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Finger Lakes Distilling NewsletterFebruary 2011
In This Issue
Assistant Distiller Hired
Vintner's Packaging
In case you missed it...
Cocktail Ideas
Quick Links


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Upcoming Tastings and Events

Saturday, February 5:

USQ's Martini Bowl 2011

Come and vote for FLD

Fri - Sun, February 11-13:

Seneca Wine Trail

Chocolate & Wine Weekend

Saturday, February 12:
Webster on the Ridge
Webster, 1-4 pm

Tuesday, February 22:
Whiskey Tasting
Stella's, Ithaca
9 pm

Monday, March 14:
A Taste of Pittsford,
Pittsford Rotary Fundraiser
Nazareth College
6:30-8:30 pm

Saturday, March 19:
Distilled in NY - An Introduction to Handcrafted Spirits, Class at the NY Wine & Culinary Center, taught by Brian McKenzie
6:30-8:30 pm

Friday, April 8:
ROC City Uncorked
Rochester Convention Center
6:30-10 pm

Friday, April 29:
Hotel Clarence, Seneca Falls
5:30-7 pm

May 13-17:
Manhattan Cocktail Classic
FLD participating in multiple events at the premier cocktail event in NYC

June 10:
Borisal Liquor & Wine (Drinkup NY), Brooklyn
5-7 pm
Please come out to see us!


Featured Products

heart choc

We have some new chocolates just in time for Valentine's Day and the Seneca Lake Chocolate & Wine Weekend.  In addition to our Bourbon and Pear Brandy chocolates, Christian (our chocolatier) has prepared some heart-shaped chocolates using our cherry and cassis liqueurs in a delightful ganache. Come pick some up before we sell out!




Dear Friend of FLD, 
We hope that you are having a wonderful 2011 so far.  We've got a lot to report in this, our first newsletter of the year. We've had our share of tough winter weather, but the Finger Lakes region is still a beautiful place to live year round.

lake in winter

I'm happy to announce a few new additions to the distillery.  Beginning this year, we hired a new Assistant Distiller, Brian Ferguson. Brian is on board to help Thomas with all aspects of production.

Also, featured below is a shiny new package for our Vintner's Vodka and Vintner's Wildberry Vodka.  We hope that you like the spin off of our old design.  We think the new design reflects the quality of the vodka and hope it helps make it pop off the shelf a little easier, too.

We've seen a lot of great press over the past couple months. Be sure to catch up on all the FLD news in our "In Case You Missed It" section below.  Most notable, was a great article about craft distilleries in the NY Times in late December, where FLD had a prominent mention.

Things have certainly slowed down at the distillery from a visitors standpoint, but we've got a number of great events lined up over the next few months. It's also a great time to visit - our tasting room staff has a little extra time to explain all aspects of the distilling process.


Brian McKenzie
President, Finger Lakes Distilling 



bfergusonFLD hires new Assistant Distiller


 brian f


We're excited to announce that Brian Ferguson (on right) recently accepted a position as Assistant Distiller.  Brian is a graduate of the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. 

He worked in production, sales and as part of our tasting room staff this past summer.  He already has shown a knack for distilling and excellent customer service.

Don't let Thomas' surly mug fool you in the photo above, we are very happy that Brian Ferguson joined us to help meet the distillery's growing production demands.

Welcome Brian!


vodkaVintner's 2.0

 new vodka pics

We recently made some improvements to our Vintner's Vodka and Vintner's Wild Berry bottles. The new package has the same elegance as the old, but consists of a higher quality bottle and bolder design.

We're very proud of the liquid that goes into these bottles and are happy that the new package reflects the same level of quality.

If you've never tried our vodka, be sure to pick up a bottle at one of our retailers. Vintner's Vodka is made from premium NYS grapes. It is distilled to 190 proof, so is technically vodka. That's where the similarity ends, however. Vintner's is full of character - very smooth, but fruity.  Here's a recent review with more details.

Vintner's Wild Berry, starts as our regular vodka. We then soak local strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, before a second distillation to concentrate the flavors.

Let us know what you think of the new design by clicking here.

In case you missed it....


This month, the New York Times featured an article in the Food and Wine section titled Just Don't Call it Moonshine. The article highlights several Northeast distilleries, but makes special mention of FLD.  

Amy Zavatto, a writer for Frommer's, recently made an impromptu stop at the distillery while visiting the Finger Lakes Wine Trail.  She blogged about her experience and love of McKenzie Rye Whiskey.

The McKenzie Rye Whiskey Manhattan featured at ABC Kitchen was named one of the best NYC cocktails in NY Magazine!  Check it out in this article as well.  

Hip Hip Horray! December's newsletter featured the Visions of Sugar Plums cocktail.  Brian entered his recipe into Lucinda Scala Quinn's Mad Hungry cocktail contest. Lucinda is also the Executive Director of Food and Entertaining for Martha Stewart Living.  This cocktail took first prize! Click here for the recipe to read the review. 

If you are in Brooklyn, you may want to check out Blue Bottle Coffee.  There, they feature an Arborio Rice Cake, a bread pudding-style cake kicked up with a little McKenzie Rye. 



Creative Cocktails


No matter how you feel about Valentine's Day, we've got a cocktail for you (both will be served at Martinibowl this Saturday):

Afternoon Delight

afternoon delight

2 oz. Vintner's Wild Berry Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 oz. Blood Orange Juice (we used Stirrings)
Splash lemon juice
Splash simple syrup
Dash of salt

Combine above ingredients in shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass.


Corpse Reviver #2

(aka Broken Heart Reviver)



1 oz. Seneca Drums Gin
1 ounce Cointreau
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
Few drops of Absinthe or Pastis

Combine above ingredients in shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass. We like to garnish with a maraschino cherry in bottom of the glass.



 Please send us your ideas for cocktails using our products. With your permission, we may feature your cocktail in a future newsletter. If selected, we'll send you an FLD hat or T-shirt.

Want to know more about our spirits? Just visit
Our Products for details and tasting notes on our gin, vodka, whiskey, brandy, fruit liqueurs and other products.