Melissa Katrincic ’97 and her husband, Lee, only loaded their gins onto store shelves in August 2015, but their Durham Distillery has already racked up a slew of honors—including North Carolina Distillery of the Year from the 2015 New York International Spirits Competition, a USA Today Readers’ Choice Award for best craft gin distillery, and a gold medal from the 2016 San Francisco Spirits Competition.
Lee works as a pharmaceutical chemist, and Melissa majored in physics at Bryn Mawr. She says her science background—the experience with meticulous planning, careful data collection, and close analysis—has helped make her a successful (and award-winning) distiller. The results include an American dry and Conniption Navy Strength Gin, along with chocolate- and coffee-flavored liqueurs.
“Distillation is science and art combined,” Katrincic says, “and I love every minute of it.”