Manhattan Cocktail Classic Finds  - Find. Eat. Drink.

Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York, NY, New York City, Manhattan, Spirits, Liquors, Liqueurs, Cocktails, Drinks, Where to drink, What to Drink, Rancio Sec, Wines, Spirits, Liqueurs, Liquors, Whisky, Albany, Gin, Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger, Hayman’s Sloe Gin, Albany Distilling Co., Ironweed, Whisky, Rye, Cornelius Apple Jack, Harvest Spirits, Damoiseau, Rum, Rhum Agricole, Victoria Spirits, Oaken Gin, Canada, Vintage Spirits, Edgar Harden, Old Spirits Company






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Barrow’s Intense Ginger

Josh Morton’s ginger liqueur tastes like a bottle of farmstand ginger beer that has fermented and become alcoholic. And that’s a good thing. The punch of fresh ginger is balanced with sweetness, freshness and acidity. Sure you could mix it in cocktails, as bartender Frank Stilo did at the MCC Gala, but it really just needs a little chill with an ice cube to be sipped perfectly on its own.

That being said, this summer we’ll be using it to make some Intense Pimm’s Cups with equal measures of Pimm’s No.1 Cup and Barrow’s Intense Ginger, topped up with soda and garnished with cucumber slices and mint.

Website | Buy a Bottle

Hayman’s Sloe Gin

In the Haus Alpenz tasting room at the Industry Invitational, James Hayman was pouring the range of Hayman’s gins, including their new London Dry Gin and Sloe Gin. Sloe Gin is a traditional English liqueur made by infusing Hayman’s London Dry Gin with whole sloe berries, the fruit of the Blackthorn tree. Traditionally enjoyed as a digestive or in a Sloe Gin Fizz cocktail. Hayman’s never stopped making it, but weren’t selling it in the marketplace. That changed recently and it’s currently available in the UK and soon to be launched in the US.

This isn’t a fruit bomb infusion, but a delicately balanced dance of gin and sloe berries with notes of sweet, bitter, and nuttiness. Try it on the rocks to enjoy the pure flavor of sloe berries and gin; make a Blackthorn cocktail, which is Sloe Gin with sweet vermouth and a dash of orange bitters; or go for the classic Sloe Gin Fizz with Sloe Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, and soda water.


Albany Distilling Co.

The Albany Distilling Co. was established in 2011 in downtown Albany, NY by owners and distillers Matthew Jager and John Curtin. They are producing the New Make whiskey, the Ironweed Whiskey and Rye Whiskey, as well as Quackenbush Still House Rums. It’s not without planning that Matthew and John are making both whiskey and rum. Since making whiskey requires using first fill barrels, they started aging rum in the used whiskey barrels.

This is a small production outfit, but look for their range of spirits around New York, or make a visit to Albany and buy a bottle in person.

Website | Buy a Bottle

Cornelius Applejack

One of the things that are abundant in New York is apples. Derek Grout’s family has been in the apple business for 50 years and they have 200 acres of farmland. Derek started Harvest Spirits in 2011 and is producing a vodka, an Applejack brandy, a pear brandy, but also flavored versions of vodka and brandy using black raspberries, peaches, and cherries.

The Applejack brandy is a standout and distilled from fermented hard cider which is aged for 2 years in 50 gallon ex-bourbon barrels and finished in 15 gallon quarter casks. It’s not filtered and there’s added sugar or other additives. The Rare Pear Brandy is made from Bartlett and Bosc pears and follows a similar production process as the Applejack Brandy. With both products, don’t mess them up with anything else other than maybe a little ice -- why ruin the bright, fresh aromas?

Website | Buy a Bottle

Damoiseau Blanco Rhum

Clean, fresh, tropical with just a hint of that Rhum Agricole funk, you can almost taste the fresh cane juice. Perfect for a summer daiquiri or ‘Ti Punch, both made with Sirop de Canne from Clément. The Damoiseau family has been making rhum agricole in Gaudeloupe since 1942.

Website | Buy a Bottle

Victoria Spirits Oaken Gin

Until now, the only way to get a bottle of Victoria Gin was to head to Vancouver and “hand import” a bottle. It’s soon to be imported into the US. Victoria Spirits has also started producing an oaked version of their bold flavored gin. They take their gin and age it in American oak barrels. This softens and rounds out the gin and adds a touch of sweetness to it. Sure you can make a cocktail with it, but why not just enjoy it on the rocks.


Rancio Sec Wines

If you are fan of sherry, then you should make a note of Rancio Sec wines. These wines could be described as a more rustic version of a fino sherry. Haus Alpenz plans to bring in a number of the French Catalonian wines and one (Domaine La Tour Vieille) is currently being brought in by Kermit Lynch. Rancio sec wines are fully fermented dry wines that are stored outdoors in barrels left untopped which results in some oxidization. The grapes used include Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, Carignan.

Just like sherry, they are an ideal aperitif wine and work wonders with nutty cheeses like a Comté or Gruyere, as well as marinated anchovies.

Haus Alpenz | Kermit Lynch | Buy

Vintage Spirits

Edgar Harden is an antiques dealer who launched the Old Spirits Company. He finds and sells old spirits (from the 1980s as far back as 1800) to bars, brands and people who want to discover the unique flavors of aged spirits. At MCC, Edgar was pouring a Negroni and a Manhattan made with booze from the 196os. It’s pretty special stuff.



Discoveries from the 2014 Manhattan Cocktail Classic