Mount Vernon's batch of clear, unaged peach brandy distilled in the tradition of George Washington goes on sale to the public today. According to Mount Vernon, George Washington was the only founding father to commercially operate a distillery, and the distillery’s historic ledgers indicate that Washington made small amounts of peach brandy in 1798 and 1799.
So to replicate the historic peach brandy, Mount Vernon staff worked with Thomas McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling and Ted Huber of Starlight Distillery to advise on distilling methods. The result is Peach Eau de Vie, a peach brandy based on traditional 18th-century methods, distilled at George Washington’s reconstructed distillery.
To make Peach Eau de Vie, Mount Vernon staff allowed the peach juice to ferment on-site for 12 days, then double-distilled it in copper pot stills heated by wood fires. They then bottled the unaged brandy and labeled the bottles by hand.
The brandy went on sale today at 8 a.m. at The Shops at Mount Vernon, which can be accessed without an admission ticket. Staff will hand out vouchers for the bottles, with a limit of three vouchers per person. If all 800 bottles of Peach Eau de Vie don't sell today, unsold bottles will be available on Saturday, Nov. 15 on a first come, first served basis, starting at 10 a.m. It's priced at $150 for a 375 ml bottle.