CHICAGO In Lake Bluff, near the offices of such companies as Baxter Healthcare and Aon Hewitt, the North Shore Distillery produces boutique liquors. This month, the facility introduced tours and tastings for private groups. Catering to 30 guests at a time, the events cost $10 per head and last an average of 90 minutes.
Staffers guide groups through the distillery, explaining the company's history and the process of liquor creation. During most tours, the still will be running or employees will be bottling liquors, giving guests a close-up look at the actual work done on site.
Hosts can opt to end the day in the brand-new tasting room, which is stocked with sofas and tables and offers samples of everything from chamomile-citrus vodka to absinthe and gin. Bottles of the distillery's products are available for sale on site, and can be presented as parting gifts.