knowledge of all things global–history, geography, sports, international treaties, and other random world facts–for the chance to win an exclusive prize from Mad River Distillers! The event will be held via Zoom, so you can join right from the comfort of your home.

This is a free event open to the public, but registration is required and donations in support of the VCWA are encouraged. For more event details and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151855934187 or https://www.vcwa.org/upcoming-events/global-trivia

By in Blog Comments Off on Bartender Spotlight Series: Emily Morton of The 126

Bartender Spotlight Series: Emily Morton of The 126

Have you discovered The 126?

Located at 126 College Street in Burlington, Vermont is The 126. Step inside and you will discover a bustling cocktail lounge filled with soft jazz music, the sound of cocktails being shaken, and patrons enjoying libations (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) made by the excellent Bartenders. Originally opened as Deli 126 in April of 2018, The 126 has quickly become a staple watering hole in Burlington. You will even find other local Bartenders there, among the other customers, enjoying their time off the clock. With a great cocktail menu, draft list, wine and cider options, as well as a Temperance Menu, The 126 has something for everyone. Events like movie marathons, food pop-ups, jam sessions, and live music round out the great experiences that they provide for the community.

The manager of this wonderful bar is none other than Emily Morton, 2019 Vermont Bartender of the Year. Emily describes herself as one part Bartender and one part historic preservationist (she earned a degree in this field!). She loves researching how the history of food and drink trends have evolved and shaped our world over the years, and what that means for current trends. She is always curious about learning more from the past so that she can apply them to the present. One passion of hers is to curate a menu that caters towards people who don’t drink alcohol, but still want the ability to go out and socialize and enjoy a delicious beverage. A lot of the people around her choose not to drink so she wanted to provide a whole menu of options for them. Using ingredients like brewed tea, distilled non-alcoholic spirits and homemade shrubs, she has been able to create an impressive array of Temperance Cocktails available at the bar.

She of course is still a very big fan of creating cocktails with alcoholic spirits. Given her curiosity about cocktails in the 20s, and the theme of The 126, she is steered towards classic cocktails using traditional ingredients. Being based in Vermont though, where Vermont-produced ingredients are plentiful, she always tries to incorporate them onto the menu. Being a big fan of our Bourbon Whiskey, she wanted to use our spirit in one of her original cocktails for the current menu.

The Donchester Arrow

Located in one of the bathrooms of the bar is a framed print depicting ‘The Donchester Arrow’, a type of evening shirt that was popular back in the 20s and worn by many men who ventured into speakeasies. Under the image it reads; ‘immaculate and in its place’, describing the classic and everlasting nature of the style. This quote is what specifically inspired Emily to create The Donchester Arrow cocktail. She wanted to create something that could withstand the test of time, that used old and new techniques, and included ingredients that haven’t been more widely used since the 20s. She decided to base the framework of her cocktail off of the classic cocktail, The Old Fashioned. Known as the ‘original cocktail’ this drink is one of few that has stood the test of time. It is still widely consumed to this day, and is the inspiration for other cocktails. Emily knew she also wanted to use sherry as one of the ingredients because it was used regularly in cocktails in the 20s, but it hasn’t made quite the comeback since then. She’s a fan of the nutty flavor and rich taste they bring to cocktails, and the fact that they pair well with Bourbon, the traditional spirit used in Old Fashioneds. Our Bourbon Whiskey in particular is a mash of corn, wheat barley and oats, and is aged for about 1.5 years in new oak barrels. Due to the amount of corn in the mash, the finished spirit is extremely smooth on the palate with a distinct corn sweetness.

After tinkering with different ratios, Sherrys, and other complimentary ingredients, she finally nailed down the recipe. The Donchester Arrow includes our Bourbon Whiskey, Amontillado Sherry, Asuncion Oloroso Sherry, Angostura Bitters, and Demerara sugar. Upon first sip you immediately get the rich, nutty flavor of the sherry, but roll it around on your tongue and you can taste the distinct flavor of our bourbon. The bitters and the sugar balance everything nicely in the end so that it all goes down smoothly. With this cocktail, Emily was able to bring old and new together. With the ingredients, methods, and flavors, she brought a classic 20s cocktail to the 21st century to be enjoyed.

Be sure to visit Emily Morton and her team at The 126 for delicious libations (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), great local music, and a great atmosphere to hang out in.

Written and published by Isabelle Federico on February 10, 2020.
Edited by Brianne Lucas on August 17, 2021.

Friends of Acadia 32nd Annual Benefit and Auction

Attend this live and silent online benefit and auction on August 14th at 7:00 PM to help raise critical funds for important conservation projects at Acadia Park. Auction items include:

  • A Mad River Valley Vermont Getaway with an overnight stay and dinner for two at the Tucker Hill Inn in Waitsfield, a distillery tour and tasting at Mad River Distillers in Warren, and a gift certificate to Mad River Taste Place in Waitsfield.
  • Cocktails for Ten with Mad River Distillers handcrafted cocktails. President Mimi Buttenheim will come to you on Mount Desert Island, ME between August 15th and August 21st for a private tasting for up to 10 people at your home or camp.

For event details: https://friendsofacadia.org/annual-benefit/

Tasting at J. Shields & Co. in Canton, MA

Join Maeghan Phillips from Mad River Distillers on Friday, August 13th at J. Shields & Co. in Canton, MA. She'll be offering complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 5:00-7:00 PM (EDT). Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

Tasting at MB Spirits in Waltham, MA

Join Sean Mullen from Mad River Distillers this Friday at Mb Spirits in Waltham, MA. He'll be offering complimentary tastings from our line of spirits between 4:00-7:00 PM (EDT). Feel free to ask questions! Bottles will be available for purchase.

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Virtual Cocktail Class for a Cause to Benefit Breakthrough Greater Boston

Virtual Cocktail Class for a Cause to Benefit Breakthrough Greater Boston

When: June 17th, 2021

Time: 7 - 8 pm via Zoom

Join Taylor Sacco as he demos cocktail making basics with an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan and a Mint Julep. June's Cocktails for a Cause Class benefits Breakthrough Greater Boston, which prepares low-income students for success in college and trains the next generation of urban teachers using a unique Students Teaching Students model. Through their programming, they are building the next generation of teachers through competitive recruitment, research-based training, and coaching from master teachers.

Register HERE!

Tickets are purchased by donation and all proceeds will be donated directly to Breakthrough. To learn more about Breakthrough Greater Boston: http://breakthroughgreaterboston.org/

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Come work with us!

Come work with us!

We are hiring for the following positions:

Part Time Retail Sales and Tasting Room Server - Burlington

Come work in a fun and fast paced environment at our downtown tasting room and retail store. You must have a love of spirits, be comfortable talking to people, and quick on your feet! You will be trained to check in and cash out customers, stock the store, and serve tastings, simple food items and cocktails. 2 shifts per week to start and potential for more hours as Covid restrictions are lifted. Hourly wage depending on experience ($13-15/hr) plus tips in a tip pool. Everyone who works in our store is trained to do every job and we work as a team. 

Must be able to lift 40 pounds. 18+ to serve alcohol. Please send email of interest and resume to retail@madriverdistillers.com

Sales and Marketing

This position could be part time (15 - 20 hours per week) or full time combined with a position in the store (see above), or combined with tastings at VT events to make a full time position, depending on your location. This is an entry level marketing position, responsible for executing our marketing plan. There are 5 components that need weekly attention, and you would be working from home in combination with visits to the distillery in Warren and the tasting room in Burlington (unless you were also working in the Burlington store.)

Website: update menus and information like hours and items in the online store.

Social media: post according to our social calendar and generate content.

Email: update email newsletter lists and generate draft email newsletters.

Marketing Materials: organize and keep up to date recipe files and photos, and generate new menus and selling materials using Canva.

Events: help plan and execute events, and keep the event calendar current on the website and on Facebook. Examples of events include cocktail classes, off-site tastings, and promotional events in our Burlington tasting room.

Computer skills are important as you will be using the following programs: Canva, Social platforms (IG/Facebook/YouTube), Excel, Outlook, Dropbox, FareHarbor, Square, WordPress, WooCommerce, and others! This is an hourly position, compensation depends on experience. Please email statement of interest and your resume to info@madriverdistillers.com.

Virtual Cocktail Class for a Cause with the Vermont Foodbank

Join our very own Taylor Sacco on Wednesday, April 28th from 7pm-8pm for an evening of cocktail making in support of the Vermont Foodbank! (The class will be conducted over zoom).
The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of more than 300 community partners – food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, after-school programs, schools and hospitals. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, provides about 12 million pounds of food annually to people throughout Vermont.
The class will take you through some cocktail making basics, as well as how to mix up a Maple & Brown Sugar Old Fashioned and a Maple Spritz.
Tickets are purchased on a donation basis and all proceeds will be donated directly to the foodbank.

Share the event with friends on Facebook here!

By in Cocktails, RUM 44 Comments Off on Burlington Swizzle

Burlington Swizzle

  • 1.5oz RUM 44
  • 0.75 oz Cinnamon Syrup
  • 0.5 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 4 Dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • Pineapple Prawn

Add ingredients to a shaker without ice and dry shake for about 8-15 seconds. Pour over crushed ice in a Collins glass and swizzle. Top with Angostura Bitters, and Peychaud's Bitters. Garnish with Pineapple Prawn.

By in Cocktails, RUM 44 Comments Off on Parallel People

Parallel People

  • 1.5 oz RUM 44
  • 1 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • Pinch of salt
  • Lime Wheel

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake for about 8-15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with mint sprig and lime wheel.