The New York Distilling Co.June 12, 2012
I was pretty excited for last night’s Nobler Gathering the second I had heard back from Bill Potter, one of the three partners behind New York Distilling Company. He seemed genuinely excited to have us, and we were more than pumped to take a peak behind the scenes at one of New York City’s first distilleries since Prohibition. Their hospitality, their knowledge, but most importantly their gin, made last night’s event one of my favorites to date and you should all leave your job now and grab a drink at the Shanty. Okay, maybe wait til 5, since that’s when they open for business.
The arrangement at New York Distilling Company is both impressive and welcoming. With their still set up in a re-done warehouse, Bill walked us through their Gin production and it was easy to tell these guys have a passion for what it is they do. Currently on the market are two styles of Gin, a Navy Strength and an American Gin, aptly named Perry’s Tot and Dorothy Parker respectively. You can read more about the distinctions on their website, but I’d suggest you let Bill and the team tell you all about it in person. I will say, their method of batching the grain spirit directly with the botanicals really shines; particularly in their fantastic list of cocktails.
Sitting up at the bar, tasting, chatting, and getting sneakily tipsy, we sampled as a group a large number of their gin based cocktails. Some of my favorites were the Cannibal Corpse Revival #2, the Sauvetage, and the Gimlet but in all cases, their mastery of blending interesting cordials to pair with the distinct gin flavors is inspiring. Bill spoke of Gin as a much more expressive liquor and this couldn’t be clearer than in their cocktails.
Another reason I’m excited about New York Distilling is these guys have a Rye whiskey in the works and while it may be a few years until it’s ready for sale, their enthusiasm has got me patiently waiting. Rye has quickly become my favorite whiskey, and I’m excited to see how theirs turns out. In the mean time, they have in the works a product all but obsolete since prohibition. Rock and Rye was apparently extremely popular in the 1800s as a mixture of rye whiskey, rock candy, and fruit peels. Yes, I did a double take too, but after a second thought it makes a ton of sense. It’s like the original “bottled cocktail” and I can’t wait to give it a shot.
Truth be told, I had one concern going into last night’s Gathering and I don’t think you’d disagree with my rationale. In the age of small batch this, and do it yourself that, a distillery located in Williamsburg had me trembling of hipster ego. I’m not as much of a broad-spectrum hipster hater as many, but I do hate me some hipster ego. But I should have known better when I found out that Bill’s Dad was a co-founder of the Brooklyn Brewery because Bill and his bartender (I’m the worst and forgot her name), were more friendly, more welcoming, and more excited to talk liquor than we could have hoped for. Thanks again to Bill for making the night a great one and best of luck moving forward.
Seriously, all of you, go check this place out. You won’t be disappointed!