Jewish St. Louis distiller has perfect spirit for Sukkot


Bottles of David Hermelin’s kosher craft liqueurs: Righteous Seven, The Fifth Cup (which is kosher for Passover) and Righteous Seven Barrel Reserve.

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

If you’re stocking your bar for a festive Sukkot celebration, which begins October 9 here’s a tip: Get a bottle of Righteous Seven liqueur. The award-winning spirit is inspired by the Old Testament and manufactured right here in the St. Louis area.

Righteous Seven is a premium blend of alcohol, flavored with seven species of plants found in the book of Deuteronomy, which praises the attributes of Israel as “a land with wheat and barley, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil, and honey.” Grapes represent the seventh flavor in the mix.

David Hermelin is shown with the barrels used to age Hermelin’s Righteous Seven Barrel Reserve liqueur. Photo: Bill Motchan

In a recent email to his fans, David Hermelin, founder of Righteous Road® Craft Spirits, pointed out how the Seven Species correspond to the seven holy guests that visit the Sukkah each night.

1st night_Avraham–kindness–wheat

2nd night_Yitzchak–strength–barley

3rd night_Yaakov–beauty–grapes

4th night_Moshe–endurance–figs

5th night_Aharon–splendor–pomegranate

6th night_Yosef–foundation–olives

7th night_Dovid–kingship–dates

After a career in the pharmaceutical industry, Hermelin was searching for a new challenge when he saw the popularity of bourbon, rye and craft beer, so he set his sights on an untapped market: kosher spirits.

“The kosher market was not really that creatively serviced,” said Hermelin, 54. “The market for Righteous Seven in the Jewish world is really a perfect fit. And you don’t have you have to be Jewish to enjoy it. There are a lot of Christians this really resonates with. It’s that Judeo-Christian background relating to the meaning of the land of Israel and the foods and fruits and the grains. But the low-hanging fruit is the Jewish market and that’s what I saw I could get into quickly.”

Currently, Righteous Road® offers three liqueurs made from the Seven Species to bring to your Sukkah. The latest, introduced this past spring is GIBOR™ a whiskey liquer made with straight rye and bourbon whiskeys and blended with Righteous Seven® liqueur at 80 proof. Enjoy it neat or on the rocks.