With all of the commotion going on this month, it's easy to forget that November is peak apple season in New York. From fruit-picking and snacking on cider doughnuts to long walks amid the turning leaves, this month is finally delivering all of the Autumn in New York vibes we’ve been waiting on this season. Few things in the Empire State are more revered than our apple orchards. New York Cider Week is just the beginning. Our team at Wine & Spirits has amazing apple spirits to spruce up your fall arsenal, most of which are made just a few miles away!
Neversink Apple Brandy (Neversink is a sustainable local distillery we can’t get enough of) is a clear, eau-de-vie style brandy, handcrafted from 100% New York State-grown apples. Imagine the crispness of freshly cut apple slices paired with warm spices, vanilla and wood. Try subbing apple brandy into your favorite whiskey cocktails for that instant fall feeling.
Another excellent option from Neversink―told ya we can’t get enough of this producer based in Port Chester, NY―is a new addition to our shelves: Neversink Reserve Barrel-Aged Gin. That's right, gin made from Empire State apples. This particular blend is perfect for cooler weather offering up a bit of bright citrus and finishing off with warm spices like clove, cinnamon, pepper and anise. Aged in neutral French oak gives the gin just a kiss of sweetness. An exceptional addition to any liquor shelf, you’ll fall in all kinds of love with this gin.
Next up is Barking Irons Applejack. Apple-what, you say? Well, applejack is a relative of apple brandy, but through the uniquely American process of “jacking” (leaving barrels of apple cider outside in the cold to separate the alcohol that didn’t freeze resulting in a high-proof “applejack”) you end up with a strong spirit with a subtle layer of apple flavor. Barking Irons is another local distiller that uses New York born apples in their Applejack. Starting life as a cider, it's distilled, then aged for several months in heavily charred oak barrels, expect notes of oak, pepper and caramel apple to shine through.
Not feeling particularly patriotic (lol)? You could also look to France for your #brandygoals. Calvados is an iconic apple brandy from Normandy, enjoyed by kings, commoners, and revolutionaries for centuries. Irs easy to see the reason why with Le Calvados de Christian Drouin is light and fresh with a distinct elegance, marked by notes of cider, apple blossoms, and baking spices. It’s perfect on its own alongside a toasty fire, in an autumnal cocktail, or as an after dinner drink par excellence!
Want to try a different take on the Big Apple? Check out Ragtime Rye Applejack Barrel Finished Whiskey from New York Distillery. Spicy and smooth, rye whiskey is also an autumn classic, and this version is aged for two years in oak before resting in used applejack casks for 90 days. The result is a phenomenally nuanced whiskey with hints of baking spice and orchard-fresh apples. There's not much of this seasonal fave left in stock, so stop by the shop today or place your order online!