Queens Courage is a refined interpretation of Old Tom gin, a style of gin that was very popular in the 1800’s and pre-Prohibition era. As a result, many classic cocktails call for, and can only properly be made with, Old Tom gin. Queens Courage was carefully formulated to work as a key ingredient in a wide variety of cocktails, yet we take such care in selecting our ingredients and distilling the spirit that we think Queens Courage is also smooth enough to enjoy neat or on the rocks.

Queens Courage is a New York spirit. In addition to using New York grains, we use 100% pure New York honey to sweeten our gin, a portion of which comes from rooftops in New York City. Queens Courage also includes a malt component that gives it a luscious mouth-feel and also imparts a subtle malty sweetness. The primary citrus component in Queens Courage is grapefruit that contributes a lovely and unique citrus note, and also adds a slight bitter note that complements the honey used to make Queens Courage an Old Tom gin.


Unlike most gins, Queens Courage’s botanicals are distilled in separate fractions. This allows us to treat each botanical fraction differently to get the best individual flavor from our carefully selected botanicals. We then marry all the components together to get the best unified flavor profile we can. This is a lot of extra work, but we think it is worth it.



We use 100% New York natural honey to add a subtle sweetness to Queens Courage. A portion of our honey comes from rooftops in Queens where we are based. Once we have our own production facility we plan to establish our own apiary of beehives on our roof so we can harvest our own Queens rooftop honey.

Honey is a complex food with many components that add to its unique flavor. We are so proud of the quality of honey that we use, that we have chosen to limit the amount of filtering and processing we do to the honey. This helps us retain the rich character of the honey, and also means that the honey may impart a slight haze to Queens Courage, particularly if a bottle experiences dramatic fluctuations in temperature. This haze is natural and will not impact the flavor of the gin. If you want to clear up the haze, simply give the bottle a vigorous shake at room temperature.



The idea for building a distillery in Queens was born on New Years Eve in 2011; a few cocktails may have provided some of the inspiration. By the spring of 2012 our Founder, Chris Murillo, started visiting local distilleries and learning everything he could about the craft of distilling and the spirits business. Distillers are a hospitable lot, and the Astoria Distilling Company was welcomed into the community with open arms. Over the course of the next two years, with the help of craft distillers throughout the country, and in particular our Master Distiller, Jordan Via, we developed a world class spirit and a business plan to bring it to market.

In June 2014, Chris Murillo left the practice of law after 9 years, and committed himself to launching Queens Courage and working on establishing the first distillery in Queens since Prohibition. That month, Batch 1 of Queens Courage was distilled and bottled and the first sales were made on June 21, 2014. With luck and hard work, we hope to open our distillery in Queens by 2015.



Queens Courage is a product of the Astoria Distilling Company, a small family owned business committed to opening a craft spirits distillery in the borough of Queens, NY. As a Queens-based distillery our vision is to celebrate the diversity of Queens by producing premium spirits that reflect the cultural heritage of our global community.



Chris Murillo

Chris Murillo

Founder & Assistant Distiller

Chris is passionate about craft spirits and cocktails, and about his home borough of Queens, which is why he left a 9-year career as a corporate lawyer in Manhattan to pursue his dream of founding the first craft spirits distillery in Queens since Prohibition. In addition to managing the business and finances of the Astoria Distilling Company, Chris is the principal brand ambassador and assistant distiller for Queens Courage.


Jordan Via

Master Distiller & Consultant

Jordan has over a decade or experience as a master distiller, and has consulted on the establishment of dozens of distilleries throughout the United States. He is a frequent lecturer for the American Distilling Institute and regularly teaches introductory and advanced distilling techniques in classes and seminars around the country. In addition to his consulting and teaching, Jordan is also the Master Distiller at Breckenridge Distilling in Colorado.

Nicci Carnagio-sm

Nicole Carnaggio

Brand Ambassador & Cocktail Consultant

Nicci has leveraged her background in Advertising and Hotel & Restaurant Management as manager of the Sparrow Tavern for the past 8 years, during which period it was named the Top Cocktail Bar in Astoria by Time-Out New York, and one of the Top 10 Cocktail Bars in NYC by Gothamist. A pioneer in Astoria’s craft cocktail movement, Nicci uses her extensive culinary knowledge and creativity to create distinctive drink recipes. Nicci is a devoted Astorian who volunteers as part of the Sparrow Film Project team, and is a co-founding editor of Idlewild Magazine, a Queens culture guide.


April Rose Lucas

Tasting Room Manager, Brand Ambassador & Cocktail Consultant

April Rose is best known for her creative cocktail programs and special events in the Astoria/LIC community. She now serves as a fierce brand ambassador, craft cocktail class instructor and is adding her touch to a variety of bar programs in NYC through cocktail consulting.



All media inquiries can be directed here. A copy of our media kit is available here.