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TEW Craft Spirits Portfolio Launch

T. Edward Wines, New York craft spirits distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Max Hames, Rich Watts, Dave Kyerejko, Zac Bruner and Peter Simon of Industry City Distillery, Bridget Firtle of The Noble Experiment NYC, Ted Palmer of Roundhouse Spirits and Laurence Spiewak of Suerte Tequila

On Tuesday we debuted our Craft Spirits Portfolio at Lafayette, with each of our distillers hosting round table tastings and talks, holding court when four mixologists arrived to present the cocktails that they’d created, specifically for the launch.  And though the sun was blazing spring on the streets above, there was no lack of warmth or shine being generated in the cave below.  With a selection of spirits-inspired tunes curated by PC (and printed on the cover of our tasting book), the room was abuzz with pleasured palates and realized connections. “The first thing I learned making cocktails,” said Tiffany Short, Bar Manager at The Library at the Public, “[is] you can’t have good cocktails without great products.  It’s our first priority, so it’s great when people like this make it easy for us.”

T. Edward Wines, New York Craft Spirits distributor, Industry City Distillery, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

“All flavors are made in the fermentation process,” said Peter Simon, one of five partners at Industry City Distillery (ICD) in Brooklyn.  “We’re using distillation to break flavors out into different cuts.  [And] that’s when it turns from a science into art.  We sit there with these 40 different cuts, to isolate what we like and remove what we don’t, which gives us tremendous control for what ends up in our product.”

“I normally don’t care about vodka at all,” said Tiffany, “they kind of all taste the same to me.  But I really like these ICD guys.  Smooth taste; great product with a great story.  It’s one of the first vodka’s that’s really spoken to me.”

T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Laurence Spiewak, Suerte Tequila, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Laurence Spiewak of Suerte Tequila

“Our Blanco is really sippable,” said Laurence.  “A lot of people want to shoot it but we’re trying to help people understand that it’s sippable and mixable…[With] a lot of other Blancos, you just get heat.  We credit the flavor to the Tahona,” a 2500-3000 pound wheel chiseled from volcanic rock, and driven by an electric motor to crush the agave fruit.  In all of  Mexico, there are only four other tequila brands that use a Tahona, however, Suerte is one of the three to ground 100% of their fruit with the Tahona.  

On the market for just six months, Suerte Tequila is located in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, which is also home to the distilleries of Don Julio and Patron.  However, while these corporate distilleries make tequilas from agave that is grown in five different states, the agave for Suerte is not only all from Jalisco, but it is also grown on a single estate. “The CRT, the governing body of Tequila, called to allow five states to supply agave to fit the demand,” said Laurence, “so the bigger houses are now making tequila from outside of Jalisco.”

T. Edward Wines, New York Craft Spirits Distributor, Bridget Firtle of The Noble Experiment NYC, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Bridget Firtle of The Noble Experiment NYC

“I want to bring back a New York distinctive rum,” said Bridget Firtle of The Noble Experiment NYC in East Williamsburg, who uses only three ingredients to craft her Owney’s Original Small Batch Rum: Grade A, all natural, non-GMO molasses, filtered NYC tap water and yeast.  Much like her brethren at ICD, Bridget is also fiercely selective with her cuts.  “Out of a 1000L still,” she said, “I’m only taking 50L off.  It doesn’t make much financial sense,” she added and laughed, “but it’s what separates Owney’s from the big guys.”  Attentive not only to product, Bridget also has a craft-eye for design.  When speaking of her uniquely designed bottles she laughed again and said, “It’s another reason why I don’t [yet] have an employee.”

T. Edward Wines, Craft Spirits distributor, Ted Palmer, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Georgia Blume with Ted Palmer of Roundhouse Spirits

“Everyone says the same thing [of the Roundhouse Spirits Barrel Aged Gin],” said Ted Palmer of Roundhouse Spirits, “wow.  It’s been the same thing since I’ve been making the stuff.  Everyone is surprised by the new barrel,” he explained of his aging technique.  “A used barrel is an abused barrel.”

Asked how best to drink his Barrel Aged Gin, Ted replied, “I like it as a Manhattan.  It’s also really good neat.”

T. Edward Wines, New York Craft Spirits Distributor, Roundhouse Spirits, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Pictured left to right: Kevin Abbot, Managing Partner of Joe’s Pub & The Library, KB Berton, Bar Manager of Joe’s Pub, and Jeffery Pogash, of the Cocktail Guru

“The [Roundhouse] Barrel Aged Gin stands out absolutely as one of the most delicious spirits I’ve had,” said Jeffrey Pogash, of the Cocktail Guru (pictured above, right). It’s the most “interesting, unusual gin I’ve ever had.   I love it in Katie’s cocktail, The Barrel Aged Breakfast.  I’m impressed with the balance…how the spirits yield a well balanced cocktail.”

T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits,  Roundhouse Spirits, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Katie Stipe with the Roundhouse Punch

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T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Suerte Tequila, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Kathy Hubler serving The Kraken, with Suerte Reposado

“The tequila is great,” said Jeffery.  “It’s all about the flavor profile.  I’m a tequila freak, and the Suerte would make a really, really good Bloody Maria.”

T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Scott Rosenbaum, Juerie Park, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Scott Rosenbaum, Spirits Strategist, and Juerie Park, Domestic Brand Co-Manager

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T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Natasha David, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Natasha David, mixing it up with Owney’s Original Small Batch Rum

“The ultimate test is whether you can put rum in a simple daiquiri,” said Natasha David.  “I love sherry with rum.  I love how it dries it out a little bit, and peach was the first flavor that came to mind when I tasted it,” she said of her cocktail, Gopher Gang.

T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Dave Kyerejko of ICD, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Dave Kyerejko of ICD

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T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Jane Elkins, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Jane Elkins measuring Martinis with Industry Standard Vodka

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T. Edward Wines, New York distributor of Craft Spirits, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Looking down the bar with Katie Stripe

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Big thanks to our distillers and mixologists, and to all of the folks who made a great showing at the event.  Stay tuned for more to come…

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