What can make visiting a distillery that does it right even better? How about rolling along route 208 up towards Gardiner, NY with a view of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve? Throw in the 1788 Grist Mill on the premises with the diverted river flow still running through the building and you have a combination of top of the line spirits with rich history.
One of the fist to distill in New York since the days of Prohibition, Ralph Erenzo and Brian Lee are the proud founders of Tuthilltown Spirits offering probably the best vodka we ever tasted along with a variety of other spirits including a gin and different types of whiskeys. They also carry a line of locally made wines and staff their store with highly knowledgeable clerks who will provide you with tiny samples at no charge or an array of full shots for about $10.
Ralph and Brian were instrumental in pushing along the Farm Distillery bill back in 2008 which made it easier for old farms to be revived into distilleries. The result is more employment, great spirits, and a variety of restaurants in the region making a trip out very worth your while.
The only regret we left with was that the restaurant was closed on the day we visited. We had to pass on sitting inside the revamped Grist Mill or relaxing in its back yard with a view of the flowing water which once turned the turbine that grinded the flour.
This was a trip filled with beauty from the surrounding area that offered a cozy charm that’s calling us back for a second visit. Our biker’s hat is off to Ralph and Brian for a job well done!