Best in Beer & Spirits: North Carolina
Cardinal Gin ($30 for 750 ml at multiple N.C. locations, online ordering coming soon)
This truly small-batch distillery—they produced only 5,000 cases last year—is located in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Thirty-year-old twin brothers, Charlie and Alex Mauney, have developed a Western-style gin (less juniper, more of other flavorings) that hits with a strong, clean nose of pine.
Note: Local laws may mean liquor has to be sourced through distributors in some states.