Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Utica distillery making gluten-free vodka

Just a decade ago, craft distilleries were practically non-existent in New York State. Now, with 22 it is behind only California and Colorado in the number of them.

The newest is the Adirondack Distilling Company, which is making an unusual product after recently receiving its state license.

The microdistillery is located in Utica, where distiller Jordan Karp is making gluten-free vodka from locally-grown corn, quite different from most craft vodkas which are made from wheat or other grains.

Karp told a local TV interviewer he and co-founders Bruce Elwell and Stee Cox "did a lot of research, took a few classes, visited some distilleries and what started out as an idea two years ago is very close to completion.

"Our vodka will go from farm to bottle in two weeks. We hope our sales will help local farmers as well and again the money that people spend here stays here."

The company is using Herkimer Diamonds, a locally-mined, semi-precious quartz, to filter the vodka, made in a custom-crafted German still.

Its spirit, under the brand name ADK Adirondack Vodka, will debut in liquor stores in the region this fall as well as being sold at the distillery, on Varick Street in the former Metro building.

The company is setting aside the first 1,500 bottles of its inaugural batch. Details on how to reserve one are available on the website.

Plans call for eventual production of Varick Bourbon and Black Diamond Gin, the latter using Alpine Bilberries.

REMINDER: The new Hillrock Estate Distillery in Ancram, Columbia County, opens to the public this Saturday. See my earlier stories here and here.

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