Founders: Dorit and David Nahmias
If you’ve never heard of mahia, it’s time to get to know this traditional Moroccan spirit, which is akin to a fig grappa and produced at only one distillery in the U.S. (Hint: It’s in Westchester County.) “Historically, every Moroccan town or village would have a Jewish family that was known for making mahia,” Dorit Mahias says. “My husband grew up [in Morocco] watching his mother and grandmother making it and selling it.” Fast forward to 2009, Dorit and David—who worked in banking and software, respectively, in the U.S.— both lost their jobs, and they decided to follow David’s dream of opening a distillery. Nahmias et Fils mahia is now featured on cocktail menus at a variety of local restaurants. “It has great mixology applications,” Dorit says. “You can use it in a margarita in place of tequila and it makes a great mule with lemon juice and ginger beer.” The distillery also produces rye whiskey and plans to release an apple brandy soon. They’re open for tastings and tours as well.
Photograph by Hollie Bertram