Brooklyn has a proud history of brewing, and the craft is making a comeback in a major way, with breweries and distilleries dotting the borough. In fact, seven are within walking distance in Red Hook and Sunset Park, and three others are a short hop away in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. To highlight this enterprising spirit, Cacao Prieto, a rum and dessert maker on Conover Street, helped develop the Brooklyn Spirits Trail, which winds past rum, rye, whiskey, gin, sorel and beer-makers and offers participants delectable samples of food and drink. “Wear comfortable shoes,” said Jackie Summers, 44, who owns Jack from Brooklyn distillery. “Plan on having terrific food and sampling some really unique liquors and seeing how things are done.” The self-guided tour kicks off at Red Hook Winery. Maps can be found at the distilleries and breweries and Dry Dock Wine and Spirits in Red Hook.
THE BROOKLYN SPIRITS TRAIL
10 stops, 12.4 miles
New York Distilling Company
Where: 79 Richardson St. in Williamsburg
Tours/Tastings: Monday through Thursday at 5 and 7 p.m. The distillery’s cocktail bar opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Contact: 718-412-0874, nydistilling.com/
Must Try: Dorothy Parker American Gin, $33 per bottle. For $3 more try the 114-proof Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin
“The Shanty” at the New York Distilling Company is where to sample its critically-acclaimed American and 114-proof Navy Strength gins. The bar serves cocktails and craft beers in addition to the distillery’s own spirits, is open every night.
Where: 208 Dupont St. in Greenpoint (1.5 miles from New York Distilling Company)
Tours/Tastings: Not open to the public.
Contact: 646-339-3719, greenhookgin.com
Must Try: American Dry, $33 per bottle.
Greenhook Ginsmiths crafts three vacuum-distilled gins, plus a handful of seasonal and limited-edition spirits. The distillery’s flagship, the American Dry, includes a mix of Tuscan juniper, organic elderflowers, organic chamomile and Celyon cinnamon. The Beach Plum Gin Liqueur combines the American Dry with local beach plums and organic Turbinado sugar to create a dark and unique spirit. The distillery is not open to the public, but its gins can be found in at least 12 liquor stores in New York City.