Co-owner, Co-founder, North Shore Distillery
Sonja Kassebaum is the Co-Owner and Co-founder of North Shore Distillery, located in north suburban Chicago. North Shore is the original craft distillery in Illinois, opening at a time when there were just a few dozen craft distilleries in the United States. Sonja loves making spirits and cocktails of all kinds, and enjoys sharing them with others, including the history, tools and techniques involved in making them. She is an artist at heart, and views spirits and cocktails as her artistic mediums. Sonja is a published author on the subject of cocktails and cocktail culture, and has spoken to groups across the Midwest about cocktail history, cocktail making and Chicago cocktail culture. She has been mentioned in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Forbes, Daily Herald and Edible Chicago, among others, and has repeatedly been named to New City’s Big Heat list of the 50 most influential people in Chicago food and drink. In 2020, Sonja was named one of “Eight Women who Changed Gin History” by Wine Enthusiast.