Seeking to take his ancestors’ affinity for moonshining to the next level, Rob Sergent founded Alpine Distilling in Park City, Utah. The first Sergent to distill professionally, he strives to pay homage to the flavorful European spirits he enjoyed while living for many years in Great Britain and Germany. The culinary education he received in Louisiana has given him the skills to create an unrivaled complexity of flavor and aromas in Alpine’s products.
Having moved with his family to Park City in 2011, Rob instantly developed a passion for the world-class resort town and knew he wanted to nurture a business that complemented Summit County’s many accolades. Before establishing Alpine Distilling, he held high-level positions with Johnson & Johnson and the National Football League. Following his successes in the corporate world, Sergent wanted to create something from scratch, and teach my children the value of hard work, and give back to the community.
The Sergent family settled in Kentucky in the 1700’s and spirits have been an integral component of life for generations. Sometimes this lends a direct influence as in the Lafayette flavor profile taken from his Granny Bae, other times it can be the desire to be the spirit that is shared when friends and family. Alpine values time with those we love and craft spirits to be delicious and approachable.
Our first and most decorated spirit, Preserve Liqueur is a black tea, blood orange & ginger all-natural liqueur inspired by watching the sunset over the Swaner Nature Preserve & Eco-Center. Turning those colors into flavors opened the door to the possibility of crafting innovative flavored spirits that respect tradition yet provide complex and delicious drink opportunities. The preserve is a 100% corn spirit that is certified Kosher and 20% alcohol by volume.
As a college student in Munich, Germany Rob Sergent, spent much of his downtime at English Garden and Garmisch enjoying the outdoors, friends and regional cordials. Park City provides many similar environments – outdoor space, trails, beautiful mountain vistas, and world-class skiing. This is a place where memories are made, friendships are deepened, and the body refreshes in the pure pleasure of being outdoors. The preserve is the perfect spirit to seal those experiences.
Granny Bae grew hemp for the government, and I’m not ready to explain that dynamic to my boys, so I share this picture. I’ve been told she would take the ripe stone fruit grown on the farm and place them in moonshine for flavoring. Stone fruit can reach over 8% sugar when mature and I thought about her when crafting the formula for our Gold Medal winning Lafayette Spiced Bourbon Whiskey, which is technically a liqueur. My wife also complained that whiskey was “too harsh” for her and short of traveling back to New Orleans where we got married to get a Sazerac, I knew that I could impart delicious flavors that would provide her a whiskey to drink straight, in an Alpine Mule or Toddy, or in a Stone Fruit Tea.
Using the classic Kentucky Bourbon mashbill of 75% corn, 21% Barley, and 4% rye cut to 80 proof, we add Apricot, Primrose, and Cinnamon for the Lafayette spice profile. A culinary principle is to find opposing flavors to find taste balance – sweet & sour for example. The key is working with the six tastes and balancing aromatic notes for a unique, delicious spirit. In 1,000 gallons of product, we use less than 1lb of cinnamon, but it’s enough to contrast the sweetness of the Apricot and provides depth that apt bartenders are using to craft incredibly delicious cocktails. The Primrose exists almost purely as an aromatic note, no noticeable taste influence, but the bouquet explodes with this addition which delights the senses with every pour.
Rob Sergent's home as a young, impressionable teenager was the High Street of Pinner, a beautiful village 20 minutes outside London England. At the very top of the street was a bar where his friend, Bill, bartended.
It was there in London that Sergent first tasted Gin and learned the exciting and essential significance of the spirit to the British culture. Crafting a Gin that is both modern and respectful of traditions has been a delicious and fun challenge, and we are excited about the response that Summit Gin is receiving from both seasoned drinkers and younger, new to the scene enthusiasts.
Many of the choices in how to make Gin come from still design. There are great Gins that are compounded with oils, uniquely crafted in Carter stills, Coffey stills or exclusively shaped using botanical baskets. Alpine uses a Detroit Still to create the complex, citrus spicey flavors of the award-winning gin. As much fun as it is making Preserve, dumping barrels or blending our Spur – the energy and scents that fill the distillery on the run of this Gin is unique.
All botanicals used are Kosher certified and the best example of the products that we could find. Summit Gin is distilled ten times, kosher and bottled at 90 proof.