Koval Distillery in Ravenswood bills itself as Chicago’s first boutique kosher and organic distillery. I guess that distinguishes it from the guys in the bathtub gin business a while back. The young owners are husband-and-wife team Sonat and Robert Birnecker, the latter from an Austrian family of distillers. I’ve tried two of Koval’s five grain spirits, Rye Chicago and Midwest Wheat (each $39), and while clear like vodka, their grain and fruit flavors captivate. What would Capone have thought?
Photograph: Michael Boone