Posts Tagged ‘kings co.’

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New York’s Distillery Resurgence

October 10, 2012

New York City is often a focal point of National economic indicators. So after a little analysis of the recent liquor boom within the city and state, it isn’t so hard to see why the spirit industry as a whole is on the up and up.

I’ve seen a few different ratios declared but no matter which number you trust, the following fact is mind-blowing. Approximately 1000/1 is the ratio of small-scale distilleries in NY state at the peak of the 19th century to the number just ten years ago. Think about that for one second. As you might imagine, the laws of Prohibition, prohibiting the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the US devastated the thriving industry. But to think that close to 70 years after it’s repeal, NY state hadn’t even come close to recovering, is really quite fascinating.

Turns out, while many of the details of Prohibition were overturned, not quite all of them were lifted. To be more specific, many of the regulations that classified distilleries as small batch or larger were skewed heavily against start-up initiatives. The licenses required for production were cost prohibitive and the taxes associated with the sale of these goods basically acted as an unresolvable deterrent. That is until 2002.

At this crucial time in NY legislation, a newly classified “D” distilling permit was introduced allowing small batch production at a seriously affordable license cost with one key caveat: 50% of the input ingredients must be sourced from New York State. It isn’t so hard to see why this has made NY one of the most easy and attractive places to open a distillery. Being able to produce up to 35,000 proof gallons per year, being able to provide tours, and being able to tout their product as locally sourced was all the incentive the minds behind Tuthilltown Spirits, Kings County Distillery, and many others have needed to get up and running.

But New York isn’t the only place in the US changing legislation to spur on distillation activity. Oregon for example passed similar allowances in 2008 and their now 46 distilleries contributed $53 million in annual sales within the state alone. These are the types of changes that spur on growth and real creativity. And in direct effect, some of the most interesting things in American Liquor have emerged in the last few years. I can only imagine what else is coming!

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Rocket Fuel Anybody?

August 20, 2012

The second I tasted the Kings Co. chocolate “flavored” whiskey, I knew this cocktail was coming. The thing is, chocolate and booze combined, almost never works. It’s a notoriously awful sign to see a chocolate martini on a menu as the sugar laden, cloyingly sweet, and viscous drink that almost always follows, is part dessert, part drink; that is, if you hate good desserts and good drinks. So what makes the rocket fuel an exception?

Well two things for sure. For one, the chocolate flavored whiskey from Kings Co. is not your average sugar bomb. Using the cocoa pods during the aging process to impart serious aroma and nuance into the final whiskey profile, adds serious character to their already flavorful whiskey without the aforementioned Hershey’s phenomenon. The chocolate component to the booze is way more apparent in the nose which is why it pairs so well with coffee. But if you really want your rocket fuel to be ideal, any old coffee just won’t suffice.

While in Israel a few weeks back I picked up a container of Arabic coffee which was the main contributor to my staying awake in the quick two and half day turnaround. This lightly roasted coffee with cardamom is so wonderfully flavorful and packed with caffeine! I had a cup of this on its own in preparation for the cocktails and my story telling was off the charts. For those of you close to me, you know this is a delicate balance. A few too many cups, and there aren’t many that can stand me. But you might even re-consider this once you have the coffee and whiskey combined.

It may seem counter intuitive that I complained about sugar earlier, and then added some to the final recipe. But in this case, the tiny bit of sweetness helps round out the strong flavors of the other components and helps this guy go down nice and smooth. As a shot, a cocktail, or on your morning commute (just kidding), if you are a coffee or whiskey drinker, you need to try some “rocket fuel”.

Rocket Fuel

2 oz Kings Co. Chocolate Whiskey

4 oz Arabic Coffee (if you don’t have this, use espresso and ground cardamom)

2 tsp sugar

Brew your Arabic coffee and add the sugar to dissolve. Let cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. Obviously, the best thing to do here is brew a big batch because one of these won’t be enough (oh and that whole sharing thing). Mix the whiskey and coffee mixture over ice for a cocktail or shake over ice and pour into shot classes for shooters. But whatever you do, do it soon!

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