Craft Works! Celebrating Craft Distillers

Saturday, May 22, is National Craft Distillery Day, so there’s no time like the present to shout out the amazing craft distillers that line our shelves here at Wine & Spirits. We’ve always been dedicated to bringing amazing products from small, artisan producers to our community, and with good reason. Most craft distillers follow a particular code of ethics regarding the sourcing, production, and marketing of their spirits, set forth by the American Craft Spirits Association. This means that more care and attention go into each and every bottle, glass and pour. In addition, most craft spirits produced, sold and consumed within their home state, so every sip helps them give back to their local economy. Shop local, drink local -- we can get behind that! Here are a few of our favorite craft distillers.



Heimat New York: A Taste of Home

First on our list is a brand new local producer, Heimat New York. Founded by Ute Londrigan, who was born and raised in northwest Germany where she fell in love with the traditional German methods of making fruit liqueurs. In fact, her grandmother used to make them from scratch, and passed the techniques and recipes down that had been in the family for generations. Ute moved to New York where she found an abundance of fresh fruit, friendly farmers, and a growing collection of friends who showed interest in her passion project. It was then that she decided to start Heimat New York. Using only locally harvested, organically grown, in-season fruit, and all natural processes, Ute makes her liqueurs the same way her grandmother did and pays homage to her homeland in every bottle. The perfect marriage of German tradition and New York fruit. Enjoy these liqueurs neat over ice, topped with Champagne as a Prosecco, or incorporated into classic cocktails such as gin and tonics, bellinis, and more.

Try:

  • Heimat New York White Peach Liqueur: This white peach liqueur is bursting with fresh fruit, with no added sugars or preservatives. Full of flavor and a gorgeous color in the glass, this liqueur is fabulous in a bellini, incorporated into a splash of cognac, or even on top of vanilla ice cream! Organic and vegan.
  • Heimat New York Rhubarb Liqueur: Rhubarb is probably New York's most overlooked vegetable, but it’s definitely one of Heimat New York's most beloved, especially in this liqueur. Smooth, elegant, and somehow sublime, it’s a beautiful partner for gin, tonic, seltzer, and even Prosecco. Organic and vegan.

New York Distilling Company: The New Classics

New York Distilling Company has a storied history, which is to be expected as it’s the oldest and largest craft distillery in New York since the Prohibition Era. Founded by Tom Potter and Allen Katz, both of whom had illustrious careers in the spirits industry before venturing out on their own, center their business around a simple philosophy: to always be purposeful and original while still paying homage to the rich history around them. They craft their spirits using many local ingredients in classic cocktail usage methodology, making sure each spirit is versatile and can shine in a wide range of drinks.

Try:

  • Ragtime Rye: Distilled from local New York State rye, this uncompromising whiskey is aged exclusively in full sized barrels to ensure robust flavour and nuanced finish. This whiskey warms the heart with strong aromas of vanilla on the nose leading to oak and pepper on the palate with just a hint of sandalwood and citrus to keep you coming back for more.
  • Ragtime Rye Single Barrel: When we had the chance to collaborate with NY Distilling on an exclusive, single-barrel whiskey, we ran, jumped, and skipped to take advantage of such an incredible opportunity. We tasted through several barrels, each unique in their own way, but it was Barrel #284 that called out to us from rack house 16C, with its lush apple and pear blossom notes, cinnamon, vanilla, and peppery spice.
  • Dorothy Parker Gin: Dorothy Parker was an essential member of the Algonquin Round Table, with her quick wit and self-deprecating humor unparalleled at the time. New York Distilling seeks to pay homage to this famous gin drinker with this smooth, fresh, and floral gin.
  • Dorothy Parker Rose Gin: This seasonal expression is the regular Dorothy Parker gin further infused with rose petals, for a springy take on one of the 20th century's greatest Martini drinkers.
  • Chief Gowanus Gin: Cocktail historian David Wondrich found a recipe in a colonial era distilling manual called "Approximation of Holland Gin", which purports to be a recipe that the Dutch would have used to replicate genever, their national spirit, using local ingredients. This gin, inspired by that recipe, is distilled from a mash of locally grown rye wheat and flavored only juniper and hops to mimic the grassy, tart flavors of lemons and exotic herbs. It's lightly aged to reflect the storage practices of the time, and makes a beautiful Old Fashioned or Martinez.


Neversink Spirits: A (NY) Apple A Day

Neversink Spirits began as a passion project between longtime friends and lovers of spirits Noah Braunstein and Yoni Rabino. Inspired by their lifelong adventures tasting, tinkering, sipping and enjoying cocktails from around the world, the respect and admiration for the old-world traditions are certainly present. But the team at Neversink wasn’t satisfied with simply mimicking the spirits of years past, they strove to create their own unique take on the spirits they loved. They found their muse in one of New York's pride and joys - apples. That’s right, Neversink distills their spirits from 100% New York grown apples resulting in a unique portfolio of spirits that stand in a class of their own.

Try:

  • Neversink Gin: Neversink Gin starts with a New York state apple base spirit that is carefully distilled through a blend of 11 botanicals to create a well balanced, floral and aromatic gin. Three types of fresh citrus, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, elderflower and of course, juniper blends together seamlessly to create a full flavoured gin that has the craft and expertise and an old classic with a personality all it’s own.
  • Neversink Bourbon Whiskey: Distilled from a mash of New York State corn, wheat and barley, the bourbon is finished in used apple brandy barrels. This aging process makes for an incredibly smooth, rich, easy going bourbon that has distinctive, yet subtle, aromas of Granny Smith apples. You know what they say about an apple a day…


Breuckelen Distilling: Hometown Advantage

Founder and distiller Brad Estabooke broke free from his doldrum life in finance to follow his passion for hand-crafted spirits, and so in 2010 Breuckelen Distilling opened its doors to Brooklyn with welcome arms. Breuckelen Distilling prides itself on being a fully self-sufficient operation, milling grain, distilling, aging and bottling on site. Using entirely local New York grains these spirits are truly made with love, from scratch, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Try:

  • Breuckelen Glorious Gin: Made right here in Brooklyn (on 19th street to be precise), this gin is made from all New York grains and specially distilled to retain the honey and buttery characteristics of the grain. On the palate, the gin is round and refreshing ― somewhere between a London Dry and Old Tom-style in style -- and its botanical profile relies on the sweet piney-ness of rosemary and the spicy bite of citrus peel and fresh ginger.
  • Breuckelen 77 NY Wheat Whiskey: Made from the same locally sourced grains used into the Breuckelen Gin and aged for about 5 months in charred barrels, this whisky has an edge to it, much like its hometown. Butterscotch on the nose leading into notes of honey, toffee and burnt orange with a nicely smoked bite on the finish.
  • Breuckelen 77 Bonded Rye Whiskey: Bonded Rye, sometimes called bottled-in-bond, is a specific classification of whiskey that is on par with the standards of Scotch or Cognac. This whiskey, made from 100% locally sourced rye, is a master class in the bonded style. Bolder and more flavourful than your typical whiskey, it is aged for over six years for that extra finesse. Floral and fruity on the nose, while notes of dried fruits, pumpernickel bread, fresh rosemary and hints of clove and star anise develop beautifully on the palate. Organic.