10 Things to Know About Durham Distillery and Conniption Gin

In honor of Durham Distillery’s 10-year anny, here’s 10 things to know.

He was a chemist, she did marketing—could a gin distillery be any more obvious? Fast-forward 10 years and the idea born on a fateful drive back from a weekend anniversary trip to Savannah is now celebrating a decade—and what started as a random business concept by husband-and-wife founders Melissa and Lee Katrincic has now burgeoned into one of the most successful gin companies in the country. 

With several award-winning bottles under its belt—the most recent being the purple Conniption Kinship Gin (you can’t miss it)—the successful spirits are available in myriad markets, from New York to Georgia to Florida, with plans to expand even farther. 

And of course there’s also the ever-popular Bull City cocktail lounge and bar, Corpse Reviver. But the ultimate goal? “If we do this right, I want Conniption to be seen in the next five to 10 years as the highest-quality American gin,” says Melissa. “I know it’s a really big reach, but I want Conniption to be to gin what Tito’s is to vodka for America.” Cheers to dreaming big.

1 The name “conniption” comes from Melissa’s Grandma Gertrude’s “Well, don’t have a conniption fit” saying

2 It’s been smooth sipping ever since Durham Distillery released its Conniption Cocktails, aka the first RTD cans in NC.

3 But wait, there’s more! The distillery doesn’t just produce gin—in addition to the RTD bevs, they also offer vodka and Damn Fine Liqueurs (chocolate, coffee, mocha).

4 Hats off. The distillery’s Conniption Navy Strength Gin has been named the best in the country in the Navy Strength category at the World Gin Awards for five years running.

5 A dream come true: Durham Distillery can be found at “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” specifically at the Space 220 Restaurant in Epcot.

6 Melissa is a trained gin judge for the American Distilling Institute competitions. “At this point, I’m pretty confident I’ve tried over 500 gins,” she says

7 Prepare for takeoff—Conniption Cocktails and Cuisine is opening in Terminal 2 at RDU Airport next year with full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus—plus draft cocktails, subzero martinis, slushies and more.

8 Conniption American Dry made a home run at Yankee Stadium over the summer.

9 Back by popular demand, the distillery is re-releasing a limited run of its 10-month-aged gin in High West bourbon barrels starting in October.

10 The American Dry is also in No. 1-selling cocktail at Midtown Manhattan’s glamorous cocktail lounge The Skylark.

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.