Best Distilleries in New York: Your Guide to the City’s Top Spirits

New York’s vibrant city life isn’t the only thing that’ll make your heart race. Bet you didn’t know that the Empire State is also home to some of the best distilleries in the country! With a rich history dating back to pre-Prohibition times, New York offers an impressive variety of spirits for every palate.

You’re probably thinking Manhattan’s all about cosmopolitans and martinis, right? Well, it’s time to think again! From locally sourced grains to unique aging processes, these distilleries are setting new standards in craft spirit production. They’re bringing a whole new meaning to “made in New York” – and trust me, you’ll want a taste.

So buckle up as we take you on a virtual tour through some of the finest distilleries New York has got to offer. Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or gin enthusiast, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s get this journey started!

Exploring the History of Distilleries in New York

Let’s rewind a bit, shall we? It’s no secret that New York has a rich history when it comes to distilling. In fact, dating back to the 1700s and 1800s, New York was home to hundreds of distilleries. With the influx of immigrants bringing diverse tastes and techniques with them, it quickly became a melting pot for spirits.

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Sadly though, Prohibition hit hard in the early 20th century. This nationwide ban on alcohol production forced many distilleries to shut down. The once thriving industry went into hibernation mode until the end of Prohibition in 1933.

But hold up, folks! The story doesn’t end there. After decades of silence, the craft spirit movement started gaining momentum in the late 2000s. Thanks to legislative changes making it easier for small-scale producers to set up shop, an exciting resurgence took place.

Now let’s look at some numbers:

Year Number of Distilleries
1800 ~1000
1920 ~10
Today ~130

Today’s scene is teeming with creativity and innovation as local artisans experiment with unique blends and flavors. From Brooklyn’s bustling whiskey warehouses to boutique operations nestled in Upstate farmland – each has its own tale etched into this spirited saga.

And guess what? You’re part of this journey too! As you sip that locally crafted bourbon or gin from your favorite NY distillery, you’re savoring not just great taste but also a piece of history – all while contributing towards shaping its future! So here’s raising a glass (or two) to exploring more about these fascinating establishments that are breathing new life into New York’s historic love affair with distilled spirits!

The Rise of Craft Spirits in New York

Hey there, spirit lovers! We’re seeing a real boom in the New York distillery scene. It’s not just about the big brand names anymore; smaller, craft distilleries are taking center stage. And you know what? They’re doing something truly amazing.

So let’s dive into it, shall we? Once upon a time, the Empire State was home to countless farms producing grains and fruits. Fast forward to today and many of these farms have transformed into top-notch distilleries. You’d be surprised how many of your favorite cocktails now feature spirits made right here in New York!

But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s look at some numbers:

Year Number of Distilleries
2005 10
2010 25
2015 50
Today Over 100

That’s right! From humble beginnings with just ten distilleries in ’05, we’ve grown to over a hundred today. It’s clear that craft spirits aren’t just a fad – they’re here to stay.

Now you might be wondering why this sudden surge? It all comes down to changes in state laws making it easier for small-scale operations to get going and produce their own spirits. Not only that but local folks are also showing more interest towards unique and locally-made products.

Take Hudson Whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits as an example – started back in ’03 from an old apple mill turned distillery, they’ve got some seriously good bourbon on offer. Or Kings County Distillery – known as NYC’s oldest operating whiskey distillery since prohibition!

Well there you have it folks! The rise of craft spirits is shaking up the industry here in New York, giving us more options than ever before when it comes to enjoying our favorite drinks.

Top-Rated Distilleries in New York City

If you’re a lover of fine spirits, you’ll find your paradise in the distilleries of New York City. With rich histories and unique flavors, they’ve made their mark on the world stage and have plenty to offer.

One spot that’s garnered quite a reputation is Kings County Distillery. Nestled in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, it’s been delighting patrons since 2010 with its handcrafted bourbon, rye whiskey, and moonshine. And let’s not forget about their tours – you get to dive deep into how these spirits are meticulously crafted.

Next up on our list is Van Brunt Stillhouse. This distillery tucked away in Red Hook area of Brooklyn isn’t afraid to experiment with flavors. From their American Whiskey that’s matured for years to spicy rum and unusual grappa – there’s something for every palate.

And then we have Industry City Distillery. Known for their innovative techniques in vodka making, this Sunset Park gem has put Beet Sugar Vodka on the map! Their experimental approach ensures that each bottle brings an exciting taste adventure.

Over at The New York Distilling Company, things get even more interesting! Here you’ll discover gins infused with unusual botanicals like elderberries and dried lemon peels. It’s hard not to fall head over heels for the distinctive tastes they concoct!

  • Kings County Distillery

    • Location: Brooklyn Navy Yard
    • Specialty: Handcrafted Bourbon
  • Van Brunt Stillhouse

    • Location: Red Hook area of Brooklyn
    • Specialty: Experimental Flavors
  • Industry City Distillery

    • Location: Sunset Park
    • Specialty: Beet Sugar Vodka
  • The New York Distilling Company

    • Location: Williamsburg
    • Specialty: Unusual Gins

So whether you’re an aficionado or just beginning your journey into spirits tasting – NYC distilleries promise unforgettable experiences. Each visit brings new discoveries as these distillers continue pushing boundaries while honoring traditional methods.

Exceptional Whiskey Producers in Upstate New York

If you’re a whiskey lover, then you’ve got to explore the rich spirit scene in Upstate New York. This region has seen an explosive growth of distilleries in recent years, each one with their unique spin on crafting spirits. Let’s dive into some top-notch producers who are brewing magic right here.

Hillrock Estate Distillery, located in Hudson Valley, is a must-visit. They’ve earned acclaim for being one of the few “field-to-glass” whiskey producers worldwide. That means they grow their own grains, malt them and distil on site; it doesn’t get more authentic than that! Their Solera Aged Bourbon has garnered international recognition and is well worth a taste.

Venture further upstate and you’ll find Finger Lakes Distilling. Nestled on the east side of Seneca Lake, this establishment is known for its McKenzie whiskies which include bourbon, rye and pure pot still expressions – all made using locally sourced ingredients.

Then there’s Tuthilltown Spirits, famous as New York’s first whiskey distillery since prohibition. Their Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey has become something of a legend among connoisseurs nationwide.

Now let’s not forget about Coppersea Distilling, another gem tucked away in Hudson Valley. Their commitment to heritage methods distinguishes them from others – they floor malt their grains (a rarity these days) and use direct fire copper pot stills!

Lastly, there’s Black Button Distilling over at Rochester – they offer grain-to-glass whiskies crafted predominantly from local grains.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Distillery Location Notable Spirit
Hillrock Estate Distillery Hudson Valley Solera Aged Bourbon
Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Lake Mckenzie whiskies
Tuthilltown Spirits Hudson Valley Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey
Coppersea Distilling Direct fire copper pot stills products
Black Button Distilling Rochester (Various) Grain-to-Glass whiskies

The world of whisky can be complex but oh so rewarding! If you ever find yourself in Upstate New York, make sure to check out these exceptional producers – it might just redefine your understanding of what great whiskey should be!

Best Gin Distilleries to Visit in Brooklyn and Queens

Brooklyn and Queens are bustling New York boroughs that are just brimming with unique distilleries. If you’re a gin enthusiast, let’s dive into the top spots that you can’t afford to miss on your next trip.

First off, there’s the Brooklyn Gin distillery. It’s known for its handcrafted, small-batch gin produced using locally sourced ingredients. They’re particularly proud of their fresh citrus peels and hand-cracked juniper berries which give the gin its distinctive flavor.

  • Location: 68 Jay St #424, Brooklyn
  • Speciality: Small-batch artisanal gin

Next up is Greenhook Ginsmiths. This place has been redefining American gin since 2012! Steeped in tradition yet innovative, Greenhook Ginsmiths boasts an antique copper pot still and produces a variety of gins including their American Dry Gin and Beach Plum Gin Liqueur.

  • Location: 208 Dupont St, Brooklyn
  • Speciality: Unique varieties of gin like beach plum gin liqueur

Heading over to Queens now, don’t forget to visit Astoria Distilling Company. Their flagship product is “Queens Courage,” an Old Tom style gin that is slightly sweetened and perfect for cocktail mixing!

  • Location: 37-29 33rd St, Long Island City (Queens)
  • Speciality: Old Tom style ‘Queens Courage’ gin

Another gem in Queens is Industry City Distillery, where they produce ‘No.3 London Dry’ – a beautiful blend of botanicals resulting in a smooth finish perfect for sipping or cocktails.

  • Location: 33 35th Street 6A Bldg., Sunset Park (Queens)
  • Speciality: ‘No.3 London Dry’

So folks, whether you’re after a classic dry or something more experimental, these distilleries offer some fabulous choices for all you gin lovers out there! Each visit promises not only great spirits but also an education in distilling processes – from botanical selection to bottling – making it an experience worth relishing.

Innovative Techniques Used by New York Distillers

Now, let’s dive into the innovative techniques that set New York distilleries apart. These guys aren’t just sticking to traditional methods—they’re pushing boundaries and creating new ways of doing things that are truly shaking up the spirits world.

First off, you’ll notice a strong focus on local ingredients. Many New York distillers have taken the farm-to-bottle approach, sourcing grains and fruits directly from nearby farms. This not only supports local agriculture but also gives their spirits a unique flavor profile that’s distinctly “New York.”

Among these pioneers is Kings County Distillery – they’ve made waves with an unusual ingredient: leftover chocolate husks. Yup, you heard it right! They use these husks in their whiskey production for an intriguing hint of sweetness.

Next up is Widow Jane distillery who’s going green with their operations. They recycle waste water from the distilling process for cleaning purposes and even as coolant in their air conditioning system! Talk about commitment to sustainability.

Another technique worth mentioning comes from Finger Lakes Distilling where they employ a method called ‘solera aging’ for some of their spirits. It’s an old Spanish technique involving a series of barrels known as ‘criaderas.’ Younger spirit is mixed with older batches over time, ensuring consistent flavor and exceptional complexity.

To top it all off, many NY distillers are experimenting with barrel finishes – using wine or beer casks to age spirits after initial maturation in traditional oak barrels. The result? A fascinating blend of flavors that make each sip a delightful surprise!

It’s clear – innovation isn’t just welcomed in New York’s spirited landscape; it’s celebrated!

Distillery Innovative Technique
Kings County | Using leftover chocolate husks

Widow Jane | Recycling waste water
Finger Lakes | Employing solera aging
Various Distilleries | Experimenting with barrel finishes

Indeed, there’s never been a better time to explore what New York has to offer in terms of craft spirits.

How to Plan a Distillery Tour in New York State

So, you’re itching for a spirited adventure? Well, planning a distillery tour in the Empire State is as easy as pie. With more than 100 craft distilleries scattered across the state, there’s something to suit every taste.

First things first, decide on your whiskey style. Are you into traditional bourbons or do you lean towards fruity gins and vodkas? Knowing what tickles your fancy helps narrow down which distilleries to visit. For example, Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn might be right up your alley if bourbon’s your thing. But if gin stirs your soul, then Greenhook Ginsmiths should top your list.

Once that’s sorted out, it’s time to map out your route. Remember that New York is a big place! You wouldn’t want to zigzag from Hudson Valley down to Long Island and back up again in one day! So keep it simple: stick with one region at a time. It’ll give you the chance enjoy each stop without rushing through.

Now onto transportation – how are you getting around? If there’s someone brave enough in your group willing to skip the tastings and take one for the team as designated driver – great! Otherwise consider booking a tour bus or using rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft between stops. Safety’s key here folks!

Last but not least – check ahead of time for tours and tasting hours at each distillery. Some spots require reservations while others have specific times for tours throughout the week.

And voila! You’re ready for an unforgettable journey through New York’s finest spirits scene!

  • Note: Keep those IDs handy because they’ll be checked at every spot.
  • Tip: Many distilleries offer discounts on bottles after tours – so save some room in that suitcase!

Conclusion: The Future of Distilling in New York

You’ve made it to the end of our spirited tour of New York’s best distilleries. But we’re not just looking back, we’re also peering forward into what promises to be a bright future for distilling in the Big Apple.

Distilleries have been popping up all over New York like blossoming apple trees, each with its own unique twist on spirits and liqueurs. Folks are becoming more adventurous, willing to try new things – that’s where the future lies!

The craft distillery scene is no longer a trend; it’s an established part of New York’s vibrant cultural fabric. And you know what? It shows no signs of slowing down! With the increasing interest in locally sourced ingredients and artisanal processes, expect even more exciting developments in years to come.

Here are some trends we can look forward to:

  • Flavored Spirits: More distillers will start experimenting with unique flavors using local produce for their gin, vodka or whiskey.
  • Sustainable Practices: As consumers become more conscious about sustainability, we’ll see more eco-friendly practices being adopted by these establishments.
  • Collaborations: Imagine sipping on a whiskey that has been aged in barrels used for brewing your favorite local beer? Yes please!

So here’s something you might want to consider: why wait until tomorrow when you can join this burgeoning culture today? Go on, let your taste buds take a walk on the wild side and explore these incredible distilleries right now. After all, who knows where this liquid journey will lead us next?

Remember folks – drink responsibly and always savor every drop! Here’s looking at you, New York!

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