The founders of Standard Wormwood Distillery live a life that is anything but standard.
Brooklyn roommates Taras Hrabowsky and Sasha Selimotic began experimenting (illegally) with wormwood herb spirits and making home-brewed batches in their Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment in the early 2000s, drawn to the fact that this liquor could previously only be found in speakeasies. Illegally, because wormwood was a banned ingredient due to concerns about thujone, a chemical found in it. But Taras and Sasha loved this herb’s “lucid, wakeful feel” so much that they carried on playing with it.
So, what do you get when you vapor infuse a rye whiskey with the wormwood herb? Some pretty whiskey business. Their Wormwood Rye is inspired by traditional herbal absinthe, yet blazes its own trail as a one-of-a-kind spirit. The result is a smoky, spicy rye with the feel of an absinthe.
Fortunately for us, the ban was lifted in 2007 once it was determined by the FDA that wormwood was safe (woo hoo!). Their hobby morphed into a full-blown enterprise and now we’re all able to enjoy the alluring qualities of wormwood spirits.
One thing’s for sure, Standard Wormwood Distillery has set a new, well, standard, for wormwood spirits.