We are thrilled to announce the release of our latest spirit, Susan for President Prune Brandy. Made from 100 percent prunes, this unique brandy is the newest member of the Susan for President line of exceptional limited edition spirits. 

“Susan for President is an homage to my Aunt Susan, an artist, sculptor, connoisseur of finer things and true original,” said KOVAL co-founder and president Sonat Birnecker Hart. “As part of her artistic approach to life, she casually campaigned for President of the World, passing out calling cards adorned with humorous, often risqué illustrations, and slogans such as ‘Up with fun in ’91,’ and ‘I’m with you in ’92.’ The promotion of her unattainable goal had little to do with becoming president of anything; she hated bureaucracy, and enjoyed living in Carrara, Italy, the birthplace of the anarchist philosophy. Rather, she campaigned as a celebration of art, the joys of life, and the constant striving to be the greatest version of oneself imaginable.” 


Bright and elegant, a trademark of master distiller and CEO Robert Birnecker’s Austrian heritage, the nose has a balanced blend of floral, custard, and roasted almond. The thorough attention to detail used to distill Susan for President’s Prune Brandy shows in the warm, feathery mouthfeel that rounds out with a honey-like, subdued sweetness that sits well on the palette leaving an unforgettable taste. 

From flavor to design, Susan for President commemorates Susan’s creative legacy; and in memory of Susan herself, it is a posthumous way for her to continue the campaign, for as she used to say, “the beat goes on,” and there is still much beauty in this world. Saluti! 

The Prune Brandy will be available for purchase in the U.S. at Ezras.com and is expected to expand into select national markets in the future.


Snuggler Cocktail

The crisp fall Chicago air has us craving warm spices, savory bites and, of course, perfectly crafted cocktails. With this in mind, we collaborated  with our neighbors Urban Accents to create four seasonal cocktails and food pairings that go way beyond pumpkin spice. We think a fall cocktail party in is order. 

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Chicago Cultural Center Dome

The iconic architecture of Chicago is a constant source of inspiration for our KOVAL team. As Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s, we are proud to take part in Open House Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s free public festival offering behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across the city. In preparation for the weekend’s festivities (October 14-15), we’re taking a look at just a few of Chicago’s many architectural gems.

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At KOVAL, we’re big fans of cocktail lore. A rich history dresses up any cocktail and a whiskey sour is no different. It’s a simple cocktail but not all strokes of genius require complexity. Legend says that the whiskey sour has its roots in piracy. Some say an alcoholic fix for scurvy. Eventually the concept hopped from ship to shore and in 1862, a half a century later, author Jerry Thomas documented the recipe in The Bartender’s Guide.

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For Chicagoans, summer in the city is what makes us strong enough to endure eight months of winter. Although July is now behind us, those boxes of sweaters still have a good bit of dust to collect before we surrender to the crisp cool of Autumn. One of the best ways to celebrate the end of summer has to be at Millennium Park, arguably the best tourist attraction in the Midwest.

A means to transform unsightly railroad tracks and parking lots, Millennium Park has continually developed its offerings since opening in 2004. Around five million annual visitors have taken advantage of the public art, concerts, and summer activities located on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets in downtown Chicago.

If you are planning a trip to Chicago or are lucky enough to live here, these are a few suggestions of what will round off your summer with a smile.

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Legend takes us back to Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy in 1919. Count Camillo Negroni asked bartender Forsco Scarselli to “strengthen” his favorite cocktail, the Americano (equal parts Campari, vermouth, and soda water) by replacing the soda water with gin. Bartender Scarselli added an orange garnish in place of the lemon usually coupled with an Americano. Before Scarselli knew it, people were flocking to the bar for a ‘Negroni.’


For Negroni Week, we took a tour through popular Chicago bars to taste their version of the Negroni using KOVAL gin.

Read on for recipes and more!

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