Packaging Design by Philadelphia Distilling

Ever wonder what goes in to the packaging design of some of the wine and liquor bottles you see on the shelves of your local spirits store? I know I do! One of my favorite bottle designs is that of Bluecoat Gin made by Philadelphia Distilling. I love it so much that I've been known to turn empty bottles into flower vases. Philadelphia Distilling is the first craft distillery in the state of Pennsylvania since prohibition and makers of a very delicious trio of spirits: Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Penn 1681 Vodka, and Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure. Last week I had the chance to catch up with friend and account executive, Meredith Maciolek, to learn more about the inspiration behind the design of their bottles. I had assumed that they used a high-powered design firm considering their quality and was amazed to hear that the staff, including Master Distiller Robert Cassell, plans all of the designs in-house. Read on for the details behind all three bottle designs. Visit their website for more product information and vendor locations.

Bluecoat Gin: The name and bottle color represent the American uniforms during the Revolutionary War. The gold represents the buttons on the officers’ jackets, and the strip stamp that helps keep the bottle sealed symbolizes their epaulettes. The two-horse logo beneath the Bluecoat name comes from the seal on the Pennsylvania state flag. Finally, the horse motif or coat of arms that is stamped on the front of the bottle is Philadelphia Distilling’s own design.

Penn 1681 Vodka:
1681 is the year that King Charles granted William Penn the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Distilling chose rye for their grain and as the centerpiece of their bottle because of its long history as a cash crop in Pennsylvania. During the years in which the country was founded, the state was famed for its rye based spirits. In the 1700's Robert’s family bought land directly from William Penn in Bluebell, so the design is near and dear to his heart.

Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure:
Philadelphia Distilling’s absinthe is named after the French Quarter in New Orleans, which locals affectionately refer to as the “Vieux Carre,” or “old square." The “wallpaper” on their bottle pays homage to the wrought iron architecture of the balconies that overlook it. They also worked some of their botanicals into the design like Our Grand Wormwood (the mysterious banned ingredient!) and Hyssop (a fragrant tea-like herb with delicate, purple flowers). They describe their square packaging as a decanter rather than a bottle, as it’s meant to displayed and enjoyed.

Bonus Fact: Philadelphia Distilling is the first distillery to distill, produce, bottle, and sell absinthe east of Louisiana since 1912!


  1. I love these bottles too. I also like what's in them. The gin in terrific and reasonably priced, particularly compared to other high end options. It's a tribute to the history and design that they use Bluecoat at City Tavern, which is perhaps my favorite historical site to visit in Philly.


Post a Comment