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Finger Lakes Distilling NewsletterMarch 2013
In This Issue
Expansion in the Works
Whiskey Tasting at Maxie's
Derby Party
Manhattan Cocktail Classic
Cocktail Corner
Quick Links


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Tastings and Events


Sunday, March 17

St. Patty's Whiskey Tasting

Maxie's Supper Club  


4-6 pm


Saturday, March 23

Burgers, Brews & Blues 

Oak & Vine

6-10 pm  


Sunday, March 31



Wednesday, April 3

Whiskey Live

Chelsea Piers

5-10 pm


Saturday, April 13


Georgetown Square


2-5 pm


Thursday, April 18

Food & Wine Festival

Roberson Museum & Science Center, Binghamton

5:30-8:30 pm 


Saturday, May 4

Kentucky Derby Party

Finger Lakes Distilling  


5 pm


May 17-21

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Manhattan 


Please come out to see us!




Dear Friend of FLD:

I'm afraid we've still got some Winter ahead of us, but I'm getting the sense that people are a little stir crazy, and life on the Wine Trail is starting to perk up.

We're all staying busy up here on the hill. Thomas Earl is focused on building our rye stocks. I've been working with our new distribution partner, Winebow, to launch in some new markets. Our McKenzie line-up is now available in NY, NJ, IL, PA (by special order) and Washington, D.C. These products will soon be available in MA and CT, as well.

We're really excited to welcome a new piece of equipment here at the distillery in the next month or so. We've been working with Vendome Copper & Brassworks in Louisville, KY on a new continuous column still. The new still will dramatically increase our capacity and will help with our growth strategies for the years to come.

The off-site event calendar is filled with some very exciting events over the next couple of months. Some highlights: a whiskey tasting for St. Patty's Day, Whiskey Live in NYC, our Annual Kentucky Derby Party, and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic are all right around the corner.

Please join us for these fantastic events and head up to the distillery to shake away the winter blues.


Brian McKenzie
President, Finger Lakes Distilling

Exciting News - New Still on the Way
For our first 4+ years of production, we've been able to meet demand - and still sock away a lot of whiskey for the future - with our 350 gallon potstill and rectification column. The time has come, however, to expand our distilling capacity. Sometime in the next month or so, we'll be installing a new continuous still that will essentially quadruple our production capabilities.

The new still is being manufactured by Vendome Copper & Brass Works, in Louisville, KY. Vendome has been making distilling equipment for over 100 years and is the industry leader for stills used to make American-style whiskies.

Thomas Earl will be providing a detailed explanation of how the new still operates in our next newsletter, but it basically can run continuously as long as we have whiskey mash to feed it. Conversely, our current set-up requires us to run 350 gallons at a time, dump the stillage, and then recharge the still for a subsequent run. By comparison, it currently takes us about 15 hours to run a 1,000 gallon fermenter, whereas the new still will be able to run the same amount in 4-5 hours.

We'll continue to use our existing still for many of our products including gin, vodka and brandies.

Here are some pictures of our preparations and of the still as it currently stands in production.

Joe has been modifying our barrel rack to accommodate the new still. Here you can see where it will be erected. It will run from the floor, all the way to the top of the 25 ft ceiling.

The still will feature a 25 foot tall continuous column. The "beer" section of the column (in other words, the part where whiskey mash if fed through the plates) will be constructed of stainless steel. There will be a rectification section at the top made from copper.

The image above shows the inner workings of the still - the trays that the mash will make its way through as it interacts with the steam to make whiskey.

After pulling vapors off the column, we will have the option to run them through a copper thumper, pictured above.

So, what effect will the new still have on the flavor of our whiskey? Again, Thomas will have more detail in our next newsletter, but we think that we can preserve our trademark flavors, and may even improve on the quality. We've designed the still to offer lots of flexibility. We will be able to control the proof at which the spirit is coming off the still. It's still a "small batch" process as we will be fermenting and distilling with a very hands-on approach.

We're definitely looking forward to seeing that truck pull up the hill with this impressive piece of equipment on it!   


Whiskey Tasting @ Maxie's -
Both Brian and Thomas Earl will be on hand this Sunday for a St. Patrick's Day Whiskey Tasting at Maxie's Supper Club from 4-6 pm. Please come out to support us and stay for some great music and food to follow.


Save the Date - 4th Annual Kentucky Derby Party Set for May 4th at 5 pm

brian plus barrel thomas - jockey


Don't miss out on our premier event of the season. We'll kick things off at 5 pm, with cocktails, food, and live music. We'll watch the race on the big screen, have some fun contests and tours of the facility.

Tickets will go on sale in a few weeks - please stay tuned.


Join FLD at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

We're making a big splash this year at arguably the best cocktail event of the year. The MCC kicks off on Friday, May 17 at NYC's iconic New York Public Library.


On Sunday, Finger Lakes Distilling is pairing up with Blue Hill NYC for an afternoon discussion on the agricultural aspects of distilling. The seminar will include a panel discussion featuring Brian & Thomas and conclude with a cocktail reception featuring our spirits with food pairings.


We're collaborating with Doug Miller of the Culinary Institute of America to host a trade-only seminar on pairing homemade sodas with craft spirits on Monday afternoon.

Tickets go on sale today for these events and many other outstanding seminars, parties, and hands-on cocktail happenings.


Cocktail Corner

Irish Cocktail
borrowed from  "Barflies and Cocktails"

2 oz. McKenzie Pure Potstill Whiskey
2 dashes Absinthe
2 dashes of Curacao
1 dash Maraschino
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients in a shaker, strain into a cocktail glass, add 1 medium-size olive and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Or just keep it simple again this year:






Now it's your turn to experiment with FLD spirits!


 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.