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About Culinary Solvent

The people who make Culinary Solvent - Meet Scott and Jessica

That's us serving vodka cocktail samples in 2009 to guests at Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine.

"We're not another big copacker distribution warehouse. Culinary Solvent is pure ethanol, distilled by real people in Maine.  Distilling ethanol in small batches is all we do, and we do it the best."

It's all about the people.

We know the true essence of your product starts with great foundations. At Culinary Solvent, our premium quality food grade ethanol is lovingly crafted to guarantee you the finest there is.

From tinctures and bitters to disinfectant and sanitizer, we are the blueprint for an array of extraordinary products.

We’re a family business that cares. It’s our philosophy that the finest ingredients and authentic production methods create the best. That’s why together, we only produce our neutral food grade ethanol in small batches, using selected 100% organic corn.

As distillers of distinction, we seek to empower you by arming you with a premium quality product, so you can create great things.

Scott and Jessica’s Story

We both met in 2000 at Rensselaer, upstate NY whilst studying engineering degrees. For Scott’s final semester project in 2004, we hatched a plan to turn Maine potatoes into a premium vodka.

What began as a college project quickly snowballed, and ignited our passion for the alchemy of distillation.

By 2008 we had our equipment, systems and licenses and had set up the Northern Maine Distilling Company in an abandoned airport hangar in Houlton. We were ready to roll out our first vodka batches by summer 2009.

Alas, the potatoes were a no-go, so we experimented with other ingredients until we perfected our product with corn, and Twenty 2 Vodka was born.

Along the way, Twenty 2 Vodka collected armfuls of awards for quality, including double gold in the SF world spirits competition, and back-to-back platinum awards from the SIP Awards.

Having perfected our vodka brand, we asked ourselves, “what’s next?” Redefining our focus as a distiller of pure ethanol, we saw its endless possibilities and applications beyond beverages.

Today, we are happily married with three wonderful children, two dogs and a cat. As a family, we are proud to harness our award-winning expertise as distillers of distinction, to bring you our remarkable Culinary Solvent.”

-Scott Galbiati and Jessica Jewell


Our Distillation Process

Made with 100% corn, discover our product’s journey from harvesting to bottling.

  1. 100% Corn bill is sourced, sorted, and graded.  Yeast convert the sugars into ethanol, which is distilled until reaching 96.2% ethanol.
  2. Remaining water is dehydrated out using a ceramic filter known as a molecular sieve.  This process traps H2O molecules out of solution with the ethanol molecule resulting in an anhydrous alcohol product at this point.  No benzene or other chemicals are never used for dehydration maintaining the food grade status.  
  3. Rectification using a small-batch pot still.  We go the extra step of distilling after dehydration using our array of small batch pot stills.  Each distillation consists of three primary parts: the heads, the hearts and the tails. It’s the heart that’s the good stuff! The heads and the tails are always isolated and discarded.  
  4. Distillation is an "analog" process (compared to a "digital" process) and knowing when to stop collecting heads and start collecting tails is the task of our master distiller.  The same goes for tails. At this point, the distiller is in total control over the final quality output of the distillation run.
  5. Because we only work in small batches, this gives us ultimate quality control. By breaking up a large distillation run's volume into many smaller stills, the master distiller can better isolate the hearts of the run, discarding the heads and tails where impurities (character, aroma, flavor) remain.
  6. We use the same distillation system to make our food grade ethanol as we do our multi award-winning vodka, so you can be sure of its premium quality.

Why Choose Culinary Solvent?

Made with Care

We’re not just a chemical distributor. The Northern Maine Distilling Company is a fully-licensed, federal distilled spirits plant, and we only operate in and sell pure nondenatured ethanol that is safe. 

A Track Record You Can Trust

Did we mention our Twenty 2 Vodka is America’s most awarded? We take the same pride in our pure ethanol so you can rest assured you only get the finest quality there is.

No Middle Man

Because you’re buying ethanol directly from us – the manufacturer – you won’t get any mark ups or questionable quality product.

MOFGA and USDA Certified Organic

USDA Certified Organic food grade ethanol also available distilled from non-GMO organic corn.

Small Batch Production

We champion authentic, artisanal ways of production. That’s why we only produce in small batches.  When it comes to distilling for quality, smaller is better.

We Love Our Customers

Got an enquiry or questions? Unhappy for whatever reason? Customer satisfaction is our number one priority so reach out to us and one of our team will be on hand to assist.


A team of knowledgeable people if you need to ask for help.

Our commitment to being the best in the food grade ethanol category is extended to all aspects of the purchase product through delivery.  There are many moving parts involved with your ethanol delivery and sometimes you just need to speak to a human who can assist. 

When you contact us, you are speaking with the team who works at the distillery. When will my item ship? When will my item be delivered?  License and permit question? Can we ship to your State? Can we ship internationally? Can you bundle orders to save shipping? Can I get my excise tax back? What is excise tax drawback? Any of these questions and more we are ready and willing to assist with directly.  Also, visit our FAQ.