We can’t keep this secret bottled up! The spirits of the South aren’t all hanging around Natchez’s historic city cemetery. There’s a buzz around town surrounding a growing number of local makers of wine, beer, and other libations. These artisans welcome visitors to learn more about their craft and to indulge in a taste of true Southern hospitality. Take a tour of a brewery, winery, or distillery, or sit back with a glass of goodness at one of these local hotspots.
Hailed for producing Mississippi’s first legally distilled rum, Charboneau Distillery takes it craft seriously—using raw cane sugar and molasses from a nearby sugar mill, fermenting in small batches, and distilling in a 15-gallon copper pot still. The result is a distinctive drink that can be found only in Natchez. Take a distillery tour on a Friday or Saturday, or enjoy craft cocktails at the adjoining King’s Tavern and visit the craft liquor store upstairs.
Brewing on the Bluff
Natchez Brewing Company’s founder hails from pub-packed England, so when she married a Natchez native with a passion for creating craft beer, their chemistry sparked a new venture. The brewery is open for tours and tastings on Fridays and Saturdays; don’t miss the popular “Bluff City Blonde,” as well as a variety of other in-house beers from German-style amber ale to barrel-fermented brews.
Southern Muscadine grapes and an aging process involving stainless-steel tanks give Old South Winery’s wines their unforgettable fruity flavor. Open since 1979, the family-owned winery uses Mississippi-grown grapes in its range of offerings that includes reds, whites, and rosés. Free tours and tastings are offered on weekdays; while you’re there, pick up other muscadine products including jellies and hot sauce.
“Knock You Naked” Margaritas
The “Knock-You-Naked” margarita is the signature drink at the festive Fat Mama’s Tamales. For nearly 30 years, patrons have packed this place—now it its second location across from the original—to soak up the colorful atmosphere and to sip on sweet concoctions while filling up on classic cornhusk-wrapped tamales. The restaurant’s margarita mix concentrate is also available in strawberry and original by the bottle; just add tequila and blend to perfection.
It’s All on Tap
Take your taste buds on an ale excursion at The Camp Restaurant, which offers 18 beers on tap. Gather friends in the beer garden or pull up a stool on the porch overlooking the river, and pair your pints with one of the gastropub’s seven signature burgers.