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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States


Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

The Drop is your source for all things craft. 

Cable Car recipe

Erica Sagon


The Cable Car — with spiced rum, triple sec, lemon and simple syrup — is an excellent way to use our newest spirit, Valencia. Valencia is a beautiful, natural triple sec for cocktailing that we make with both dried and fresh orange peels to capture the sweet, bitter and fragrant character of citrus.

If you've added Valencia to your bar cart and are wondering what to make with it, try our go-to: a Cable Car, which hails from the Starlight Room in San Francisco, is bright and always in season; as good on the coldest days in January as it is on the first day of summer. Our Valencia and Lake House Spiced Rum bring something special to this cocktail.


1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Lake House Spiced Rum
1 ounce Cardinal Spirits Valencia Triple Sec
1 ounce lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Lemon twist, for garnish

Add all ingredients except for garnish to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Grand Finale Recipe

Erica Sagon


Say hello to your new favorite nightcap. This warm drink is so soothing, and the delightful floral notes of our Flora liqueur really sing in chamomile tea. An ideal companion for addressing holiday cards…


By Chris Resnick, bartender at Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington

8 ounces warm chamomile tea

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Flora

Lemon wheel, for garnish

Brew the tea according to package directions. Combine Flora and the warm tea in a mug, then garnish with a lemon wheel.

Songbird + Coffee recipe

Erica Sagon

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The easiest brunch drink you ever did see. 


Makes 1 cocktail

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Songbird Coffee Liqueur
6 ounces hot coffee
Whipped cream (optional garnish)

Add liqueur and coffee to a mug and give it a lil' stir. Top with whipped cream if you'd like.

Nocino Eggnog Recipe

Erica Sagon


This is easily one of our favorite 2-ingredient cocktails ever. Our earthy, nutty Nocino (a liqueur that we make using Indiana walnuts) plus top-notch eggnog (we go crazy for the luxuriously smooth one from Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville, Ind.) equals dreamy holiday heaven.

Nocino + Eggnog Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Nocino
3 ounces eggnog

Combine Nocino and eggnog in a mug or rocks glass filled with ice. Give it a stir. Top with a dusting of cinnamon or espresso powder — or nothing at all ... it's just that good on its own.

Chai Wallah recipe

Erica Sagon

The warming spices of chai plus the fresh, woodsy profile of Terra Botanical Gin is the loveliest combo. Unexpected and unforgettable!


By Kevin Hinkle, bartender at Cardinal Spirits

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Terra Botanical Gin
1.5 ounces ginger-chai tea (recipe follows)
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
Candied ginger, for garnish

Add all ingredients except for garnish to a shaker, then add ice. Shake well, then strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with candied ginger.

For the ginger-chai tea: Peel and chop a ½-inch knob of ginger. Prepare a cup of chai tea according to package directions, adding the chopped ginger to the cup. Allow to cool completely, then strain out the ginger before using.

Honey Schnapps: How we made it

Erica Sagon

Honey Schnapps, our newest spirit, is here!

It's a celebration of honeybees — distilled and sweetened entirely with raw honey from our family's hives in northern Indiana. It's rare to see this liquid gold being distilled at all, but then we took things one step further to make it unlike any other spirit out there ... read on to find out the crazy little secret that makes this spirit so special.

But, first things first: Honey Schnapps available now at the distillery by the bottle (full-size and cute-size) and in cocktails. It's a seasonal spirit with a soft, clean taste and a lovely, lingering honey essence. It's smooth and intriguing enough to sip on its own, but you'll love using it in cocktails at home, too — it's definitely an ingredient that makes you go, "wow, wow, wow!" when you sip.

We'd like to thank the honeybees out there that worked so hard to make Honey Schnapps happen. Here's how we turned 1,500 pounds of raw Indiana honey into a delicious spirit...

Meet brothers and beekeepers Walt and Dan. They're family-in-law of our cofounder Adam Quirk, and together, they have an apiary — a collection of hives — in the Fort Wayne area. They even helped us put a hive of our own on the distillery's roof!

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We use Dan and Walt's honey in our cocktails, but after a huge harvest left us with waaaaay more than we'd ever need for drinks, we wondered: Could we use it to make a spirit?

The answer is yes, and Honey Schnapps is it.

We wanted this spirit to be in total celebration of honeybees, so we kept pushing for ideas. How else could we get bees involved? Remember that little secret we talked about before? 

Say hi to Matt Bochman. Is he our secret ingredient? No. Well, maybe, but we wouldn't embarrass him here by calling him our "secret ingredient." Maybe our secret agent? Point is: He found our secret ingredient for us — yeast from the bodies of the honeybees on our roof. 

Matt is a biochemist for Indiana University, and on the side, he's a yeast whisperer. What a gig! Matt discovers, gathers and grows proprietary yeast strains for craft brewers and distillers. His clients, like us, enlist him to find yeast that's more interesting, flavorful or unusual than what's commercially available.

He's MacGyver-y about it - when he was in Jamaica awhile back, he squeezed citrus juice on a napkin and let it sit in the sun, then threw it in his suitcase and brought it home to add to his yeast library (he wouldn't have been able to take a whole orange through customs). Or he'll walk around IU's campus and snag local yeast from a tree especially for a brewery that wants to make a hyper-local beer.

Matt helped with the yeast for our Tiki Rum and Landlocked Spiced Rum, and now, our Honey Schnapps.

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Yeast is everywhere, even on honeybees. As it turns out, their fuzzy little bodies are magnets for yeast. Matt gathered yeast he found on the bodies of bees from our rooftop hive, then experimented with different fermentations for us to try...

So we've got Dan and Walt's honey, and Matt's bee-body yeast. Here's how our distiller Justin Hughey (above) put it all together. He made mead (fermented honey) with the 1,500 pounds of raw Indiana honey from the family apiary, and the bee-body yeast. He distilled the mead, and finally, added more raw honey for sweetness.

We finished as we do with all of our spirits: Labeling, numbering, bottling, corking by hand.

Ta da: Honey Schnapps! Snag a bottle of our seasonal spirit for refreshing cocktails all summer long.

Fresh 2 Death Cocktail Recipe

Cassie Morris

This fresh and fruity cocktail by our bartender Chris Resnick is refreshing and perfect to sip on in this spring weather. This has been a fan favorite from our spring menu, so now we've decided to share the recipe! Go ahead, give it a try.


By Chris Resnick of Cardinal Spirits

2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce raspberry-mint syrup
Tonic water

To make the raspberry mint syrup, bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Then add 1 small package of raspberries and a handful of mint. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved, then let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass and top with tonic water.

New Penzance Punch

Cassie Morris

This Penzance Punch will be a punch to your taste buds, but in the best way possible. Try making this delicious cocktail at home with this recipe, created by our bartender Chris Resnick.


By Chris Resnick of Cardinal Spirits

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Terra Gin
1.25 ounces jasmine tea
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce mint-cilantro-honey syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash of orange bitters
Club soda

To make the cilantro honey lime syrup, combine 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of water with a small handful each of mint and cilantro, then fine strain it. 

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass and top with an ounce of soda.

Mango Papaya Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

Cassie Morris

Springtime means tiki time (Tiki Rum, that is)! Channel some tropical vibes into this refreshing drink that's perfect for sipping under the hot sun.


By Chris Resnick of Cardinal Spirits

2 ounces Tiki Rum infused with mango-papaya tea
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup

To make the mango papaya tea infused tiki rum, put 1 tablespoon of loose tea into 375 ml of rum and let it sit for 2 hours. 

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish it with a lime.

Handsome Devil Cocktail Recipe

Cassie Morris

With just two ingredients, this cocktail by our bartender Chris Resnick couldn't be easier to make. Go on, give it a try!


By Chris Resnick of Cardinal Spirits

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Songbird Coffee Liqueur
3⁄4 ounce Cardinal Spirits Lake House Spiced Rum

Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon twist.