by Mike Pardus
I've been seriously remiss in not documenting and thanking my friends Gable and Cathy Erenzo from Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, NY, for sharing the "fruits" of their labors with me for almost a year now. Hand crafted, using only locally grown grains and fruits, doing everything from scratch ( most distillers buy spent mash from beer brewers, Tuthilltown buys their ingredients fresh from local growers), they are turning out a product that puts thought back into the past time of drinking distilled spirits. If you're a foodie, everyone you know is fluent in wine. When was the last time you sipped a glass of rye whiskey? When was the last time you discussed the nuance of Bourbon? Can you actually taste the corn in clear corn whiskey?
Of course, it takes serious discipline to taste 7 high octane beverages without losing focus. Needless to say, serious discipline is not what this has been about. I have tasted these products and given thought to each - but just long enough to decide that they were good; after that, all hell broke loose, things were spilled, raucous behavior ensued, and silliness prevailed...isn't it nice to know that you can support local agriculture, explore new flavors, and still act like a frat?
I strongly endorse finding 6+ like minded friends, getting some easy to prepare food (or take-out) and planning a tasting sleep-over. I can pretty much guarantee that a good time will be had by all.
Oh, yeah, strong coffee, fatty foods, and your "pain killer of choice" is recommended for the next day.
Have fun! Be Safe! Don't drive!