Improbable, Not Impossible: Standard Wormwood Distillery Offers a New Model for Cocktail Bars


Standard Wormwood Distillery Creates the First Full Cocktail Bar All Made In-House

NEW YORK, June 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Before the US legalized wormwood – the infamous herb associated with absinthe – in 2007, childhood friends Taras Hrabowsky and Sasha Selimotic were already using it to distill complex fine spirits. Utilizing the naturally abundant Artemisia Absinthium growing on Hrabowsky’s family’s farm in upstate New York, the two took advantage of what was, essentially, a blank slate when it came to defining new methods of distillation. Now, almost 20 years later, Standard Wormwood Distillery is quietly upending tradition. Located at Industry City in Brooklyn,, the small-batch distillery’s team of only four stocks and operates an entire cocktail bar using only its own house-made spirits, cordials, and bitters.

“Our cocktails taste like nothing else because they can’t be made anywhere else,” Selimotic said, leaning on a bartop of French and American oak wrapped in iron and copper. “To run our bar, we make four spirits, two vermouths, two aperitivi, and an amaro, alongside hundreds of bitters and macerations.”


A traditional cocktail bar designs its drinks around pre-existing spirits, but Standard Wormwood Distillery takes the opposite approach, crafting the spirits for their cocktails. Signature cocktails like the Coyote, ranging from earthy and smoky to vegetal and minty, belies the years of practice it took to imagine and create its constituent parts. For classic cocktails like the Sazerac, they pare down and reconstruct the spirit, aromatics, bitters, and absinthe from scratch to produce a version unlike any other.

After nearly two decades of experimentation, Hrabowsky and Selimotic have produced a series of firsts: the first wormwood rye, the first wormwood gin, the first wormwood agave spirit, and the first wormwood rum, to say nothing of their cordials, cocktails, and house-made bitters.

“We have the range to either adhere to tradition or depart from it,” Hrabowsky said. “We choose to create our version of what cocktails and spirits can be, beginning to end, regardless of categories.”

Visitors are invited to try a well-rounded selection that includes:

  • Wormwood Rye Finished with American and French oak makes for a complex and layered take on whiskey with subtle notes of oaky butterscotch, toasted maple, campfire, and rye spice made for sipping or mixing.
  • Wormwood Gin – Fresh botanical vapour infusions deliver a bright, crisp citrus flavor with deeper, floral notes ideal for serving neat or in a twist on the classic Martini.
  • Wormwood Agave – Whole agave hearts and leaves are slow-smoked over mesquite and oak at our farm giving the finished spirit a smooth vegetal spiciness and a delicate smoky finish.
  • Wormwood Rum – Influenced by a vast array of rums, bringing together funky, spiced tropical notes. Opening up with bright fresh grassiness, then subtle hints of banana and pineapple before finishing with warming vanilla and clove notes. Perfect for fresh classics like daiquiris and boozy complex tiki cocktails.
  • Wormwood Amaro – A complex and unique bitter digestif. Vapour infused with cardamom, clove, and black walnut, then lightly oak aged and a short rest with smoked apples and wormwood for deep layers of tobacco, eucalyptus, and citrus.
  • Rose Aperitivo – Bright floral aromatics from rhodiola root lend both berry-forward and bitter flavors to compliment farm-sourced Powis Castle, a hybrid varietal of wormwood.
  • Dry Wermut (vermouth) – Elecampane root, tarragon, and lavender infuse a wildflower essence to a fortified white wine base from New York-based Anthony Road Wine Co in the Finger Lakes, delicately flavored to evoke fresh spring blossoms.
  • Meadow Aperitivo – This wormwood spirit is infused with citrus-replicating herbs. Redstem wormwood and lemon myrtle elicit notes of watermelon and lemon with a slightly bitter and refreshing finish.
  • Bitter-Sweet Wermut – Creating a complex foundation for the unique blending of berry, bitter spices, and Silver Queen, a surprising depth of flavor fortifies a Cabernet Franc wine from Anthony Road Wine Co; a perfect fit for classics like a Manhattan, Negroni, or Americano Spritz.

Ranging from locally sourced ingredients grown on the family farm to obscure and eccentric herbs and ingredients, Standard Wormwood Distillery’s ever-expanding seasonal menu of libations is approachable for both the casual and informed taster alike. The uplifting synergy of modern wood and stained glass architecture establishes a warm inviting atmosphere in which to relax and savor the moment.

Open weekly Wednesday – Sunday; enjoy happy hour every Wednesday from 4 – 8 p.m. Learn more at and find distinctive Standard Wormwood spirits in select locales around New York. Follow @standardwormwooddistillery on Instagram for upcoming live events, seasonal cocktails, book parties, and more.

About Standard Wormwood Distillery:

Founded in 2012 by lifelong friends and New York State natives Taras Hrabowsky and Sasha Selimotic, Brooklyn’s Standard Wormwood Distillery pushes the boundaries of Wormwood-derived spirits while also creating a new model for cocktail bars, making everything in-house. Every distinctive spirit, liqueur, and cordial features a surprising depth of flavor imbued by an extraordinary blend of fresh fruits, herbs, and spices, along with locally-sourced wormwood varieties from the Hrabowsky family farm. Enjoy their delightful classic and reinvented cocktails and spirits in a lively open-air lounge that presents a refreshing oasis amid the bustling Industry City landscape (open weekly Wednesday – Sunday; happy hour Wednesday 4 – 8 p.m.). Learn more at and find distinctive Standard Wormwood spirits in select locales around New York. Follow @standardwormwooddistillery on Instagram for upcoming live events, seasonal cocktails, book parties, and more.

Jessi Kopach
pr + marketing 
call/ 805-570-2599

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