Ed Kashi

May 18, 2020

Brad Ransom, with head lamp, is head of production, and Kevin Bascom, distiller for Nauti Spirits in Cape May, New Jersey. Normally they produce gin, vodka and rum but since March they’ve been producing hand sanitizer to donate first responders and local facilities, plus selling it to local NJ companies and individuals at a rate well below market costs. We closed our doors to the public on March 15, 2020. March 19, 2020 - started the process to produce hand sanitizer in partnership with Partners Pharmacy.  March 25, 2020 started the donations to 1st responders and local healthcare facilities.  March 29, 2020 started selling hand sanitizer to the public via online orders and drive up pick up.  Quote:  "It takes a village, not just to raise a baby, but surviving a pandemic too. By each of us doing our part, [Staying home, posting memes, stocking shelves, selling goods, driving trucks, 1st responders, healthcare workers, making masks, or making hand sanitizer!] we will get through this together and come out stronger and better than ever." How did Nauti Spirits Distillery come up with the idea to make hand sanitizer? Why? A few weeks ago we saw that stores were running out of sanitizer and isopropyl alcohol.  Then, we heard about how people were buying and hoarding things, including sanitizer, which people needed given the growing crisis.  Among others, first responders and those in nursing homes were having real problems getting this basic item.  Knowing that ethyl alcohol is just as effective at killing bacteria, we started looking at whether we could meet a need by legally producing sanitizer with high-proof ethanol that we distill.  We couldn't under our current federal and state permits, so we started making calls to the TTB, our federal regulator, and to the ABC to ask how we could help meet this need.  A week ago, on Wednesday morning, a friend who is a professional pharmacist and an executive VP at Partners Pharmacy, which provides pharmacy services for assisted living facilities, called and asked if we had any ethanol that he could buy to make sanitizer for his patients.  That afternoon is when the TTB granted distilleries with our type of license the temporary authorization to make hand sanitizer with ethanol.  So, we started immediately teaming together to make sanitizer in order to meet the need, which by that time had become chronic. How is the hand sanitizer made, like tell me about the process you use and what role Nauti Spirits plays in making the hand sanitizer since Partners Pharmacy is compounding it.   Partners Pharmacy compounded the first batch, and then has overseen/directed our distillers in compounding the sanitizer at the distillery.  It is made by taking very high (190) proof (95%) ethanol that we had distilled over the last several months from corn and sweet potatoes that we had grown on our land and which we normally would use to make our vodka, and adding to it distilled water, hydrogen peroxide, propylene glycol, tea tree oil, and vitamin E oil, with the resulting solution being 80% ethanol, the highest leval allowed, which also provides the best antiseptic defense.  We then label and bottle this by hand in 8 oz., 32 oz. and 5 gal. containers.  In addition to the professional pharmacist guidance, Partners Pharmacy has provided additives and 8,000 very hard to come by (and now nearly gone due to outrageous demand) 2 oz. spray bottles in which we put much of the initial batches. Is your hand sanitizer FDA approved? How does it get FDA approved? Who is responsible for ensuring that the hand sanitizer is FDA approved? The FDA does not "approve" the sanitizer; it approves the guidelines for its manufacture.  We and Partners Pharmacy compound the hand sanitizer pursuant to the FDA's published recommendations and guidelines.  Both Partners Pharmacy and Nauti Spirits are responsible for ensuring that the sanitizer meets these FDA recommendations/guidelines. Who is Nauti Spirits distributing and selling the hand sanitizer to?   We and Partners Pharmacy have donated several hundreds of gallons of the product to first responders in Cape May County, and to elder care and professional nursing facilities around the country.  We also are selling the sanitizer to end users (no resellers) in order to recover some of our costs.  Our prices are near pre-COVID-19 levels, and we aim to keep them that low for as long as there is a need for the product. Who is Nauti Spirits making the hand sanitizer for? Who needs hand sanitizer the most right now?   Initially, we wanted to get the hand sanitizer to some of those who needed it the most -- first responders and people in assisted living facilities.  These foks still desparately need the sanitizer, but others need it too, like postal workers, home delivery personnel, restaurant workers who facilitate curbside and takeout orders, people in essential businesses, shoppers; literally everyone who doesn't have ready access to soap and water every time their hands may come into contact with infected surfaces. How long will Nauti Spirits be manufacturing hand sanitizer for?   Until there is no longer a need for it, or until we have to shut our doors permanently because we can no longer afford to keep the lights on.  We would like nothing better than to go back to making--and selling--artisan farm spirits, rather than hand sanitizer. But, hand sanitizer is the need; great spirits are a desire.  Desire takes a back seat these days. Where is the hand sanitizer being sold and/or given out to people? How much does it cost to buy? How is it sold, like how big are the bottles? Are the bottles sold individually or in groups?   We have been selling the hand sanitizer from the distillery, as we do not have the personnel or funds to deliver it.  That said, for larger orders (5 gal or more), we will arrange delivery through authorized shippers. The 2 oz. spray bottle is sold by itself for $2.00 (due to the high price of the bottle, and limit 2 per customer), the 8 oz. bottles sell for $7, the 32 oz bottles sell for $17, and a 5 gal sealed bucket can be filled for $320 (or we'll provide the bucket and lid for $12).  The larger bottles can be used to fill smaller bottles that folks have around the house or office/business.  We will not allow anyone to buy in bulk in order to resell (to avoid hoarding and price gouging). How many employees are allowed in the distillery at a time while the hand sanitizer is being made?   We haven't had much of a problem with this, as we only have four employees remaining on payroll.  With volunteers, however, we like to keep the number at no more than six at any one time.  The distillery space is actually quite large.


Nauti Spirits is making hand sanitizer from high-proof alcohol that we distilled earlier in the year. We are working with Partners Pharmacy of Springfield, NJ, to provide the remaining ingredients and professional oversight to compound this 80% ethanol sanitizer. We offer the product in 5 gal. covered containers for larger businesses and organizations. We also offer it in 32 oz. bottles. PLEASE NOTE: Smaller bottles are nearly impossible to find commercially, and we are using our remaining supply to continue donating to our frontline responders. We will update this page if and when smaller bottles become available for sale. The larger options will enable you to fill existing smaller containers for household and employee needs. We are not able to ship this product and it is only available for pickup at the distillery. Out of necessity, we respectfully request that businesses and government entities designate a single point of contact for ordering and managing the distribution of hand sanitizer to your employees. Please email us at info@nautispirits.com for pricing, availability and pick up times and we will get back to you ASAP. Thank you so much, and please, take care of yourselves and your families through this difficult time.

What’s Growing in the Garden at Nauti Spirits Distillery

August 29, 2017

Have you ever wondered what’s growing in the beautiful planter boxes that surround Nauti Spirits? At our Cape May distillery, we believe that the best flavors come from farm-fresh ingredients, that’s why we grow a wide variety of herbs, flowers, and chilies to infuse in our draft drinks and create syrups & macerations for our specialty cocktails.

What’s sprouting now? Applewood Mint adds a bright pop of color and flavor to our (non-alcoholic) herbal tea blend, in addition to the various mints and lemon thyme that work together to develop its unique profiles. Rosemary is the star in our limited edition draft cocktail, “August and Everything After,” along with watermelon, lemon and, of course, Nauti Spirits’ signature sweet potato vodka. Stevia sweetens our Lemon Verbena Tea for The Bee Sting, our twist on the classic “Bee’s Knees.” Our Bloody Mary gets a hit of heat from our chili peppers. And just popping up? Our very own Chamomile.  We can’t wait for you to see what we mix up utilizing this crisp, apple scented herb.

Nauti Spirits Craft Distillery Blends Dreams With Vision

August 25, 2017

Thank you to John Cooke and the Star & Wave for this excellent article.

A new local craft distillery is offering spirits made from nature’s bounty, and for those wishing to taste the “sweet life,” Nauti Spirits is just the spot.

Steve Miller, a retired lieutenant commander and JAG Corps officer from the U.S. Navy, had a vision to open a craft distillery in Cape May County. What Miller, an energy industry attorney, lacked was a location or land. “I had a business plan and a vision that my wife didn’t try to talk me out of,” said Miller a Cape May Point and Annapolis, Maryland resident.

Twenty years ago, Corey and Dorey Bryan purchased 60 acres of farmland off Shunpike Road in Lower Township. They dreamed of a horse farm, a place to raise their children while being good stewards of the land. While Les Rea a local farmer, grew soy beans on their land, Corey operated The Lemon Tree, the family restaurant on the Washington Street Mall. Dorey similarly, worked at West Cape May elementary school.

Read more here…

Live Music & BBQ at Nauti Spirits

August 22, 2017

Join us for a spirited night of beats and BBQ.  Matt & his famous BBQ will be serving grill fare for both carnivores and vegetarians at 5pm Wednesday, August 23rd and Friday, August, 25th and around 3pm on Saturday, August 26th. Matt will be set up adjacent to our licensed premises on the preserved farm.

Singer-songwriter Jon Thompson plays the Tasting Room at Nauti Spirits Distillery from 5:30 – 8:30 pm on Wednesday the 23rd.

C. Lynne Smith plays in the Tasting Room from 5:30 – 8:30 on Friday the 25th. Her style ranges from traditional country with a modern feel to folk-rock and beyond.

Dan Barry takes the stage Saturday the 26th from 5:30-8:30 pm in the Tasting Room. Dan considers himself a “jam” musician adopting an improvisational style composed of Americana, folk rock, and reggae among other styles.

Come on over, take a tour, try a cocktail from our updated menu and listen to some music!

Things to Do in Cape May: Worth the Wait. Craft Takes Time.

August 10, 2017

Why the wait? Craft takes time.

At Nauti Spirits, we’re passionate about crafting unique, farm-fresh flavor every step of the way at our Cape May distillery.

In the Rickhouse, we start with thousands of pounds of locally sourced sweet potatoes, corn and grains, and American molasses.

In the Distillery, our distillers decide what makes the cut, not machines.

We smell and taste and refine our recipes to unveil the rave-worthy flavor profiles you’re sure to love. We barrel and age, we bottle by hand. We take great care in producing spirits that we’re proud to put the Nauti Spirits label on.

And finally, in the tasting room, the dedication to detail continues. Head bartender Matt Reeves concocts syrups and seltzers, macerations and mixtures, and draft cocktails using ingredients we grow right here on our Cape May farm. We crush our ice by hand. We measure while we mix to ensure you get the same flavors in your favorite drink, every time.

At Nauti Spirits, we value craft over the clock. Come experience the farm-fresh difference, you just might find your new favorite cocktail.  It’s worth the wait.

Things to Do in Cape May: Gin is Coming!

August 2, 2017

Come celebrate Nauti Spirits’ gin and taste our new gin cocktails on Tuesday, August 8th from 12-9pm.

We’ll have a bottle signing with our Head Distiller Brendan Wheatley from 4-7pm and we’ll also have music from 4-7pm as well.

Farm-to-bottle: Craft distillery making vodka from Jersey sweet potatoes in Cape May

July 27, 2017

Thanks to Drew Lazor and Philly.com for this excellent article. Photo: Elizabeth Robertson.

Growing up in Newtown Square, Dorey Bryan dreamed of one day owning a horse farm that backed up right to the beach. She ended up instead with a distillery that makes small-batch vodka out of New Jersey sweet potatoes, and she couldn’t be happier.

Bryan, along with her husband, Corey, and partner Steve Miller, are the founders of Nauti Spirits, a nascent operation that honors Cape May County’s booze-soaked history and terroir in more ways than one. On a 60-acre preserved farm that sits right on the Cape May Canal, the not-yet-two-month-old Nauti proudly touts itself as a “farm-to-bottle” operation — the stuff coming off their stunning 750-gallon, 23-foot-tall copper still is largely derived from raw material plucked from local fields, providing cocktail-loving beachcombers with a literal taste of the shore, sans the sand and salt water.

Taking this hyperlocal tack is not just preferred from a craftsman’s standpoint — it’s actually dictated by law. Since Nauti is designated as preserved farmland by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, it is required that a minimum of 51 percent of its annual gross sales come directly from the output of the farm itself. In other words, they’ve got to make their money off what they grow — which is where those sweet potatoes come in.

Read the full story here…

Things to do in Cape May: Nauti Spirits is Launching Rum

July 21, 2017

Sail on over to Nauti Spirits Tuesday, July 25th for our Rum Launch Event from 4-7pm. The Tasting Room will be premiering our flavorful new rum drinks.

Head distiller Brendan Wheatley will be on hand to sign your bottles. Get here before they’re gone!

Things to Do in Cape May: Oysters R Back at Nauti Spirits Distillery this Sunday!

June 30, 2017


We completely sold out last week at our Cape May distillery, (Krystina helped a lot!) so this week, our friends at the popup farm stand are bringing in even more sweet, sweet oysters. Be like Krystina and get them while you can!

This Sunday and every Sunday, join us for ice-cold oysters on the half shell from Dias Creek Oysters, LLC from noon to until they’re gone.  Orville, the State Champion Oyster shucker will be set up in a popup farm stand on the preserved farm adjacent to the Nauti Spirits Distillery premises.  Orville tells us that these Delaware Bay Oysters will be just $2 a shuck.  

Do the Nauti thing and enjoy with a Nauti Spirits Bloody Mary. 

Tour Guides Wanted

June 28, 2017

Tour Guide Wanted

$10 / hour

Nauti Spirits Distillery is looking for outgoing, responsible tour guides to host our guests on 30-40 minute behind the scenes tours of our Cape May farm and production facility. If you have an interest in craft spirits and desire to educate and entertain, we want to talk to you!

Job responsibilities & requirements include (but are not limited to):
• Lead a 30-40 walking tour of Nauti Spirits Farm and Distillery
• Ability to mix and pour a pitcher cocktail created specifically for our Tour
• Simple data entry
• At least 21 years old
• Available to work weekends and holidays
• A desire to learn about craft spirits and the distillation process

Please send your cover letter and resume to hiring@nautispirits.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

916 Shun Pike Rd
Cape May, NJ 08204-4321

Things to do in Cape May: Nauti Spirits Cape May Distillery is BYOF

June 26, 2017

You’ve heard of BYOB?  Well, at Nauti Spirits, our Cape May distillery is BYOF.  That’s Bring Your Own Feast.  You heard us right.  Nauti Spirits Distillery has all the B you’ll need to enjoy some hand crafted cocktails.  The B is distilled right here on our Cape May farm.  We also have amazing house-made sodas and fresh juices for our designated drivers.

We invite you to join us for a picnic or some tasty snacks– order in from Nauti’s book of local menus or bring your own feast. Like we said, we’ll provide the B and you provide the F.