Ever heard of a Manhattan? It’s made of whiskey, vermouth and bitters.
Now most of us read that and think “What the hell do any of those ingredients have to do with Manhattan?” Or at least I did. Then I did a bit of reading and found out that New York used to produce a fair bit of whiskey and other liquors. Now it’s time for a little history lesson: In 1825 New York had over 1000 distilleries. Probably nothing the size of the Makers Mark or Jack Daniels distilleries in the South, but New York was producing its fair share of booze. Then close to 100 years later prohibition wiped them all out. Currently New York is down to 13 distilleries. One of the reason’s for this was probably that until 2002 it cost $50,000 for an industrial Class A Liquor License. In 2002 there were some changes made, one of which dropped the price for the license to just under $1,500 as long as you don’t produce over 35,000 gallons of the hooch.
Now that the brief history lesson is over we are brought to the pulp of this post. In 2002 Tuthilltown Spirits started to distill its own spirits. They are the only whiskey distillers in New York and make all of their whiskeys, bourbons and ryes with New York State ingredients. They make small batches which they hand bottle and are only sold in select shops around the city. Their April “Baby Bourbon” has just hit stores and restaurants and their rye whiskey was just released earlier this month. this marks the first time rye whiskey has been distilled in New York since before prohibition. actually let me rephrase that, this is the first time it has been legally produced in New York, since before prohibition. If you like your drink, it sounds like this is something worth hunting for.