On a chilly December afternoon we bundled ourselves up and headed out on a spirit journey.
Our first stop, Shinn Estate Vineyard where David Page carries out the dream of producing spirits as his grandfather had done back in the Prohibition era of the 1920’s. Without having to look over his shoulder, Page concocts his version of Moonshine, aptly called Shinn Shine, in their copper alembic still. This hooch packs a punch at 122 proof but has a smooth, silky texture with a subtle taste of licorice. On a cold winter’s night, it’s the perfect sipper served as an after-dinner digestive, delivered straight up. Next up – their Eau de Vie, which translates to water of life. A young Brandy, smooth and velvety with a bit of spice on the palette. Serve it neat, mixed in a cocktail or spiked in your holiday punch.
With our spirits high we dropped in at Sherwood House Vineyard to sample their Sherwood House X.O. Brandy. Teaming up with LIV Distillery in Aquebogue and using one of their award winning chardonnays, they created Long Island’s first artisan aged Brandy, smooth and velvety with hints of nuts and spices. With the flickering flames in the fireplace and the warmth of the brandy we were definitely feeling the spirit.
On to the distillery! Not the coziest of places but hey, we’re at the source. LIV Distillery in Aquebogue is the first distillery on the island since the 1800's, and we were there to sample their newest Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Rough Rider, named after the United States First Volunteer Calvary and located only a few miles from the spot where they parted. This Whiskey is aged for several years then let to mature a second time, resulting in a complex aroma of spices, oak and toffee with notes of caramel, vanilla, dark red fruit with a dash of honey. Good for sipping and for giving off some generous heat.
All in all it was a pleasurable journey leaving us definitely warmed and a bit fuzzy.