In an unassuming building in the heart of hip and gritty south Tel Aviv, a young distillery is hours away from auctioning off a batch of what it calls the first Israeli-made single malt whiskey. As Silvia Antonioli reports, start-up Milk & Honey is hoping to capitalize on a global renaissance among whiskey aficionados.
When you think whiskey sandy beaches and arid landscapes might not be the first thing that pops into your mind. Yet a young distillery in Tel Aviv is auctioning off what it claims is the first Israeli-made single malt whiskey. And of course it's kosher. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MILK & HONEY DISTILLERY CEO, EITAN ATTIR, SAYING: "There is two huge advantages of producing whiskey here in Israel. One of them is the very hot climate we have here, we have temperature and humidity for like seven months in a row that make the whiskey matured three times faster than in any other traditional place. Second thing is Israel has four different climate zones so they are going to affect the barrels really differently." Israeli wine has dominated the regional market for decades and microbreweries have enjoyed a more recent success. Now Milk & Honey is hoping to cash in on a global renaissance among whiskey aficionados. They produce their spirit in an unassuming building in the heart of hip and gritty south Tel Aviv. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MILK & HONEY DISTILLERY CEO, EITAN ATTIR, SAYING: "There is a huge demand now for a story , for different kind of products from different locations and climate zones, so this is our market. "Our customers are going to embrace us, not because we are Kosher or the Jewish land but beside that, because we have amazing quality and we are from a different place and we are new." The distillery is selling the first 291 bottles of its "experimental series" locally and is offering 100 in an online auction. A rapid way to gauge how adventurous international buyers are when it comes to exotic spirits.