Small-scale craft distilleries are popping up across the country, as well as here in Colorado. The reason? Consumers have clearly shown a preference for eating and drinking locally produced artisanal foods and beverages.

Downslope Distilling Inc., which opened last August in Centennial, is the latest quality distillery to join the fray. The company, owned by three former craft-beer enthusiasts, is turning out a complete line of high-end vodkas, rums, and whiskeys.

Try the pepper vodka—infused with a blend of dried red New Mexico chiles and Indonesian black pepper—in your Sunday morning Bloody Mary. Or sip my favorite, the small-batch vanilla rum made with two kinds of vanilla beans. Pour a shot into a tall glass filled with ice, mix it with Mexican Coke and a wedge of lime, and prepare yourself for a mini-vacation.

Bonus: To tour the facility and arrange for a tasting, call Downslope or sign up for the mailing list online.

6770 S. Dawson Cir., Ste. 400, Centennial, 303-693-4300