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Boise Drinks: Honey Spirits Are Another Reason to Save the Bees

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Up North Distillery's Honey Spirits are the perhaps the most delicious line of liquors you've never heard of. Handcrafted in Post Falls from pure local honey (no grains), they're technically distilled mead wines and come in three styles: the classic Honey Spirit, which is cut to proof and bottled, the Barrel Finished spirit, which is aged in bourbon barrels for 1 to 2 years, and the Barrel Reserve, which is bourbon barrel-aged for 2 to 3 years.

"We do it all ourselves in small batches from farm to flask," said Up North Co-owner Hilary Mann. "We create the mash. We distill it. We barrel age it on site. We bottle and hand label everything ourselves."

The classic and barrel-finished spirits have taken home awards, but they can still be tough to find at local bars. According to the Idaho State Liquor Division, the only nearby spots that carry the sweet pours right now are Bardenay, hotels that fall under the Pennbridge Lodging umbrella, Whiskey Bar and Backstage Bistro. But liquor stores also stock both bottles, and one of Mann's recommended recipes—which combines the barrel-finished spirit with cranberry juice, sweet and sour, ginger ale and a squeeze of lime—is a perfect say-goodbye-to-summer sip to make at home.