Earlier this spring Governor Gary Herbert signed a law lowering the state’s legal blood-alcohol limit from .08 to .05 percent, which takes effect in December 2018. News that Utah would now have America’s lowest BAC limit spread across the country like wildfire, illustrating yet again Utahns’ (60 percent of whom are teetotaling Mormons) complicated relationship with booze. Instead of going on the defensive, however, a new local distiller stitched a clever silk purse out of the .05 sow’s ear.
Well before the legislation was signed into law, Rob Sergent, owner of Park City’s Alpine Distilling, began selling BACtrack GO Keychain Breathalyzers out of his Silver Creek–area package store (7132 N Silver Creek Rd, 435.333.8354). “We hope that having these devices will offer some peace of mind for those just looking to enjoy an evening out,” Sergent says. The breathalyzers are the size of a small pack of gum and priced at $29.99. “I wanted to give them away with purchase, but the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control told me I couldn’t do that,” Sergent says.
Speaking of which, if you haven’t tried Sergent’s spirits, you definitely should. His Preserve liqueur (named after Park City’s Swaner Preserve) is an ideal not-too-sweet after-dinner sip that’s subtly spicy and fruity at once. And the Lafayette, a flavored whiskey, pays warm homage to Sergent’s grandparents, who made moonshine out of end-of-season peaches and apricots grown on the family farm.
As for the bona fides of Park City’s newest boozemaker, you needn’t take our word for it. Both Preserve and Lafayette earned top honors at last year’s International SIP Awards.