A Closer Look at Tuthilltown Distillery

by Warren Bobrow

Tuthilltown hails from the sleepy upstate-NY town of Gardiner. This is the real New York - not a sidewalk-bound place of blowing horns and speeding lives. 

Gardiner is located in the area of New York State surrounded by farms, gorges and world-class, challenging mountain climbing. Mountain climbing is what brought the founders of Tuthilltown to this region in the first place. 

Of course the 225- year old “National Register of Historical Places” gristmill was another major draw. 

Tuthilltown is a product like no other Bourbon produced in the country.  First of all, there is the unique terroir of the ingredients. I think it is the tang of the granite-laced water that makes for a most satisfying taste of the place. The rye is locally grown, as I found by driving down a lane and getting lost, from the proud farmer wandering by the side of the country lane who told me how to get to the distillery. He was thrilled to say that he grew the rye for Tuthilltown Distillery. 

It’s a lovely place visually. The distillery is in a barn and the tasting rooms are located in the old mill building. 

This is a comfortable place with smiling, interested locals doing all the work. It’s a close-knit crew who make their hand-hewn Whiskey. The aroma in the air is of the surrounding forest, the earth, the distillation and aging of their spirits. 

Sitting in front of me is one of the short, squat- 375ml bottles of Tuthilltown. It wasn’t until recently that Tuthilltown started filling larger sized 750ml bottles. It’s not an inexpensive sip - but certainly a most passionate one.

Their Rye Whiskey is my favorite. I first tasted it at the restaurant named Blue Hill in NYC. Woven into a Manhattan cocktail with several hand muddled house-cured cherries, the Tuthilltown Rye tasted like no other Rye Whiskey in my flavor driven memory. I think it is very similar in flavor profile to Pappy Van Winkle. My Southern brothers would shudder at the thought that a Yankee distilled Whiskey could call itself Bourbon.

Tuthilltown Manhattan- Twisted “Cocktail Whisperer” Style

Makes two extremely dangerous cocktails



To a cocktail shaker add ½ with ice. Add 2 shots Tuthilltown Rye. Add 1 shot of the Tenneyson Absinthe. Add ½ shot of Carpano Antica Formula. Add the ½ shot of Orleans Apple Aperitif. Stir gently. Strain into a pre-chilled rocks glass with a home-cured cherry and a Glace Ice Round. Finish with exactly two drops of Bitter End Memphis BBQ Bitters.

Originally my inspiration for this next cocktail came to me during a dinner enjoyed at Minetta Tavern in NYC’s Greenwich Village.  They serve a new classic named the Maple Leaf Sazerac. In my own twisted fashion this iconic cocktail has taken on a completely different slant in my own unique way- with the addition of New Jersey Maple Syrup and the Bitter End Memphis BBQ Bitters

Of course you can use the spirits and bitters of your own choice.

Rabble Rouser Cocktail

Makes two absolutely ruinous cocktails of the most powerful demeanor

Preparation: To a cocktail shaker add ½ with ice. Add the Tuthilltown Rye to the Absinthe. Add Bitter End Bitters, the Peychaud’s Bitters and maple syrup.  Stir gently and then strain into a short cocktail glass each graced with one round cube of Glace ice. Garnish with a lemon zest.


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