Craft spirits are booming and there’s a reason why. Leaders in innovation, craft distillers utilize local resources and high-quality ingredients and methods to produce their goods, and nowadays people are willing to spend more money for a better product. This premiumization has led to the rise in popularity of craft spirits, and New York is a hot spot for producers. While there’s endless amounts of delicious libations to be had all over the state, here are some of our favorite sips, tours, and tasting joints.
Widow Jane Distillery
Founded in 2012, Widow Jane Distillery is located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where 15,000 square feet are dedicated to the art and science of blending the ultimate craft bourbon. Intent on ensuring the distinct taste of New York in every sip, Widow Jane uses pure limestone water from the Rosendale Mines of Upstate New York, the stone of which was used to build foundations for some of the country’s most iconic structures—including NY’s own Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, and Statue of Liberty. The water is uniquely sweet and unusually high in mineral content, resulting in the ideal addition to whiskey-making. Widow Jane’s flagship product, Widow Jane 10 Year Old Bourbon, has notes of orange, maple, cherry, and almond. In addition, their lineup features over 10 different whiskies, including bourbons and ryes. Those who want a more up close and personal experience can visit the distillery, which offers public tours Friday through Sunday. WidowJane.com
Great Jones Distilling Co
One hundred years after the last whiskey distillery in Manhattan shuttered due to Prohibition, Great Jones opened in 2021 in NoHo. The young distillery currently offers three whiskies—a straight bourbon made from 100% New York-grown corn, malted barley, and rye, with
notes of vanilla and light pepper; a four-grain straight bourbon whiskey, which adds wheat into the mix and has a medium-bodied,
oak, and buttery palate; and a straight rye whiskey, with notes of vanilla, dried fruit, and rye pepper. Each expression is aged for four years, and fans are encouraged to visit their Manhattanbased distillery, an experience of its own. Here, you can take a tour of the distillery, visit their restaurant, The Grid, which uses locally sourced ingredients, or even try some whiskey pairings or a mixology class. Visitors can stop by Tuesday through Sunday.
Old Spirit Distillery
Touted as Nassau County’s first and only distillery, Old Spirit is a relatively young distillery founded in 2017. But as we know, age is just a number, and Old Spirit Distillery has proven they’re a force to be reckoned with in the spirits world. Their vodka, Boyar, won the Gold Medal in 2020 for Best Domestic Vodka by “The Fifty Best,” and is made, like all their spirits, using 100% New York corn. The company produces
a range of spirits in addition to vodka, including bourbon, brandy, and moonshine, all of which are certified organic and kosher. Old Spirit
Distillery also offers visitors tours by appointment, or you can stop by their tasting room Thursday through Saturday in Oceanside, NY.
Inspired by the fruit liqueurs common in her native Germany, founder Ute Londrigan combines the local fruits and produce of New York with the heritage of her family to create one-of-a-kind, fresh fruit liqueurs. Crafting the liqueurs as her mother and grandmother did, Londrigan’s process involves only local fruits, seasonal bottling, and is 100% all natural. Currently, Heimat produces eight bold expressions—plus limited-edition seasonal releases—including rhubarb, elderflower, and Bosch pear, each of which comes with spirit pairing suggestions, and a scannable QR code with cocktail recipes to provoke your imagination. Make sure to check their website for tasting and appointment availability at their location in Mamaroneck, NY. HeimatNY.com
Albany Distilling Company
Small batch spirits are the center of this company’s brand. From whiskey to vodka to rum—and even canned cocktails—Albany Distilling Company focuses on high-quality, small batches to ensure high caliber products. Their Ironweed Whiskey, made from corn, rye, and malted barley, won first place from American Craft Distillers in 2014, and their Quackenbush Amber Rum took home the bronze from American Distilling Institute that same year. Distillery tours are available by appointment on Saturdays, and at the nearby ADCo Bar & Bottle Shop, you can enjoy their full line of spirits, along with New York State beer, wine, and ciders, as well as a full bar menu Tuesday through Saturday. AlbanyDistilling.com
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