Make a note: Heritage Radio Network knows how to throw a good party. Teaming up with Brooklyn Winery to host their boozy shindig, the food-loving organization invited guests to join in a tasting of Catskill Provisions‘ NY Honey Whiskey at their “Boozey Bees” salon series, and we were treated to craft cocktails, an intimate atmosphere and at least 3 different artisanal cheeses, which is a crazy, crazy win in my book.
So here’s what happened: local bartender superstars Joe Campanale (of dell’anima and L’Apicio fame, among others), Aaron Polsky (Bottled Bartender), and Adam Schuman (Michael Skurnik Wines) were each invited to use this gorgeous honey-sweet whiskey as a base for his own unique cocktail, and they really brought their best. Each was completely different in size, taste, and strength.
Campanale smartly balanced the whiskey’s sweetness with Campari and lemon juice, which tipped the drink over to the refreshing side. Polsky bottled up a pre-made concoction (as he is wont to do) with vanilla and clove, perfect for sipping, and something I’d recommend to anyone who makes a face when confronted with neat drinks.
Adam Schuman; Honey Bone cocktail with NY Honey Whiskey
Lastly, there was Schuman’s take. I usually hate “dessert” drinks – you know the kind: they always seem to involve the word “love” or “kiss” and an unnecessary swirl of Hershey’s syrup in a martini glass – so when I see “chocolate” in a cocktail’s ingredient list I dismiss it immediately. But I have learned a good lesson. Simply put: Schuman’s drink was outstanding. The chocolate bitters, tabasco, lime, and something with the word Pamplemousse in it – each ingredient brought out a different note in the whiskey, and this tiny sip had a huge presence. He encouraged us to throw it down the hatch like a shot, but when we went back for seconds I couldn’t bear to take his advice, and savored every last drop.
Boozey Bees at Brooklyn Winery
So, a hat-tipping is in order to the evening’s bartenders, and many thanks to Catskill Provisions for creating such an inspiring spirit. The event also included a surprise raffle: each guest was given 3 tickets for a chance to win his or her own bottle of the whiskey, and a gift basket full of Catskill’s products. I didn’t get my hopes up to win, but, since I got a bottle of Catskill’s maple syrup last year – and, while some of it was poured over polenta with cinnamon and butter, the majority of the stuff was dumped onto a large spoon and inserted directly into my mouth – my hopes were up just a little.
You can buy Catskill Provisions NY Honey Whiskey at whichever of these locations is nearest you! Keep an eye out for more cool stuff from Heritage Radio Network: Boozey Bees was part of a monthly salon series – check out their Facebook page for more events.
In case you were curious, the official cocktails:
Joe Campanale of dell’anima, L’artusi, Anfora, L’Apicio, and Epicurean Events: Catskills Sour
Catskill Provisions NY Honey Whiskey, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters, Campari
Aaron Polsky of Bottled Bartender: Mountain Range
Catskill Provisions NY Honey Whiskey, Bittermens Burlesque Bitters, Vanilla, Clove, and Palm Sugar.
Adam Schuman of Michael Skurnik Wines: Honey Bone
Catskill Provisions NY Honey Whiskey, Giffard Pamplemousse Liqueur, Lime, Tabasco, Chocolate Bitters