News Bites: ISCO Releases Aquavit with a Winter Party / Castle Hill Inn Pop Up Supper Club / Little City Thrifty Vintage Market Returns / RI Brewers Guild at Home Show

by David Dadekian
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Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.


The Industrious Spirit Company Announces New Spirit: Aquavit, a Scandinavian Treat to Banish Winter Blues

ISCO's Aquavit via @iscospirits on Instagram
ISCO’s Aquavit via @iscospirits on Instagram

Today, The Industrious Spirit Company (ISCO) announced its newest Tasting Room only spirit: Aquavit, a festive Scandinavian caraway spirit that is sure to chase away any post-holiday winter blues. With half of the ISCO team proudly being of Swedish descent they couldn’t wait to create a spirit that brought that heritage to life. ISCO has produced two versions of the aquavit, an aged version and an unaged version. It joins their mainstay spirit line up of Ostreida Oyster Vodka, Structural Vodka, Ornamental Gin, Blue Velvet Bourbon, Patina Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin and Gemma Crystal Vodka. 

“Our team is thrilled to bring these two savory Aquavits to life,” said Eric Olson, one of ISCO’s Head Distillers “The real test was that my aunt approved, and said she would proudly pass around in her post as the Grand Lodge Deputy of Svea Lodge 362 of the Vasa Order of American Swedish Fraternal Organization Club.”  

To warm things up ISCO will host a “Winter-Blues-Be-Gone Party!” on Thursday, January 25 starting at 5pm. The party will feature the opportunity to try and purchase both Aquavits, while enjoying complementary nibbles from a special caviar and bread bar, plus house-made pickles, tastes of a special collaborative aquavit-cured gravlax created by the Fearless Fish Market, a plethora of traditional Swedish licorice and last but not least a mobile, wood-fired sauna provided for guests warmth and cozy, boozy lounging by AltaerSauna! The celebration will continue all weekend, culminating on Sunday, January 28 with a Nordic Sweater Weather Party, featuring special foods curated by Head Distiller Eric Olson!

ISCO’s unaged Aquavit gives off the aromas of earthy cumin and warm rye give way to subtle candied lemon and caraway flavors followed by a lush, verdant dill that lingers on the palate. While Aquavit can be (very) happily enjoyed sipped straight, it is delightful in cocktails as well. Use it to spike your hot cider, try it in a riff on a Collins in place of the gin or a Mule in place of the vodka. 

Its aged Aquavit has aromas of rye, caraway, vanilla and caramel followed by cozy cumin and candied fennel on the palate. This Aquavit, like its unaged sibling, can be (very) happily sipped straight, but try it also in an espresso martini, an old fashioned or a Negronis!

To create their aquavits, ISCO continues their authentic passion for making spirits from scratch. A rye mash, made by fermenting a beautiful organic corn alongside a bit of malted rye, is distilled with caraway seed and multiple loaves of a custom-made heavily seeded rye from a local family-run bakery. 

The unaged aquavit is then infused with local fresh dill.  The aged version is left to rest for one year in thrice-used barrels that first held ISCO’s Blue Velvet Blue Corn Bourbon, followed by their Patina Barrel Aged Gin, and finally by the Aquavit.


Castle Hill Inn Pop Up Supper Club Dining Series Returns

Castle Hill Inn’s renowned culinary team, led by Executive Chef Andy Taur, will be sharing some of their favorite inspirations and passions to take guests on a unique culinary adventure, highlighting different cuisines and regions from around the world each week. This palatable culinary experience is truly not like any other and should not be missed! 

The Pop Up Super Club series kicks off in February and will run through late-March, featuring a new corresponding menu each week. The three-course prix fixe menus are $60 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and reservations are required to attend; those can be made online via OpenTable at the following link: https://www.opentable.com/r/events-at-castle-hill-inn-newport

The full schedule and menus follow below: 


Little City Thrifty, Rhode Island’s Largest Vintage Market, Returns to WaterFire Arts Center

March 2 & 3, 2024
Noon to 6pm (11am Early Buying Hour)
WaterFire Arts Center
475 Valley Street, Providence, RI

Little City Thrifty
Little City Thrifty

Little City Thrifty Vintage Market is one of the largest curated indoor vintage and antique shopping events in New England, bringing vintage lovers from far and wide to Providence for the weekend. On March 2nd & 3rd, 2024, Little City Thrifty will have an eclectic lineup of over 90 vintage booths, with vendors from Rhode Island and eight other states (traveling in from as far as Detroit!). With 15,000 sqft of pre-loved and size-inclusive clothing, home décor, vinyl records, books, barware, art, collectables, ephemera, jewelry and accessories, small furniture, and much more available at all price points, Little City Thrifty is a true vintage playground.

“We’re thrilled that Little City Thrifty has been so well received, and we are excited to welcome a ton of new and different dealers to our fifth vintage market this March,” says co-founder of Little City Thrifty, BJ Mansuetti. “It means a lot to us that thrifty, vintage-loving New Englanders have really embraced our event since we started in 2022, and that support brings a massive and much needed lift to our small business community after a tough couple of years.”

Mansuetti’s wife and business partner in Little City Thrifty, Robin Dionne, adds, “As a longtime vintage collector and seller who is focused on re-use and recycling, I love to see the community come together to give vintage items a new life. Little City Thrifty is a fun party, but also has a deeper meaning for us, and this year we are working with Bootstrap Compost to help divert event trash from the landfill. We’re excited to announce that Little City Thrifty is now a fully compostable event!”

The event will feature food from local favorites Diego’s East Side and JA Patty, a bar serving Rejects beer (Middletown, RI) and specialty cocktails and mocktails, and coffee from New Harvest Coffee Roasters. Entry includes a drink ticket, that can be redeemed for a complimentary small drink, provided by participating beverage sponsors, or a discount on full-sized beverages. General Admission tickets are $8 in advance and may be available for $10 at the door, if the event does not sell out. “Early Buying Hour” tickets are also available but are very limited. For $15, these tickets allow entry a full hour before the event starts, and they’re perfect for those who want some extra elbow-room while shopping and to get a first look at the vendors’ collections and rare items.

For a full list of vendors and to purchase advance tickets, visit www.littlecitythrifty.com.


The 74th Annual RI Home Show, Southern New England’s Largest Consumer Show, Set to Take Place April 4th to the 7th at the RI Convention Center

The RI Home Show will Add a Brand-New Experience, in Partnership with the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, Called House of Brews with Samplings from Local Breweries in the Guild

RI Home Show Rhode Island Brewers Guild House of Brews
RI Home Show Rhode Island Brewers Guild House of Brews

The RI Home Show is back for its 74th year and in celebration the show is adding a brand-new experience to the event, in partnership with the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, this year will feature the House of Brews. Attendees of the RI Home Show, taking place at the Convention Center April 4th to the 7th, will get the chance to enjoy complimentary samples of local beers from breweries within the Guild. This experience marks yet another way that the RI Home Show showcases an ever-growing local business trend in Southern New England.    

“After a long day in the yard or putting the finishing touches on a special project, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a craft beer at home, especially when it’s Rhode Island made,” said Nils Weldy, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild. “Pairing a wide variety of expertly selected craft beer tastings with a day at the Rhode Island Home Show is a combination built for success. We are very appreciative of the opportunity extended by the RI Builders Association to bring show attendees the House of Brews experience at the 2024 Rhode Island Home Show,” continued Weldy. 

“The RI Home Show is a very diverse, locally owned, and highly promoted experience,” added John Marcantonio Chief Executive Officer, RIBA.  “As we continue to transform the 74-year-old show, with the “House of Brews,” we are looking forward to promoting and growing the local craft beer industry – I’m sure we all agree, home improvement, and a RI brewed beer…they go together!” 

“The RI Home Show is always an annual favorite at the Convention Center, and we are very excited that they will be partnering with the Rhode Island Brewers Guild to make this event a bigger and better experience for all who attend,” said Lawrence Lepore, General Manager of the Rhode Island Convention Center. 

The largest home improvement and idea show in Southern New England features five shows in one — the 11th Annual Energy Expo, the 10,000 sq ft Garden Experience, the Inspiration Showcase, the Specialty RI Flower Show and the brand-new House of Brews.  For the past 74 years, The Rhode Island Home Show has been connecting thousands of qualified homeowners to over 250 home improvement exhibitors, experts, products and services to improve their home, garden and outdoor living spaces. 

Tickets for the RI Home Show will go on sale in March.  The RI Home Show hours are as follows: Thursday 12 pm to 9 pm; Friday 12 pm to 9 pm; Saturday 10 am to 9 pm and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. 

The Rhode Island Brewers Guild is the official brewery association in Rhode Island, existing to support and promote Rhode Island Craft Breweries. The RI Brewers Guild was established in 2013 with five founding breweries and brewpubs. As of today, they have almost 36 participating Rhode Island BreweriesFor more information on the Rhode Island Brewers Guild and how you can get your exclusive Rhode Island Brewery Passport, you can visit https://ribrewersguild.org/.  

For more information, please visit www.ribahomeshow.com  

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