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Finger Lakes Distilling NewsletterAugust 2011
In This Issue
New Markets
Expansion at FLD
Employee Party
M.S. Fundraiser
In case you missed it...
Cocktail Ideas
Creative Cuisine
Quick Links


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Upcoming Tastings and Events



Thursday, August 11


Bottlerocket Wine and Spirits 




Friday, August 19 


Wright's Beverages 

Watkin's Glen, NY



Friday, August 19


Corn Hill Fine Wines and Spirits 

Rochester, NY 



Saturday, August 20


Whiskey Sour Pickle Eating Contest 

Black Rabbit Bar

Brooklyn, NY



Friday, August 26


2011 NY Wine and Food Classic 

Reception at NYWCC 

Canandaigua, NY  



Saturday, August 27   


Astor Wine & Spirits 

3-5 pm

Saturday, August 27:

Slope Cellars
5-7:30 pm

Friday, September 9:
Bowery & Vine

Saturday, September 17:
Slope Cellars
5-7:30 pm

Thursday, September 22:
2011 Fine Tastings
Locust Hill Country Club Rochester, NY

Thursday, September 22:
Craft Beer & Spirits Tasting
City Winery
6-10 pm

Saturday, September 24:
New York Wine Festival
Skaneateles, NY

Wednesday, September 28:
Indy Spirits Expo
The Bottom Lounge
Chicago, IL
6:30-9 pm

Please come out to see us!

New Products


Looking for a great way to package up a gift from FLD? How about using one of our new sock monkey bottle wraps. Available in our gift shop for $10. 


sock monkey 






Dear Friend of FLD,    

July went by like a blur, but what a month it was.  People really seem to be discovering that the Finger Lakes is an ideal summer getaway.  Our crew at FLD found some time to celebrate our second anniversary with a beautiful night at Two Goats.

August began with one of our favorite local food events of the year, the Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty Harvest Dinner.  This evening is such a wonderful exhibit of the talented chefs and winemakers in our region, not to mention the high quality produce that is available this time of year.

jenny- flcb

(Jenny pouring our spirits at the FLCB Harvest Dinner)


Production-wise, things are really moving along.  We have released our latest Bourbon and Rye batches (#5).  Our recent batch of Raspberry Liqueur is becoming a new favorite at the tasting room bar- come out and try it.


Our company is undergoing some expansion plans on two fronts over the upcoming months.  First we are expanding our distribution network.  Though we continue to grow in New York State through our own wholesale efforts, we are also moving into some out of state markets for the first time.  Please read about our new distributor arrangements below.  Secondly, we are undergoing some facility-related expansion right here in Burdett.  We've already started a project or two and will keep you posted as things progress.


There is lots going on outside of Burdett, too. Check out our tasting calendar on the sidebar. Also- please come out to support M.S. research by visiting the distillery during the weekend of August 26-28 and buying some Seneca Drums. Details below. 


As always, thank you for your support!


Brian McKenzie
President, Finger Lakes Distilling  


distributionAnd they're off... 


first shipment 


A few weeks ago, we posted this picture on Facebook showing us loading up our first out-of-state shipment.  The post garnered a lot of attention and hopeful guesses as to it's new home.  We are excited to announce where it was headed.


Specifically, that load was ON IT'S WAY TO CHICAGO.   We'll be working with Maxwell Street Trading Co. over the next couple of months to get new store placements in the Illinois market, as well as some accounts in high end restaurants/bars.  Come and visit us at the Chicago Indy Spirits Festival if you'd like to learn more about our company and products.


If you were hoping to see distribution in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, not to worry.  We're sending some product out to those states in the very near future.  McKenzie Whiskies and Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey will soon be available in NJ through Hunterdon Brewing, a high end beer and niche spirits wholesaler.  In addition, several of our products will soon be available by special order through the online PA store.  Once set-up, you'll be able to order FLD products through and have them delivered directly to your local state store. We'll keep you posted.







facilityCheck out our new digs


If you have driven up Rt 414 lately, you may have noticed lots of activity on our property.  We are currently expanding our tasting room space by enclosing our deck area with a permanent roof.  The project is slated to be complete in the next week or so.  Stop by for some sampling while enjoying a breathtaking view of Seneca Lake.


deck roof 


We've also created a new mill house to make our grain handling more efficient for whiskey production.  The mill house encloses our brand new hammer mill and we've also installed an auger system to move grain into the mill and crushed grain into the mash kettle.   




We have some other facility expansion plans in the works and will keep you posted as we go.



Employee Party





Last month our staff celebrated  FLD's 2 year anniversary at Two Goats Brewing, just north of us on 414.  We enjoyed sharing stories and a few pints on the deck while munching on some spirit- themed foods including meatballs in McKenzie Bourbon BBQ sauce, shrimp with Glen Thunder cocktail sauce, Fruit Salad soaked in Vintner's Wildberry Vodka, Veggies with Brandied Blue Cheese dip and brownies with a bourbon butter-cream frosting.    


Hungry? You can view the recipes, below.


Thank you to our awesome staff this year.   




msresearchBuy gin for Jen

This September a number of our employees (The Hot Pack) are participating in a 50 mile walk to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.  MS is a disease that affects approximately 350,000 people in the U.S. and it is estimated that 200 new cases are diagnosed every week. 


This cause is very near and dear to the hearts of the FLD family.  Roughly 2 years ago, Jenny McKenzie, wife of our president, Brian, was diagnosed with MS after waking up suddenly with double vision.  While Jenny is doing great now, there is still no known cure for this disease.  The team is hoping to change that and to date has raised over $12,000 from friends and family. 


 FLD would like to support this effort with a special weekend dedicated to the participants of this walk.  From August 26-28 we will donate 15% of gin sales to the National MS Society.  Please come out and help fight this disease.  

In case you missed it....

Adam Graham, a writer for the National Geographic Traveler publication search the US for the best apple orchards.  On his way through NY tasting apples and apple based products, he found us and mentioned FLD's MapleJack Liqueur.


Rochelle Bilow from the Syracuse Post-Standard visits the Central NY Regional Market and decided to whip up a meal using local produce, meat and cheese.  Check out her desert- seneca Drums gin, sweet cherries and buckweat honey. Yum.



The Democrate and Chronicle created the Grape Bubbly, Vintner's vodka with a grape juice twist.


  cocktailsCreative Cocktails



We continue to enjoy the fruit being harvested this time of year. Local peaches are now in season and they sure do pair nicely with some McKenzie Bourbon.      

 Bourbon-Peach Smash

peach-bourbon smash

Half of a ripe peach, pitted and cut in pieces 

2 oz McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey   

1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Dash of Fee Brothers Peach Bitters 

Club Soda

Small slice of peach to garnish    


Muddle peache in shaker. Add bourbon, simple syrup and bitters and shake over ice. Strain into martini glass straight up or rocks glass with large ice cube. Top with club soda and garnish with slice of peach.


Bitter Rose 

1.5 oz Seneca Drums Gin
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
0.5 oz Campari
Dash Simple Syrup
Dash Salt
Drop of Rosewater


Shake ingredients over ice and strain into martini glass.  

Be careful not to use too much rosewater as it can overtake the drink. 



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.  


Cooking with FLD Spirits



Feeling adventurous? Try some of our creative culinary experiments served at our employee party.... still plenty of summer picnics left to impress your guests!


Blue Cheese Dip with Pear Brandy


4 tbsp of soft butter

4 oz cream cheese

4 oz crumbly blue cheese

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp FLD Pear Brandy


Beat together butter, cream cheese and blue cheese, then add in the remaining ingredients.  Beat together until smooth and fluffy.  Serve with veggies, pears or baguette slices.



Thunder Cocktail Sauce


2 small lemons

1 small lime

1 cup ketchup

1 cup of Heinz Chili Sauce

2 heaping tbsp of horseradish (more to taste)

2 tbsp Glenn Thunder Corn Whiskey

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp celery salt (more to taste)  


Grate the zest from the lemons and juice them.  Juice the lime and mix 3 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the lime juice together with the lemon zest and remaining ingredients.


Serve chilled with shrimp.


Bourbon Meatballs  


Small onion

Clove garlic

3/4 cup McKenzie Bourbon

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup yellow mustard


Cook garlic and onion in small sauce pan. Add Bourbon and reduce. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 mins. Spread over cooked meatballs.  



Very Wildberry Fruit Salad 


Mix together your favorite fruits in a large bowl.  Add  Vintner's Wildberry Vodka mixed with a dash of Cointreau and simple syrup. 


Brownies with Bourbon Buttercream Frosting  


1 cup butter 

32 oz powdered sugar 

1/3 cup McKenzie Bourbon 

1/3 cup milk 

1 Tblsp vanilla extract


Beat butter w/ electric mixer and gradually add other ingredients alternating between sugar and liquids. Use frosting to top rich chocolate brownies.