When Kings County Distillery is asked if a 2010 birthday really makes them old, they reply “Old Enough!” Even though they are fairly new, this Brooklyn award winner is the oldest whisky distillery still in operation in New York City; the first since Prohibition ended. Being number one is nothing new to King County. Once the smallest commercial distillery in the United States, they quickly upgraded to their Brooklyn Navy Yard location in 2012. Their impressive line of Moonshine, Bourbons and Whiskies (including a Chocolate Whisky) are poured into antique-like bottles that harken to the days when alcohol was medicinal. If you are looking for the cure for the common cocktail, make an appointment at the Gatehouse, their tasting room, or book a $14/45 minute tour, including a tasting and admission to the Boozeum where guest learn the history of this King of Distilleries.
If there is one thing Industry City Distillery does perfectly, it is knowing the importance of quality over quantity. Instead of offering a variety of spirits, they have put all their effort into their unique beet juice-based Industry Standard Vodka, the only vodka produced in New York City. As an added bonus, Industry City has also invented Technical Reserve, a 191.2 proof spirit that uses a fractional distillation process to produce a neutral base for creating one-of-a-kind bitters, cocktails or tinctures in your own kitchen. Their interactive website allows their fans to post their concoctions to their Create page or book their $5/1.5 hour tour that ends at their roof-top tasting room where the cocktails’ only competition is the city skyline view.
The Hudson Valley area boasts an impressive number of wineries and distilleries, but newcomer Hudson Valley Distillery stands out from the crowd. Established in 2014 by the Yozzo and Moyer families, this distillery is all about bringing people together! Locally sourced Hudson Valley apples and grains are used to create the distillery’s three Applejack projects and their fresh Spirits Grove Vodka. Rounding out their Spirit list is Clear Mountain Gin and Imperial Whisky. Once you get out of the city, space no longer becomes an issue, and Hudson Valley Distillery capitalizes on the openness with a traditional barn available for events, a $15/45 minute tour with tasting, a $20/two hour tutorial on barrels, a market with local products and The Grove, whose food and cocktail menu utilizes ingredients available from their market so you can recreate their signature cocktails at home.
Get two distilleries for the price of one! Widow Jane Distillery specializes in award winning Whiskies while Cacao Prieto Distillery brings sweet rums and liquors to the table. Brick and Limestone. Chocolate and Liquor. Science and Creativity. Founder Daniel Prieto Preston spent years as an aerospace engineer before returning to his family’s roots in farming. Just as his ancestors cultivated best practices in cocoa and sugar cane production in the Dominican Republic, Daniel brings the same respect for the land and a commitment to quality that shines through in his line of Spirits: Whiskey, Bourbons, Rums, a coffee liquor, and bottled dregs for whisky drinkers who like it rough (the labels are pasted upside down). Their website is a work of art that inspires and educates and shows that this ‘Urban Bourbon’ creator really cares about his product and the history of the Red Hook area of Brooklyn.
Surrounded by the beauty of the Thousand Islands, Clayton Distilleries is a micro-distillery located in the expansive northern New York. Despite the abundance of nature, nothing at this sustainable distillery goes to waste. Created by a construction expert, a prosthesis professional and a master architect, Clayton Distilleries uses corn from its own farm, 46 tons of corn to be exact, to build its Spirit List, including Moonshine, Whiskies (including a Maple Flavored variety), Bourbons, Gin, and Specialty Liquors. Everything is reused during the distillation process from the excess heat used to warm their insulated buildings to the by-products which are utilized by local farmers to feed livestock. It’s nice to know that each sip of these sustainable spirits is supporting a distillery that truly gives back!