Flavored Craft Whiskies such as Catskill Provisions Honey Flavored Rye Whiskey offers new levels of expertise in the hands of a home mixologist. The honeybee, weaving a veritable pot of gold, transforms the attentive drinker into a conceptualist who communicates with good taste. Honey, in this case from hives located in New York State’s Catskill Region has its own specific terroir or taste of the place. The surrounding farms and forests alike, bursting with the burdens of Spring attract these Happy Bees to an intellectual Mecca of all things creative and intriguing. Catskill’s lithe and utterly gorgeous bottle is just brimming with the passion and tenaciousness of the namesake honeybees. Each sip melded together with their brightly refreshing Rye Whiskey. Each further sip brings interest, delight and exploration. From the moment that you open the handsome, tall-necked bottle with a curve, just at the right point in the experience, it’s pretty clear that this whiskey is more than a marketing project. And with the first whiffs, the drinker will know that the honey is definitely more than a metaphor with this whiskey. Honey drives the experience of the rye whiskey and takes it to a place unexpected. From the peppery start- spiraling around the tip of your tongue to the languid motion as it slips, pensively down the throat into the gullet. The finish goes on and on and it takes contemplation to another level.
A quiet pursuit of excellence is taking place by the careful and studied guidance of Eric Tschudi, the affable and youthful beverage director of Shuko. His hand-chosen selection of esoteric, Japanese Whiskies will certainly intellectualize even the most altruistic guest in your dinner party. And then there is a private dining room that intrigues the carefully interested. This space is the most private room, set deeply down in the subterranean part of the former bakery- a quite hidden, inner sanctum, located in the depths of 47 East 12th Street in New York City. This is certainly not a tourist restaurant, nor does it have any signs announcing the constantly changing approach to an educated curiosity that takes place within the walls daily. There are no lines of paparazzi craning their necks towards the stars, nor very much in the way of foot traffic on this part of the street, set just off the teeming hustle and bustle of soon to be, lower Broadway. Find some parking just across the street, just up the way a bit and stretch your legs, but only so much. The scent you detect in the air may well tinge of sea salt water on this tiny spit of land only a few short blocks from the churning East River. The Japanese inspired liquids are driven by the culinary treats that emulate from within the tabla rasa walls. And all of these surprises are completely undetected from the street. A hidden gem surrounded by so much darkness.
It’s Greek Moonshine… and to Greek people it’s best known as Tsipouro. OK, now that you got that, sometimes it’s better known as Raki (but not the Raki that you may think you know, the one from Turkey or Armenia…) Rakii *spelled with two i’s for TTB/legal reasons-not to confuse the consumer with the best known Raki on the market, this style of Raki is usually made only in Greece and named Tsipouro. Lazy Eye Rakii is being craft distilled in a most unlikely place, Southern New Jersey. Richland, NJ. This craft distillery is not just around the corner from anywhere in particular, like NYC for instance, it makes for a good day trip.
If there is a flavor that most exemplifies aromatics of the British countryside- it would be the profusion of herbs and flowers that bloom along the thorny hedgerows lining the narrow pathways. Of course, to experience this in real life would mean a trip to Great Britain. IF, you were able to accomplish this trip, a leisurely bicycle ride would be necessary to gain the entire experience of sipping Seedlip. Why a bicycle ride you may ask? To be able to smell the air as you rode down any given country path, brushing your arms against the herbs and flowers, releasing their perfume.