Locapour Empire: 12 New York Spirits to Know



Even as the in-house spirits seeker for Edible, I am ever in awe over the boozy bounty that is the growing New York spirits community. And it seems like I learn about a new one every day. Not surprising when you realize that, in spirits alone, we have over 40 licensed distillers in the state, with dozens more poised to pour forth in the heady future — and, in effect, give a bit of re-birth to our past.

As reported in our recent story, New York was once quite the grain and hops belt, with a portion of it going to the brewing of beer or distillation of spirits. That we’re trying to come back to that is a pretty giddy notion. One time when writing about Hillrock Estate Distillery, who grow and malt their own barley, Master Distiller Dave Pickerell said to me, “The fields write their name on the whiskey, and the pen is made of clove and cinnamon.” Amen, Brother Pickerell. To celebrate that, we’ve compiled a lubricated list of some of our favorite stories on spirits and the spots that serve them. Cheers!

Hillrock Estate Distillery: Ushering in a new era of grow-it-yourself.


Black Dirt Distillery: Tasting the terroir in upstate whiskey.


Atsby Vermouth: New York’s first vermouth maker wants you to think outside the cocktail.


Amor y Amargo: The elbow-room-only space has become like cocktailian catnip, attracting off-duty bartenders, chefs and thoughtful tipplers of all persuasions.

Amor 2 Blavarg 0054

The White Horse Tavern: Old-school watering hole.


Long Island Spirits: In the heart of Long Island wine country, one distillery is turning a potato crop into vodka.

long island spirits

Harvest Spirits: This upstate, orchard-based distillery spins homegrown fruit into luscious liquor.

harvest spirits

New York Distilling Company: NYDC’s initial offerings — Dorothy Parker American Gin and Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin — can be found in the city’s best liquor stores, and in cocktails in the most commanding of drinking dens.


Industry City Distilling: In Sunset Park, an experimental approach to distilling.


Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur: Sugar and spice create a new vice.


Finger Lakes Distilling: One of the state’s first small-batch spirits startups opened in 2009 to let tasters swirl and sniff and spit its handcrafted McKenzie whiskeys, floral vodkas and fruity liqueurs all made from crops grown in New York State.

finger lakes distilling

Brenne Whisky: Created by a West Village ex-ballerina named Allison Patel, Brenne is truly unlike anything classified as a single-malt whisky.


This post is sponsored by TasteNY and produced by Edible Manhattan.

Amy Zavatto

Amy Zavatto is the daughter of an old school Italian butcher who used to sell bay scallops alongside steaks, and is also the former Deputy Editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She holds her Level III Certification in Wine and Spirits from the WSET, and contributes to Imbibe, Whisky Advocate, SOMMJournal, Liquor.com, and others. She is the author of Forager's Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients and The Architecture of the Cocktail. She's stomped around vineyards from the Finger Lakes to the Loire Valley and toured distilleries everywhere from Kentucky to Jalisco to the Highlands of Scotland. When not doing all those other things, Amy is the Director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance.

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