Service Industry Vets Launch Employee-Owned Misguided Spirits


May 24, 2022

Misguided Spirits

A collection of lifelong industry veterans, working together to provide a more equitable approach to the service industry while providing a locally-owned alternative to global spirits companies, have formed New York City-based Misguided Spirits.

Focusing on well drinks — the staples of all bars — the distillery combines an owner-operated sales team and gypsy distilling to create a nontraditional approach that prioritizes their customers and putting the finest bottles in their well.

Created first and foremost for bartenders, Misguided Spirits offers five high-quality well spirits that do right by the people who sell them as well as by the folks who pour and drink them. As an employee-owned company, half the profits from every case of Misguided Spirits’ Hinky Dink’s Workingman’s Whiskey (SRP $29.99), Howe & Hummel’s Crooked Vodka (SRP $19.99), Bathhouse John’s Well-Dressed Gin (SRP $24.99), Black Dove’s Sacred Heart Tequila (SRP $29.99), and Caribbean Queen’s Red Sky Rum (SRP $29.99) goes to the rep who works on that account, in the form of his or her take-home pay. And every case sold by a rep counts toward an ownership share in the company itself.

But Misguided Spirits is not just committed to supporting their employees, they are committed to the betterment of the service industry in general. Since the early days of the pandemic — which also happened to be the early days of their business — they have been involved with Save NYC Bars and other local programs helping to support each other through what continues to be difficult times for many. That commitment is also why each Misguided Spirits route is repped by someone who lives in the neighborhood and has a direct connection to the local community.

“We are committed to our customers because they also serve as our own beloved local hangouts, without which we would be lost,” James Zinkand, company founder, and a working rep for the distillery, said in a news release. “Supporting people who live in your neighborhood means you have a vested interest in the success of those local businesses and the people who run them. So, our customers know too, when they buy from us, they are investing in us and our ability to service them.”

The products are available through Union Beer Distributors in New York State and the New York City Metropolitan Area. They are also available for purchase on and the Misguided Spirits website: