Category Archives: Spirits

Fashion’s Night Out

This past Friday I attended my first Fashion Week event.  The focus was more food and drink than it was fashion.

Finger Lakes Distilling was invited as one of the artisanal whiskeys.

Before the hoards. From left to right: Gable of Tutillhown, Brian from FLD and Noah (making sure the product is safe to serve).

Nastassia, Nils and Dave doing their thing behind the bar.

The very tasty (and cleverly named) cocktail prepared by team FCI. Between the bar and our table, we went through 21 bottles of rye in 3 hours.

Jeff, one of our hosts, stopping by to chat with Brian. He really dug the rye, the Glen Thunder and the cassis. Let's hope he writes about it!

Another thirsty guest.

No cabs to be found that night. We got a few stares on the bus.

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Filed under Cocktails, Spirits

Free booze this week

Finger Lakes Distilling has two upcoming events at Union Square Wines & Spirits. From their website:

Event Date: Friday, July 30, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Description of tasting:
Join USQ and Finger Lakes Distillery’s Selena Shannon for a look at their Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka! Master distiller Thomas Earl prides himself on the fine elixirs created on Seneca Lake, be they whiskey, gin, eau-de-vie, liqueurs or vodka. Marrying the skills of vintner and distiller, Thomas Earl has created one beauty of a vodka- Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka starts with a grape neutral spirit distilled from the estate’s local grapes. The distillate is infused with pounds of native strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries before a final distillation to further refine and balance the vodka. This hand-crafted spirit might well pass for a vibrant eau-de-vie from the likes of Massenez or Riesetbauer but stop by and sip for yourself! Selena will be showing the Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka both neat and in a summer cocktail just in time for the dog days of summer!

Admission to this tasting is free, and no reservations are required!

If you can’t make it Friday, stop by on Saturday:

Event Date: Saturday, July 31, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Description of tasting:
Few cocktails can capture the feeling of summer like the Gin & Tonic. The trinity of ingredients- the squeeze of lime, the bite of quinine, the juniper-fueled expression of spirit- encapsulate the essence of refreshment on a hot NYC day….anyone thirsty? Stop by the salon for USQ’s Summer Sereis: The G&T Invitational! Featured producers include Europe’s Bulldog Gin, Boudier Saffron Gin, and Old Raj Gin, domestic spirits from Farmer’s Organic Gin, Ransom Old Tom Gin, Death’s Door Gin, Aviation Gin, Junipero Gin, and the Finger Lakes Distillery’s Seneca Drums Gin!

Admission to this tasting is free, and no reservations are required!

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Asimov enjoys a McKenzie rye Manhattan

Granted, the Diner’s Journal post on July 16th focused primarily on vermouth, but it’s always exciting to get a mention in the New York Times!

ABC Kitchen Rye Whiskey Manhattan

  • 1 1/2 ounces McKenzie rye whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashion bitters
  • 1 teaspoon brandied cherry juice
  • 3 brandied cherries, for garnish.
Method
  • Combine ingredients in a glass shaker with ice. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cherries.

My favorite quote, “Of course, what makes this particular Manhattan so good is not merely the vermouth, but the combination of superb ingredients in it.”

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Local gin delivered to your door

Oh, yes.  Effective this week, FreshDirect is carrying Seneca Drums Gin!  Here’s what they have to say about it:

This tasty gin is one of our favorite elixirs from upstate NY’s Finger Lakes Distilling. Named for the lake above which their distillery operates, the Seneca Drums Gin starts as a base spirit derived from three local wine grape varieties, Niagara, Concord, and Catawba, before being infused with a proprietary recipe of botanicals that give this refreshing beverage its distinctive aromas and flavors. Boasting explosive aromas of juniper, citrus and spice, this gin has richly textured flavors of sweet sap, petrol, and mineral undertones that shine with tonic and lime. Great in gimlets and martinis as well, this spirit pairs well with summer hors d’oeuvres such as endive and tuna salad, or savory grilled shrimp cocktails.

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Is premium booze better than the cheap stuff?

Jeremy Hsu, a staff writer for Life’s Little Mysteries, recently addressed this question and asked yours truly to comment.  View the story here.

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Filed under Alcohol in the News, Spirits

We’ve made another fan

David Flaherty, author of Grapes & Grains

David Flaherty pens the blog Grapes & Grains, and recently posted, “Channeling the Spirit of the Finger Lakes“, highlighting his favorite offerings from Finger Lakes Distilling.

Go visit him (and have a cocktail) at Hearth or Terroir in NYC.

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Martha gets down with FLD

The McKenzie Rye is featured in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living.

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Filed under Noteworthy articles, Spirits

More love for the white dog

Josh Ozersky penned “White Dog Rising: Moonshine’s Moment” for Time yesterday.

Some highlights:

“Why is moonshine making a comeback? For the same reason absinthe did a few years ago. Because it’s delicious. Because it’s illegal. And because it’s cool.”

“None of the luxury-tinged language that surrounds its grown-up siblings, like bourbon or scotch, applies to the dog. There are no 12 years of ‘mellowing,’ no ‘complex vanilla notes.'”

“Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace (one of the oldest and most admired distillers in the U.S.) makes White Dog, Wisconsin’s Death’s Door Spirits has White Whisky and even New York’s tiny Finger Lakes Distilling sells Glen Thunder, named after the Watkins Glen racetrack. I had a flight of all three at Tipsy Parson, in New York City, and expected them to be uniformly vile. I’m no enthusiast of this sort of thing, and even the most acclaimed and expensive grappa tends to make me cough and gag. But there was no question that the three products all tasted different, and not unpleasing: they’re neither blankly insipid, like vodka, nor gasoline-y, the way so many clear spirits are. Obviously, a lot of care went into them.”

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Filed under Noteworthy articles, Spirits

White dog has its day in the NYT

In today’s Dining Section, Robert Simonson’s article, “Moonshine Finds New Craftsmen and Enthusiasts” discusses the current popularity of unaged whiskey aka white dog aka moonshine. 

Bottled fresh from the still, without a kiss of oak, these tasty whiskies are starting to get the attention they deserve. 

There are two paragraphs in particular that I’d like to draw your attention to:

“Most are the work of young micro-distilleries like Death’s Door, in Wisconsin; Finger Lakes Distilling, in upstate New York; Tuthilltown, in the Hudson Valley; the Copper Fox Distillery, in northern Virginia; and House Spirits, in Portland, Ore.”

And:

“Ehren Ashkenazi, beverage director at the Modern, uses it for Devil in White, a spin on the Manhattan, and Jim Meehan, of PDT, pairs Finger Lake Distilling’s Glen Thunder corn whiskey with sake and Galliano L’Autentico in his Brewer’s Breakfast.”

Here’s Jim’s Brewer’s Breakfast recipe:

2 ounces sake, like Masumi Arabashiri
1 ounce unaged whiskey (Glen Thunder!)
1/4 ounce Galliano, or Galliano L’Autentico if available

Honey Nut Cheerios, for garnish.

Stir in shaker with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with Honey Nut Cheerios on a cocktail pick.

Take that, Tony the Tiger. 

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What does John know?

John Hansell, editor and publisher of the Malt Advocate, pens a blog with the same title as this post.

Yesterday he announced the impending release of McKenzie Bourbon.

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