Creativity and work hasn't stopped Boot Hill Distillery adding to its list of spirits for all to enjoy.

Being in "Old West" Dodge City, BHD owner Hayes Kelman and his team looked at the history of Dodge City for a unique flavor and came up with the right concoction.

With sarsaparilla being a part of that history and the rise in flavored vodkas being a go-to drink of choice, work was put in play for a sarsaparilla vodka.

“In a crowded spirits market, we try to create spirits that no one else makes,” said Kelman. “This is what sets us apart.”

According to BHD, once used for medicinal purposes to cure anything from skin conditions to disorders of the kidneys, sarsaparilla was more widely popular as the drink of choice (aside from whiskey) for cowboys in the wild west.

“After a year of experimentation, we finally landed on the right combination of root to neutral grain spirit,” Kelman said.

Since its inception, the distillery has released experimental batches every year.

Experiment No. 5 will be the first flavored vodka released by the distillery coming in at 101 proof.

Currently, the vodka can be purchased only at the distillery and will be available with cocktails as part of the distillery's winter menu.

BHD wasn't done once the vodka was ready to go, as it also will release its Straight Wheat Whiskey

According to BHD, federal regulations determine how labels on bottles of alcohol read, and the term “straight” in front of whiskey or bourbon means that the whiskey has been aged no less than two years.

The distillery filled new American white oak barrels with whiskey distilled from 100% hard red winter wheat back in December 2016 and January 2017, and the time is up for its first “straight” whiskey. "What emerged from those barrels is an exceptionally sweet and mellow whiskey with notes of fruit and spice," BHD said. "This bottling is also pleasantly hot at 100 proof."

The Boot Hill Distillery Straight Wheat Whiskey is only available at the distillery at this time, but will be in liquor stores across Kansas some time during the first of 2020.

“We are incredibly excited to offer this to our fans,“ BHD director of sales Lee Griffith said. “Kansas is the Wheat State, so it is only fitting we make a wheat whiskey.”

The BHD winter menu in the Tasting Room will feature three seasonal drinks, two of which using BHD's newest spirits on "The Naughty List."

"Noggin on Heaven's Door" features the new 101 Proof Sarsaparilla Vodka, cinnamon syrup and heavy cream with a cinnamon dusting on top.

"Gingle Bells" is a holiday twist on a classic French 75 and "Santa's Milk Punch or Santa's Milk and Cookies" is a classic milk punch with BHD Bourbon, vanilla syrup and heavy cream with a nutmeg dusting on top that is served with a sugar cookie on the side.

The Hot Toddy menu also returns and will feature the Classic Hot Toddy with lemon, sugar, the "cure all" Prickly Ash Bitters and Red Eye Whiskey; Boozy Hot Chocolate with White Whiskey, heavy cream, cocoa and a toasted marshmallow; and Hot Apple Cider with White Whiskey, apple cider mix and a lemon wheel.

Located at 501 W. Spruce in Dodge City, Boot Hill Distillery is farmer-owned with all of its grain used to make their spirits coming off locally owned family farms.


Editor's Note: This story is part of the Good News Initiative where the Dodge City Daily Globe will be highlighting a positive news story daily, sponsored by First Dental of Dodge City.

To send inquiries of possible positive news stories, email managing editor Vincent Marshall at