You probably already know that the Hudson Valley is a prime location to consume beer, wine, and whiskey, but a new spirit has been appearing on the scene. It’s time to get acquainted with gin.
Clear and light, gin is traditionally made from a rye or wheat base and flavored with juniper berry. Other botanicals are usually added in the distillation process, resulting in a spirit that is both aromatic and refreshing. Sometimes it can be more herbal and other times more floral, making it a popular drink to consume as the weather warms and the flowers bloom.
We’re here to help you become a moderate gin expert—a gin-smith, of sorts.
GINS MADE IN THE HUDSON VALLEY AND CATSKILLS
HALF MOON ORCHARD GIN BY
TUTHILLTOWN SPIRITS, GARDINER
The apple is the definitive New York State fruit, and Tuthilltown echoes this with its Half Moon Orchard Gin. Having a 20 percent apple and 80 percent wheat base, this gin is distilled with eight botanicals to create a multidimensional 92-proof spirit that is good by itself or as a mixer. tuthilltown.com.
SPIRITS GROVE CLEAR MOUNTAIN GIN
BY HUDSON VALLEY DISTILLERS, CLERMONT
Hudson Valley Distillers worked with Hudson-Chatham Winery in Tannersville to develop its gin. The drink starts with wine, and then juniper and botanicals including cucumber and sumac are added, resulting in a fruity but soft gin. hudsonvalleydistillers.com.
CURIOUS GIN BY CATSKILL DISTILLING COMPANY, BETHEL
Of all local gins, this one is the most botanically ambitious. You would think its 14 botanicals would overwhelm, but the combination mixes surprisingly well with the still very potent juniper profile. catskilldistillingcompany.com.
GIN BY ORANGE COUNTY DISTILLERY, GOSHEN
Botanicals in this 80-proof gin include juniper, lemon balm, citrus mint, coriander, angelica root, sumac, and lavender. These seven botanicals are balanced so the juniper does not overpower. Coming straight from the distillery’s Black Dirt Region farm, where they can grow more than 100 botanicals, it’s local all the way. orangecountydistillery.com.
“I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.”
— W.C. Fields, comedian
BOOTLEGGER 21 GIN BY
PROHIBITION DISTILLERY, ROSCOE
Possibly the region’s most exotic gin, Bootlegger 21 includes five botanicals: coriander, lemon verbena leaves, orris root, and bitter orange peels. With its neutral spirit base of 100 percent corn, it’s also quite strong at 94-proof. This is a very focused gin with a powerfully forward taste. Serious gin drinkers should seek this one out. prohibitiondistillery.com.
GREAT 9 GIN BY
DENNING’S POINT DISTILLERY, BEACON
A relative newcomer to the local scene, Denning’s Point Distillery is easy to miss just off Main Street in Beacon. You should really stop by for a tasting, though. This gin is another 80-proof spirit, distilled with nine botanicals (hence the name). Notes of orange, grapefruit, and sweet almond make this one of the more complex and flavorful gins around. denningspointdistillery.com.
WARWICK GIN BY WARWICK VALLEY
WINERY AND DISTILLERY, PINE ISLAND
You may have seen this one at your local haunt—Warwick Gin gets around. It’s a solid, medium-bodied gin at 80 proof, and its citrus-first profile, made with lemon and lime peel, makes it great for a gin-and-tonic.Or by itself. Maybe with a rock or two. wvwinery.com.
RECIPES TO TRY YOURSELF
COURTESY OF OUR LOCAL GIN DISTILLERIES
winter’s citrus frost
Provided by Hudson Valley Distillers
2 ounces Clear Mountain Gin
1 ounce sour mix
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1/4-1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup, depending
on desired sweetness
3 drops blood orange bitters
method: Rim half of a martini glass with
sugar and grapefruit zest. Add ingredients to
a shaker with ice, shake, and strain.
the nimble accord
Provided by Prohibition Distillery
1 1/2 ounces Bootlegger Gin
1/2 ounce St. Germain
1/2 ounce Cocchi Americano
3/4 ounce lemon juice
method: Shake and serve in a
coup glass with a lemon twist.
hudson honey bee
Provided by Denning’s Point Distillery
1 1/2 ounces Great 9 Gin
1 1/2 ounces Maid of the Meadow vodka
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce honey
3 ounces soda water
method: Garnish with lemon peel and
serve in a chilled coupe.
not by the hair
Provided by Orange County Distillery
1 1/2 ounces Orange County Distillery Gin
3/4 ounce mint maple syrup
Blood orange juice
Mint to garnish
method: Combine gin and maple syrup in a shaker with ice. Pour into an old-fashioned glass with a handful of ice, and top with blood orange juice. Garnish with mint.
by Tuthilltown Spirits
2 ounces Half Moon Gin
1 dash plum bitters
1 egg white
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce Demerara syrup
Muddle blackberries in a shaker tin, and add all other ingredients without ice. Dry shake ingredients for 12 seconds, add ice, and shake for 12 more seconds. Double strain ingredients into a large coupe glass.
WHAT TO ORDER OUT GIOVANNA “JENNY” VIS OF THE STOCKADE TAVERN IN KINGSTON
endorsed the following gin cocktails for those looking for an easy introduction to the fragrant spirit. “Any bar can make these drinks,” Vis said, “but can you convince the bartender to do it? That’s another question.”
tom collins Not too sweet but not too dry, the Tom Collins is a landmark, refreshing gin drink. It starts with Old Tom gin, then lemon and simple syrup are added, and then it’s all put into a tall, thin Collins glass with seltzer and lemon to garnish. It’s basic, but oh so perfect.
50/50 martini Also called a “perfect martini,” this drink is 1 1/2 ounces of gin and an equal amount of dry vermouth. Orange bitters are added, stirred until chilled, and then it’s all poured into a martini glass. It’s a simple but powerful drink.
negroni The Negroni is an aperitif made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, then stirred and served up with an orange twist. It’s perfect as a sweet treat before or after a meal. Orson Wells once said, “The bitters are excellent for your liver; the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”
gimlet The gimlet is the epitome of spring: gin, fresh lime, and simple syrup with a garnish of cucumber. Just make sure the bartender pours plenty of gin. It should be 2.5 parts gin to 0.5 parts lime and 0.25 parts simple syrup.