New York’s Hudson Valley may just be the Napa Valley of the Spirits World. Thanks to helpful legislation, a few brave pioneers, and a cooperative Distiller’s Guild, the area has flourished producing innovative spirits. Grab the overnight bags, turn off your cell phone, and ready your palate…because you’re going on a dram-cation!
Roll into the Rock and Rye Tavern in New Paltz, NY, to celebrate your arrival. The local cheese plate makes a perfect pairing to the Under the Host cocktail, featuring New York gin, or the Sheldrake Pinot Gris, from the Finger Lakes region. The Moondance Ridge Bed and Breakfast is a short 10-minute walk away, no driving needed. Get rested because tomorrow is going to be great.
Head north to Hudson Valley Distillers; they open at noon so enjoy a lazy morning and take your time finding your way. Their charming farmhouse distillery is stocked with Applejack to perk up your palate and get your day started. Grab one of their beautiful leather-wrapped steel flasks as a thank you for your designated driver ($19).
Next, head back south towards New Paltz to visit Tuthilltown Spirits. Tuck into lunch at their Tuthill House at the Mill, where Chef Jared Krom will pair unique fare with creative and skillful cocktails. Tuthilltown Spirits hosts about a thousand people a week at their distillery. Don’t let this big number scare you off: It’s still cozy and intimate. They credit their success to special licenses created for New York distillers that encourage people to visit, taste, and buy product at the source. They employ 50 people and tours alone are a huge portion of their payroll. Be sure to pick up a bottle of bitters.
Black Dirt Distillery is further south and is loved for their Bourbon made from non- GMO corn. They were the first distillery in the Hudson Valley and also distill fruit spirits. Fruit spirits may not be the current fad, but it takes a truly skilled artist to distill them well. The Distillery’s name refers to the dark and fertile soil left by an ancient glacial lake, giving rise to flavorful source ingredients for their distillation.
A short jaunt down the road will lead you to Demarest Hill Winery. You can close out your Saturday with a sip of brandy or aperitivo to bring you back to earth. Make sure to get a peek of their still: It’s wood-fired! They close at 6pm, and thank goodness, because by now you’ll need a bit of down time.
After drinking up a long day of concentrated and complex flavors, it’s time to process all of your new distilling knowledge. Grab a bite of delicious and fortifying Italian food at A Tavola in New Paltz. No, I don’t mean soggy spaghetti and meatballs, I mean lamb and ricotta polpetinni, pork belly, and house made penne. Drink plenty of water…and yes, they can call you a taxi to roll you down the street and into bed.
Wake up and get yourself a spa treatment at the B&B, paired with a large cup of coffee. I recommend the Reiki to wrap up this weekend of restoration and relaxation. Not into unwinding? Well, the Hudson Valley’s got you covered. Pack up, check out, and drive over to Skydive the Ranch on your way out of town. Once you jump out of a plane, going back to work won’t seem so scary.
The Sauce: whiskey, gin, apple vodka, bitters
Address: 14 Gristmill Ln, Gardiner, NY
Hours: 11 am- 6 pm
Black Dirt Distillery
The Sauce: fruit spirits, gin, bourbon, applejack
Address: 114 Little York Road, Warwick, NY
Hours: 11 am- 6 pm
Hudson Valley Distillers
The Sauce: vodka, applejack, old tom
Address: 1727 US 9, Germatown, NY
Hours: 12 pm-6 pm
Demarest Hill Winery
The Sauce: applejack, brandy, limoncello
Address: 81 Pine Island Turnpike, Warwick, NY
Hours: 11 am- 6 pm
Address: 55 Shivertown Rd, New Paltz, NY
Rooms from $219/night
Address: 46 Main St., New Paltz, NY
Skydive The Ranch
Address: 55 Sand Hill Rd., Gardiner, NY
7:30 am-sunset, weekdays
10 am-sunset, weekends