It’s no secret that this country is in the throes of a small batch, hand crafted spirits Renaissance. It seems like every week a new, independent distillery pops up in some remote part of the country. We’ve gone from about 70 to 700 distilleries in the United States in a little under 10 years. And nowhere is that feverish growth felt more profoundly than in Brooklyn, New York.
Thanks to a change in legislature in 2002 that hadn’t been updated since prohibition, there has been an emerging and unprecedented collection of boutique distillers catering to drinkers who have a taste for the regional and the unique. The recently published book Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough not only documents the actual hard-working entrepreneurs behind the distilleries who are at the forefront of this movement (many familiar to those regular Bit by a Fox blog readers!), but it also showcases the bars that champion these small producers, and with cocktail recipes to boot!
One of these bars supporting the local booze scene, featured in the book is the beyond charming The Long Island Bar, restored and re-opened in 2013.
This is also the locale where I recently had the chance to meet up with the authors of Brooklyn Spirits, Chris Wertz and Peter Thomas Fornatale, for a few drinks featuring some of that local booze.
We were lucky enough to have the co-owner of The Long Island Bar, and one of the star bartenders of the book, Toby Cecchini, personally attend to our thirst that night.
It was also the first time Toby (the creator of the notorious Cosmopolitan cocktail, by the way!) saw his section of the book in print. A special night to be sure!
Chris and Pete have lovingly compiled a Who’s Who among the Brooklyn drinks scene, from distiller to glass in Brooklyn Spirits. And Max Kelly’s stunning photography captures the vibe of the borough so perfectly.
This book has been a hot item since it hit newsstands in October, and you can get it here.
OR, if you’re in New York, you can attend a Tiki Night that they are co-hosting tomorrow night, Friday the 13th, 7-10 pm at Brooklyn’s boozy bakery slash bar, Spirited, and pick up a copy AND get it signed by the authors themselves. Bit By a Fox faves Owney’s NYC Rum and Sorel Liqueur will be heavily featured on the Tiki cocktail menu and pu pu platters will abound! Get tickets here!