South Jersey Craft Vodka Wins Big at International Spirits Competition

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Photo Courtesy of Carol Kafkalas.

RICHLAND, N.J. - The New York International Spirits Competition, or NYISC, awarded a local South Jersey Distillery with a Gold Medal at its latest competition.

Lazy Eye Distillery's flagship product, Lazy Eye Vodka, made a big splash at the international competition which had over 600 different spirits from around the world competing in it. After a blind tasting down at the NYISC, this fairly new company not only took home a gold medal for their vodka but also was named the New Jersey Distillery of the Year.

The big win for Lazy Eye Vodka is an impressive achievement as the family-run distillery opened their doors on November 1st, 2014. Their other entries in the competition, Lazy Eye Rakii and Lazy Eye Rakii with Anise, both received bronze medals, bringing the distillery's total to four medals for their first appearance in the spirits competition.

“It’s a surreal feeling...We started out over fifteen years ago distilling in our shed on Saturday afternoons, a tradition that was passed onto us by our parents. To find out that our spirits are considered to be among the best in the world is humbling," said Lazy Eye Distillery Co-owner Carol Kafkalas. “We have always preached quality over quantity; every bottle that comes out of our distillery is carefully produced in small batches by our family.”

Lazy Eye Vodka is the first vodka to be made in the state of New Jersey since prohibition and their Rakii is the first of its kind to be produced in the United States. The distillery produces a total of six unique products which are all distilled from grapes and gluten-free.

Lazy Eye products have begun spreading out to local South Jersey liquor stores as well as bars and restaurants. Lazy Eye Distillery has two locations, one located in Richland as well as a seasonal location in Wildwood. Tours and tastings are available year-round on Saturdays from 1-5 in Richland, and the Wildwood location is open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

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