Regulatory changes and a DIY spirit have led to a renaissance in local distilling, as bootstrap brands have set up shop throughout the boroughs, installing gleaming copper stills and stacks of oak casks, the resting place for raw moonshine to slowly evolve into whiskey worthy of a nightcap. Vodka, gin, rum, and even cacao liqueur are now native to New York, giving the city’s saloons a chance to concoct locavore cocktails. But why bend elbows at any old bar when you can sip spirits and mixed drinks straight from the source? Many of today’s distilleries offer tours and house tasting rooms or even their own cocktail bars worthy of a visit at happy hour — or any hour, honestly. The best destination distilleries blend a warm welcome and fun vibe with distinctive spirits that break flavorful new terrain. Here are the absolute best distilleries to visit in New York City.
For my latest article in New York's Absolute Best series, I tackle the top Caribbean restaurants and foods in a neighborhood close to my heart: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where I've lived for more than 15 years. Hungry for roti? Jerk chicken? Beef patties? Here's where you should eat.
For this week's New York magazine, I contributed a couple articles to get New Yorkers thirsting for the just-arrived outdoor-drinking season. To start, I wrote up five of the tastiest canned beers to hit the NYC market, including Avery Joe's Premium American Pilsner and Sixpoint's the Crisp. Secondly, I surveyed some of the city's newest, and best, spots to sip some craft beer outside, name-checking Eataly's Birreria and Greenpoint's terrific and criminally unsung t.b.d. It's a thirsty job, sure, but I'm glad I get to do it.