For Grace Gillespie, fitness is a way of life. A veteran of fitness competitions since 2009, Gillespie previously owned a gym and juice bar in Ohio. She notes that her clients would often come to her with one question: “I’m going to drink—don’t tell me not to—what’s the best option?”
This prompt inspired her to develop Muscle Vodka, which she launched in 2017 using a distillery out of Tampa. In July 2022, having relocated to the Stuart area, Gillespie founded Muscle Craft Distillery, Martin County’s first and only distillery and one of just a handful of women-owned distilleries in the country. “I wanted to be able to make all of my own products, handcraft everything, and expand my brand,” she says of the move.
Gillespie’s flagship vodka is non-GMO, low-cal, and free of gluten, sugar, and carbs. She can craft custom flavored vodkas in small batches and offers seasonal flavors too (look out for a “red hot” cinnamon one for Valentine’s Day). In addition to vodka, she also has a rum and will soon debut tequila and whiskey.
Gillespie’s passion for health and wellness are still integral to her brand. Her distillery is fitness-themed, with a wall wrapped in pictures from bodybuilding shows and competitions. It is open to the public for tastings and sales, and also boasts a smoothie and juice bar, with all of her smoothies clocking in at under 300 calories. “I have no sugar in the building except for the natural sugar in the fruit,” she adds.