Rum makers are popping up in Red Hook faster than you can scream, “Yo-ho-ho!”
In the past three weeks, two small-batch rum distilleries have begun bottling organic sugarcane-based hooch that’s tasty enough to make Captain Morgan switch labels.
One distillery belongs to Daric Schlesselman — a Comedy Central editor-cum-booze buff — who crafts his vanilla-noted liquor using fair trade, unprocessed sugar at his Van Brunt Stillhouse.
“It’s a lot like cooking: I get the best ingredients then use my palate to steer flavor in the most interesting direction,” Schlesselman said.
Schlesselman distills the elixir — dubbed “Due North Rum”($35), which is not yet for sale — at a low temperature to create a light-but-full-bodied flavor.
He said he opened the 225-barrel operation in Red Hook because there’s enough industrial space to set up shop and the hood has a “pioneering spirit.”
Rum makers are rare outside the Caribbean — and there are only a handful in New York — but Schlesselman is not the only one anchoring the trade in Red Hook: Cacao Prieto bottles chocolate-based rum using organic cacao from the Dominican Republic just four blocks away, proving the liquor has sailed far beyond its days as cheap pirate swill.
A spokesman for Cacao Prieto, Alex Clark, said the neighborhood’s zoning rules actually help up-and-coming neighborhood booze-makers.
“Red Hook’s got the zoning — and it’s a great spot for creative people,” he said.
Van Brunt Stillhouse [6 Bay Street at Ostego Street in Red Hook, (718) 852-6405].Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at email@example.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
©2012 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynDaily.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.