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A Watershed Moment

Distillery A watershed moment shapes your life and affects each day, week, and year. These watershed moments came together for Greg Lehman and Dave Rigo, as the two set out to start Watershed Distillery.


Five years, three stills, and 10,000 square feet later, Lehman and Rigo can look back on the entire process. According to Watershed’s Allison Bowers, the scariest of these watershed moments, and possibly the most impactful, was when Lehman and Rigo left their corporate day jobs to pursue this dream of creating a business in the community in  which they were both raised.


Watershed, which sources as possible from within Ohio, produces five spirits that reflect the distillers dogged commitment to perfection:

  1. Bourbon
  2. Bourbon Barrel Gin
  3. Four Peel Gin
  4. Vodka
  5. Old Fashioned (released this month)

Bowers talked with Cbus about the new spirited addition and some great cocktails for the fall. “We have a bottled Old Fashioned releasing on Friday [November 13] and our seasonal relaunch of Nocino happening on November 20,” she says.


And if the news of a new addition to Watershed’s lineup wasn’t enough, Bowers also shared some seasonal cocktail recipes with Cbus Chic. So get your bar cart ready and whip up these fall cocktails.


Rake The LeavesRake The Leaves

Inspired by the classic Negroni, this cocktail gets a spicy fall makeover. The beautiful piquant flavor of all spice highlight the botanicals and subtle hints of vanilla and caramel in Watershed’s Bourbon Barrel Gin.


  • 1 oz Bourbon Barrel Gin from Watershed Distillery
  • 1 oz Cocchi Americano
  • ½ oz All Spice Dram

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass or tin and stir with ice to chill. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel.


5 Spice Sazerac 5 Spice Sazerac

Sazerac’s are often made with rye whiskey, but with the addition of a Chinese 5 spice syrup, Watershed Bourbon is a perfect fit to compliment the spiciness. This cocktail is stiff, warm and very fall-like.


  • 2 oz Watershed Bourbon
  • ¾ oz 5 spice syrup (made by adding 1.5 tbs 5 spice to 1 pint of simple syrup, shaken vigorously while hot to incorporate)
  • Glass rinse of absinthe
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Start by using a splash of absinthe to coat the inside of a rocks glass. Dump excess into a reserve jar to use for next cocktail.

Combine Watershed bourbon, 5 spice syrup, and bitters. Stir to incorporate. Add ice, and garnish with an orange peel and a cinnamon stick.


Orchard Collins Orchard Collins 

When we think of fall we think of warm flavors of cinnamon, ginger and apple. That is where the inspiration for this cocktail stemmed. Mixing the rich barrel aged botanicals of Bourbon Barrel Gin form Watershed Distillery with fresh pressed cider, spicy ginger and the mutli-teared flavors of aromatic bitters make for a wonderful fall sipper.


  • 2 oz Bourbon Barrel Gin from Watershed Distillery
  • 1.5 oz. Apple Cider
  • .75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz. Ginger Liqueur such as Domain De Canton
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake, Strain into Collins glass over fresh ice, top with Angostura Bitters, Garnish with Apple fan and crystallized ginger.


Watershed spirits are currently distributed in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Georgia, and Grand Cayman. To learn more about them, visit online at