14 Jun EXPLORING THE AREA’S BEST DISTILLERIES
CHEERS TO A LONG ISLAND DISTILLERY TOUR
Only one distillery sits on the Long Island area proper, but the business serves as an excellent starting place for a distillery tour. Begin your day at Long Island Spirits Distillery in New York and make your way into Brooklyn. A comfortable sedan can take you and a few friends between each business, or if you want to make your tour a group celebration, a limo will also be an elegant and fun way for everyone to get around.
LONG ISLAND SPIRITS DISTILLERY
This distillery is the place where Long Island’s first completely local vodka was born. Located in a barn and seated in the middle of a potato field, the business produces unique vodka using the crop that surrounds it. Besides making history with its product, the company is also housed in a historical building, an old barn that’s stood since the 1900s. Visitors can sample the LiV (pronounced “live”) vodka at the Distillery Shoppe and Sampling Room.
A bar connects to the distillery here, so visitors can relax for a drink after they’re done looking at the distilling equipment. Brick walls and dim lighting make for a refined, yet laid-back atmosphere in the bar, where you can partake in The Shanty’s famous American gin or rye. Free tastings and tours are available from 3 to 5 p.m. on the weekends, with live music starting at 4 p.m.
Opened in 2010, this company is one of the first to open in NYC since the Prohibition era. It holds tastings and tours every Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can drop in without reservations, and for $8, you’ll receive an informative and entertaining tour explaining the building’s history and the distilling process. The distillery’s award-winning brews are corn whiskey and moonshine.
The employees here take a careful and steady approach to brewing. So while customers may not always find their drink of choice available when they want it, the quality makes the wait well worth it, since the gin and whiskey are all products of grains that are local to New York. The business also has an interesting backstory. It was started by a former Wall Street banker who decided to change directions when he was fired from his job. His new path led to this distillery.
In the midst of strict laws setting limits on small-batch distillation, the Noble Experiment NYC is fighting. It’s bringing the tradition back by honoring the smaller distilleries that once populated the city at the beginning of the 20thcentury. The business only uses fresh, local ingredients, and the resulting rum and whiskey leave quite the impression.
Offering whiskey, grappa, moonshine, and rum, Van Brunt Stillhouse is an artifact of Brooklyn’s history; its name comes from Cornelius Van Brunt, one of the area’s founders. Tours are offered for free every second Sunday of the month, but tastings will not be held until the business gets its tasting license. Keep checking the website for updates on that front. In the meantime, you can always sample the Stillhouse’s brews at different events and locations throughout the city.
A distillery tour can be a great way to spend the afternoon, but don’t let anyone miss out on the fun by having someone be the designated driver. Instead of you or one of your friends getting saddled with the short straw, hire car service to provide you with a ride. Your Chauffeur will be your DD, meaning you and your friends can feel free to enjoy yourselves. Salud!
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/artur84