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Published on May 22nd, 2013 | by Jackie

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Local Brooklyn Distillers: Their Spirits (and Cocktails) Are Living Up to the Hype

by Jackie Armstrong

On Saturday I made my way to Huckleberry Bar for “Brooklyn State of Mind – Believe the Hype”. Growing up in Brooklyn, I have a special love for all things Brooklyn made, my cocktails included. Six local distilleries were on hand to give us the inside scoop on their brands and of course the opportunity to taste test. Best part? Bartenders walked us through mixing the cocktails ourselves.

Here’s why these distillers are each so special – and of course what we made!

Brooklyn Gin

Making traditionally distilled gin, one small batch at a time. They only use fresh, local fruit and hand crack their juniper berries, which helps release essential oils. The result? Brooklyn Gin has a refreshing flavor you will notice. I love Brooklyn Gin in the lavender Gin & Tonic at Cata, a LES tapas joint known for their extensive G&T list.

“Octopussy”
2 oz. Brooklyn Gin
1 oz. Vodka
.5oz Cocchi Americano

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, strain into glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

 El Buho Mezcal

Garnishing “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”

You have probably seen the owl staring back at you from behind the bar in a number of venues. El Buho Mezcal isn’t necessarily made in Brooklyn, but it’s Brooklyn owned. A good bottle of mezcal can be pricey, but El Buho is very fairly priced – a testament to their commitment to remaining accessible. It has amazing smoky flavor that comes from agave plants roasted in a stone fire pit. It’s smoking good.

“The Owls Are Not What They Seem”
1.5 oz. El Buho Mezcal
.5 oz. Tequila
.25 oz. Sherry
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
.25 oz. Maple Syrup
Fresh Tarragon Leaves

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice, shake, strain into glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Owney’s Rum (The Noble Experiment)

Committed to bringing the tradition of distilling back to New York City, Bridget Firtle created The Noble Experiment in 2011. Owney’s, a 100% molasses-based rum, is the first of their creations. I have had the pleasure of tasting Owney’s cocktails at a number of events, and they are always on the top of my favorite list. I am dying to try the new rhubarb banana daquiri with Owney’s (which Bridget herself was sipping on last week) at ABC Cocina.

“Jack Sparrow”
1.5. oz. Owney’s Rum
.75 oz. Green Charteuse
.5 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Cucumber Syrup
Dash of Absinthe

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice, shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with  lime twist.

Due North Rum (Van Brunt Stillhouse)

“Believe The Hype” Cocktail Made with Due North Rum

A lovely rum made with fair trade, organic sugarcane and aged in new 10 gallon American oak casks. Because of this aging process, Due North has gained appeal with both rum and whiskey drinkers alike. Due North is available in a handful of bars. I’ve spotted the bottle behind the bar at Parish Hall in Williamsburg.

“Believe The Hype”
2 oz. Due North Rum
.75 oz. Fino Sherry
.5 oz. CioCiaro Amaro
.5 oz. Apricot Liqueur

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, stir for 20 seconds. Strain into a small glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Sorel (Jack From Brooklyn)

Jack from Brooklyn creates small batch spirits using natural spices and 100% organic grain alcohol. Sorel is a liqueur that combines spices including hibiscus, clove and nutmeg to create a truly unique blend. Sorel is one of my favorite spirits because it is so versatile and makes an appearance in such a large range of types of cocktails.

“Kumbayah Cooler”
1.5 oz. Sorel
1.5oz. Apple Brandy
.75 oz. Smoked Maple Syrup
1 oz. Lemon Juice

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with apple slices.

No.4 Vodka (Industry City Distillery)

“Peychaud’s is a Virtue” complete with slapped mint leaf.

Industry City Distillery has a really interesting story. Started by the Brooklyn based research and engineering group, The City Foundry, they are focused on process improvement and are literally building the distillery from scratch. Aside from the fact that I really dig their bottle label, Industry City No. 4 is distilled from beet sugar and has great flavor. As the name implies, it is the 4th iteration of their vodka as the team prepares to launch their flagship product, Industry Standard Vodka.

“Peychaud’s is a Virtue”
2 oz. No.4 Vodka
.5 oz. Apricot Liqueur
.75oz Lime Juice
.25 oz. Simple Syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice, shake, strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slapped mint leaf. Slapping the leaf releases oils and brings out more taste, try it!

I can’t forget to share how much I enjoyed the vibe at Huckleberry Bar. The most important piece of info – they have a special Brooklyn menu which features all of the cocktails we made at “Brooklyn State of Mind”. So if you are dying to taste the amazing cocktails above but prefer to leave it to the professionals, head on over to Huckleberry.

Tell them Dipsology sent you.

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Jackie is a freelance writer with a focus on food & cocktail events in NYC (and beyond). She shares all of her latest finds on her blog One Girl’s Dish. You can also follow her on Twitter at @onegirlsdish

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