In the heart of Durham, North Carolina, nestled amongst roads once roamed by bootleggers, lies the essence of Conniption Gin—a distillery born from a blend of tradition, innovation, and a dash of rebellion.

In the heart of Durham, North Carolina, nestled amongst roads once roamed by bootleggers, lies the essence of Conniption Gin—a distillery born from a blend of tradition, innovation, and a dash of rebellion.

Our story isn't just about gin; it's about capturing the spirit of adventure, the pride of craftsmanship, and a family legacy that has turned the art of cocktail hour into a modern marvel.


It was on a sunny afternoon in May 2013, amidst the historic backdrop of Georgia's moonshine-rich roads, that Melissa and Lee Katrincic envisioned a future that would intertwine their destinies with gin.

This wasn't just any gin, but one that would carry forward a time-honored craft, celebrating both the boldness of the bootleggers and the refined elegance of cocktail hour.

As they journeyed back to Durham from an anniversary trip, the idea of Conniption Gin began to take shape —not in a high-speed chase but as a leap towards a new adventure. Melissa, with a career marked by success and a desire for something more, found herself at a crossroads.

It was the pursuit of adventure, the longing for balance, and the cherished memories of gin-soaked olives from her childhood that fueled the dream of Conniption. Together, Melissa and Lee began to weave their future, one where Lee's background as a chemist and Melissa's innovative vision would merge to create something extraordinary.

"Why don't we make gin?"

- Melissa to Lee on their drive home, May 2013.

Lee's response? It's the same one he's giving her in this picture.

And yet, here we are. Eleven years later and our passion for gin is as strong as ever!

toasting cocktail hour

Conniption Gin owes its spirit to the cocktail hours of Melissa's grandparents, where martinis weren't just drinks but ceremonies of connection and celebration. Grandpa Kenneth's meticulous preparation and Grandma Gertrude's love for the occasion imbued Melissa with an early appreciation for gin, setting the stage for Conniption's unique character.

The legacy of cocktail hour was not limited to one side of Melissa's family. Paternal grandparents Peggy and Daniel had their own ritual as well. Melissa’s dad, Bill, recalls, “My father would come home from the office every night and ask my mother, ‘So Peggy, are we ready for our martinis?’” This was their moment to unwind and share the day's stories. This rich family tradition, spanning generations, became the heartbeat of Conniption Gin.

From Inspiration to Reality

With their full-time jobs and the joys and challenges of raising two young sons, Melissa and Lee embarked on a year of research, tasting, and experimentation. Lee's expertise as a chemist became the cornerstone of their distillation process.

They also approached their new venture like sommeliers, training their palates on the intricacies of more than 150 gins. At last, it was time for Lee to put on his mad scientist’s goggles so they could begin experimenting. He setup his own apparatus and created distillates of more than 50 different botanicals including juniper from several different countries, styles of coriander and angelica root. The kitchen table was covered with hundreds of tiny bottles, shot glasses, and liquid droppers. Once he and Melissa hit upon what each flavor component was bringing to the party, Lee would back calculate the weights to scale up for when the gin could be distilled on the large, production still. This diligence, experimentation and dedication to the craft is how the formulas for Conniption American Dry Gin and Conniption Navy Strength Gin came to be.

Naming the Dream: Conniption

When the time came to name the gins, Melissa and Lee turned to the phrases that echoed through their family gatherings. Among the contenders, "Well don't have a conniption fit, Melissa," a saying often uttered by Grandma Gertrude, and this aptly captured the essence of their journey — a blend of heritage, humor, and a touch of the unexpected. In homage to Gertrude's influence and to encapsulate the essence of their gin, the still at Durham Distillery was named after her, forever marking her contribution to the Conniption legacy.

Today, Conniption Gin stands as a testament to dreaming big, embracing heritage, and breaking conventions. With each bottle, we invite you to be part of a legacy that's continuously unfolding—a legacy that's as much about the love of gin as it is about the moments that bring us together.

Take a tour of Durham Distillery, meet Gertrude, one of two custom-designed pot stills in the world, and discover the heart and soul behind America's most decorated gin. Here, amidst the clinking of glasses and the laughter of friends, you'll find more than just gin; you'll find a story worth sharing.