Our friends at Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in Gardiner were so tickled that last year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was plucked from their hometown that they created and named a drink after the 78-foot tall Norway Spruce.
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Ten years ago, Ralph Erenzo, along with his son Gable Erenzo and business partner Brian Lee, created Hudson Whiskey, the first whiskey distilled in New York State since Prohibition. Today, they make a line of distinctive small-batch whiskeys using ingredients produced within 40 miles of the distillery. Most recently, they began selling their popular Hudson Manhattan Rye and Hudson Baby Bourbon varieties in larger, 750-milliliter bottles.
“A twist on the classic Manhattan” is how Tuthilltown’s resident whiskey expert (and cocktail creator) Han Shan describes the Norway Spruce. To make the drink at home, Shan says, “The most important thing is starting with a great rye whiskey like the Hudson Manhattan Rye, with the crack of spice and backbone to stand up alongside the sweet vermouth and aromatic bitters. If you can’t find the pine liqueur, add a splash of Benedictine to a Manhattan to make a Preakness cocktail. Or a splash of yellow chartreuse for a Greenpoint. Start with the basics, and then have some fun.” Cheers!
The Norway Spruce
- 2 parts Hudson Manhattan Rye
- ¾ part sweet vermouth
- ½ part Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- Orange peel
- Cocktail cherry
- Stir liquid ingredients over ice until well-chilled, and strain into pre-chilled cocktail coupe.
- Using vegetable peeler, cut swath of orange zest and squeeze, peel-side down, over glass to express oils on surface; discard zest.
- Garnish with cocktail cherry. (Pro tip: Check gourmet grocers or specialty shops for a proper one that isn’t filled with artificial colors and flavors.)
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