On Sunday, the first whiskey to be legally distilled in New York City since the prohibition was being sipped and sold at Uva, a wine store in Williamsburg. Colin Soleman and David Haskell, the moonrakers of Kings County Distillery -- as their one-room, science experiment-like operation is called -- were pouring tastes of their first batch of crystal clear and potentially lethal Moonshine Corn Whiskey from flask-like bottles.
Made from New York-grown corn, what isn't being sold as moonshine is currently aging in small barrels, where, over the next eight months it will become bourbon.
Kings County may be the first distillery to bottle and sell high percentage booze in Brooklyn, but they certainly are not going to be the last. In fact, it has been something of a local liquor race. Brueckelen Distilling Company in Sunset Park is scheduled to pour its first gin this month and the New York Distilling company, from the former CEO of the Brooklyn Brewery, has leased a warehouse in Williamsburg and, while the first drop has yet to fall from the still, labels designed by NyMag co-founder Milton Glaser (also responsible for the ubiquitous I Heart NY logo) are hot off the press.
Kings County, however, unfazed by the competition, is keeping things simple with labels they typed themselves ("using a typewriter is a lot harder than you would think") and no pressure (nor capacity) to meet demand. Thus, if you want a bottle to tuck into your own back pocket, better get it soon.