Make Your Holidays Merry and Bright with Distillery Cheer | Black Hills Travel Blog

Make Your Holidays Merry and Bright with Distillery Cheer

  • Make Your Holidays Merry and Bright with Distillery Cheer
    Make Your Holidays Merry and Bright with Distillery Cheer
By : 
Morgan

Ready or not, the holidays are here. They bring joy and good tidings as you gather with friends and family to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you want to add a new tradition to your festivities, are looking for gift ideas or need to find a way to cope with that one aunt or uncle (we all have that one) – two local distilleries in the Black Hills and Badlands are sure to warm your spirits this holiday season.

Badlands Distillery
Located on I-90 at Exit 150 in Kadoka, Badlands Distillery is an artisan distiller of handcrafted spirits. The local, family-owned and operated business has a history of bootlegging since the 1920s. Their Special Reserve even uses the original recipe that’s been handed down through generations.

This ground to glass establishment uses corn grown on their family farm – right here in the Badlands – to make their traditional bourbon mash that’s placed in a barrel and aged into fine whiskey.

Black Hills Contraband
Located in downtown Rapid City, Black Hills Contraband is South Dakota’s first licensed, full distillery offering 14 flavored liqueurs. These spirits are the result of 40 years of perfecting a secret family recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation.

The story goes that the notorious Al Capone once drank the original family recipe while hosting a friend’s wedding at a hotel in Chicago. After his first sip, Capone made the family’s flavored liqueur the most popular drink of the night.

Visit the Distilleries
Both distilleries welcome visitors for free tastings of their spirits. Be sure to make a note of your favorites, so that you can purchase a bottle – or two – before leaving. At Badlands Distillery, the adventurous should try spirits made with local honey, cinnamon, apple, coffee and even jalapeno. Schedule your tour by calling 605-837-3000.

Black Hills Contraband hosts tons of fun events throughout the year, like an 80s costume party complete with a DJ and 80s karaoke. Celebrate the day that prohibition was repealed, Dec. 5, with a 1920s and 30s-themed costume party. For a current calendar of events, follow them on Facebook.

If you want to book a holiday party, Black Hills Contraband can accommodate up to 100 people for a warm gathering. Act now! Dates in December are filling up fast.

Gift Ideas
The distilleries have something for everyone on your gift-giving list. Spirits make great gifts all year long and are the kind of souvenir that is even better enjoyed later. Purchase your favorite spirits on-site or at the growing list of off-site retailers that carry these local creations. The list of locations is continuously growing. For the most up-to-date list, visit their websites or give them a call.

Create a gift basket with a variety of quality products offered at Badlands Distillery, like t-shirts, ornaments, mugs and South Dakota-made products like cheese.

Holiday Drink Recipes
Impress your guests or find a new favorite cocktail with these drink recipes that are sure to liven up your holidays festivities.

Who doesn’t love apple pie? Badlands Distillery’s Cinn-ister Cider uses their Cinn-ister Apple spirit. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar combined with an oak-aged apple-flavored spirit deliver a potent, delicious concoction. The 55 proof or 27.5% ABV spirit is named Cinn-ister for a reason. Enjoy responsibly.

To make a Cinn-ister Cider, heat your favorite apple cider, then mix with 2 ounces of Badlands Distillery Cinn-ister Apple. Garnish with an apple wedge or cinnamon stick and enjoy by a crackling fire.

During the holidays, Black Hills Contraband releases special flavors. Gingerbread tastes like a warm cookie, fresh out of the oven, Holiday Cheer has you swearing you’re drinking whiskey eggnog, and their Cinnamon bears a resemblance to red-hot candies without the punch.

Their Smooth Criminal is instantly transformed into a winter classic when you substitute the Original Contraband Liqueur for one of their holiday flavors in this recipe.

To make a Smooth Criminal, mix a half-ounce of Original Contraband Liqueur and a half-ounce of half-and-half with one and a half ounces of Smooth Bourbon Contraband Liqueur. Add a splash of Butter Schnapps, a splash of soda water and revel in your delicious beverage.

About the Author

Morgan is the Communications Director at Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. She grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where she developed a deep love for the outdoors and adventure. She followed her heart to the mountains and received a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Colorado - Boulder. Her inquisitive nature led her to uncover the many treasures the Black Hills have to offer. She has called them home since 2014.

Enjoy These Upcoming Events

You May Also Be interested In