In Good Spirits

A Spirited

By Cheré Coen  |  Photography courtesy of Old Glory Distilling

Tennessee’s Old Glory is one of many U.S. distilleries honoring U.S. veterans and is a perfect addition to an Independence Day cocktail.

In the spirit of America, and to honor those who have served our country in its time of need, distilleries across the country have taken a patriotic stand.

For example, Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey distills spirits that are hand-bottled with all-natural ingredients by a team that served in every major conflict since the Vietnam War. The name comes from the Green Berets who served in northern Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Because of the mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, one Special Operations team rode horses and were nicknamed “Horse Soldiers.”

The company is located in St. Petersburg, Fla., and creates small-batch rums, vodka, and gins with its bourbon aged in Columbus, Ohio.

Patriarch Distillers in La Vista, Neb., not only produces various spirits but lists their core values as “family, faith, and service to our country.” They produce four products in their Soldier Valley Spirits line: rum, bourbon, vodka, and a variety of whiskeys. Their Soldier Valley True American 6 Bourbon, for example, is a small-batch, traditional bourbon that’s won a Double Gold Medal award from the 2014 San Francisco International Spirit Competition and a Gold Medal at the 2014 Denver International Spirit Competition.

Both companies sell their products at the Memphis Naval Support Activity Mid-South location in Millington, Tenn.

Over in Colorado Springs, 1350 Distilling produces craft vodka, rum, gin and whiskey, each representing a different military branch. Blue Jacket Rum produced from Louisiana sugar cane molasses and Colorado sugar beets, for instance, refers to the men in blue who serve in the U.S. Navy. The company name pays homage to the 13 stripes and 50 stars in the American flag.

Both Patriarch and 1350 Distilling give to local and national charities honoring veterans.

Old Glory Distilling Co. in Clarksville, Tenn., uses regional grains to make its small-batch Tennessee whiskey, bourbon, gin, rum, moonshine, and vodka. The company started when Matt Cunningham experimented with craft distilling while working as a full-time firefighter.

We had hoped to speak with Cunningham for this issue produced in May, but the distillery was working non-stop creating hand sanitizer to combat the COVID-19 virus. Instead, we’ll leave you with his words pulled from the company website:

“Growing up right here in Clarksville, the idea behind the distillery was so much more than a business to me,” Cunningham writes on the site. “More than anything, it was an opportunity to bring something to the city that everyone would be excited about and proud to call their own. This is not my distillery. This is Clarksville’s Old Glory Distilling Company, and the products we proudly craft are a representation of the hardworking, patriotic, and unyielding character that embodies our city and this great country.”

To celebrate our country’s birth, we’re spotlighting a sweet bourbon lemonade cocktail from Old Glory. The distiller’s products are sold at Wilkinson Liquors, Navy Liquor Store, The Stellar Cellar, and Sasha Wine and Liquor in the Memphis area.

For additional patriotic recipes, visit

Bourbon Lemonade
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions: Mix well the first two ingredients and pour over ice into a cocktail glass. Fill the rest of the glass with lemonade and stir. Garnish with blueberries and thyme.

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