An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people flocked to free festivities Saturday afternoon and early evening as Mutiny Vodka Distillery celebrated its grand opening at Estate Sion Farm.
Mutiny was conceived in 2013 on St. Croix by Todd Manley, owner of 40 Strand Restaurant, with input from chef Sam Choy. Manley then partnered with Chris Richeson, the gold medal-winning distiller from Chesapeake Bay Distillery in Norfolk, Virginia, who perfected the recipe.
Until the Sion Farm Distillery opened in April, which was converted from the former Island Dairies to make vodka, Mutiny was distilled in Norfolk. Now, St. Croix is Mutiny’s home.
Saturday’s celebration included moko jumbies, musicians, and Samoan chefs who demonstrated how to cook with breadfruit. Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. was on hand to water a newly planted breadfruit tree in the Mutiny orchard – a key ingredient in the unique vodka.
Attendees took tours of the renovated dairy and enjoyed food and drinks from several vendors. St. Thomas’s reggae artist Pressure Busspipe topped off the celebration.