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Finger Lakes Distilling NewsletterJune 2013
In This Issue
Derby Party
New Still
Manhattan Cocktail Classic
Employment Opportunities
Employment Opportunities
Cocktail Corner
Quick Links


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Tastings and Events



June 14-15

Owego Strawberry Festival

FLD Tastings and purchases 


Friday, June 14


Wright's Liquors

Watkins Glen

4-7 pm


Saturday, June 15


Lighthouse Liquors


3-6 pm  


Friday, June 21


Mirbeau Inn


5 pm 


Monday, June 24


Medley of Tastes at the 

Smith Opera House

Geneva, NY 



July 12-14

Finger Lakes Wine Festival 


July 17-21

Tales of the Cocktail   

Friday, July 19
Triphammer Wines
4-7 pm

July 25-28
Grapehound Wine Tour

Please come out to see us!




Dear Friend of FLD:

June is well underway and we find ourselves on the verge of another busy tourist season. You'll see some new faces at FLD this Summer, but we're quickly getting our new staff up to speed so they can give our customers a great experience when they visit.

May flew by. The month kicked off with our Annual Kentucky Derby Party and the consensus was, it was the best one yet. Check out our photos from the event below. We also spent several days in NYC for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. It was a great opportunity to showcase our spirits for a very discerning crowd.

Finger Lakes Restaurant Week is underway, so please get out to support the local restaurants that are participating (a few of which are incorporating our spirits into their dishes).

Thanks to some favorable legislation for NY Farm Distillers, we're now able to taste and sell our products at several festivals and farm markets. We're packing the schedule with great events like this past weekend's Strawberry Festival in Owego and the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in mid-July.

Whether you visit us at these events, at our facility in Burdett, or just decide to pick up a bottle at your local retailer, we thank you for your support.

All the best,

Brian McKenzie
President, Finger Lakes Distilling

Let's Talk Derbyderby


The Mint Juleps were flowing on May 4th as we celebrated the Kentucky Derby in style here at FLD.  It was a beautiful evening to dance away with bluegrass music by The Notorious Stringbusters and to nibble on excellent food prepared by John Pulos from Table for Two.

New this year, we featured beer from Rooster Fish Brewing and a "just like you were there" Kentucky Derby photo booth with props.  Please check out the link below to view and purchase photos from Derby night, courtesy of Kate Brucie at Cupcake Photography.


Status Update - New Still
To quote Thomas Earl: "it's running like a sewing machine."

Not sure what that means exactly. It's making plenty of good quality whiskey, no garments.

Take a look and we'll leave it at that...

Finger Lakes Distilling Continuous Still 
Finger Lakes Distilling Continuous Still

IMG 0002 
Rye Whiskey Flowing through Tailbox 


FLD at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is NYC's first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, culture and craft of the cocktail.  So, on May 17th we loaded up our car with enough McKenzie Rye Whiskey and other ingredients to serve 500 of our signature cocktails at the MCC's opening night Gala held at the NY Public Library.  Thanks to Governor Cuomo we were located on the fourth  floor with other featured NY State distilleries.

With a smile on his face all night, Steven Ljubicic stirred and garnished hundreds of "Finger Lakes R&R" cocktails.  See our cocktail section below and you can mix up this perfect summer sipper.

On Sunday, Brian and Thomas were included on a panel at Blue Hill NYC for an afternoon discussion on the agricultural aspects of distilling. The seminar included discussion on the influence of seed selection, farming, malting and how this all impacts the final distilled spirit.  At the end, Blue Hill spoiled those in attendance with delicious cocktails featuring FLD spirits and food pairings.

On Monday afternoon, Brian collaborated  with Doug Miller of the Culinary Institute of America to host a trade-only seminar on pairing homemade sodas with craft spirits. 

We look forward to next year's Classic, scheduled for May 9-13.


New Website


We're very excited to launch a new web presence for FLD in the next week or two. Our new site will feature more content on how we craft our spirits, an online store for FLD apparel, a cocktail database, and several other enhancements. We'll keep you posted on the developments, but in the meantime, please stay in touch through our Facebook page.


In case you missed it...


We received one of our best write-ups to date on a product that isn't even in the bottle yet. In this month's Tasting Panel magazine, Fred Minnick said our soon-to-be-released Wheated Bourbon "should be stocked by every whiskey bar in the country." (p. 24). mentions several of our favorite restaurants in this piece and highlights the salmon gravlax from Stonecat Cafe, cured in our McKenzie Rye.

Alison Bowen from came to the Finger Lakes and had a nice visit with us. Here is her review.



Cocktail Corner

Finger Lakes R&R

This was our featured cocktail at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. It was a huge hit and makes a great summer drink.

flx r&r

2.5 oz. McKenzie Rye Whiskey
2.0 oz. Rhubarb Simple Syrup*
0.5 oz. Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Rhubarb Bitters

Shake all ingredients and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with rhubarb stalk and lemon peel.

* To make rhubarb simple syrup, boil 1.25 cups water and add 1 cup sugar and 3-4 stalks of rhubarb (chopped). Boil for 10-15 minutes, strain and chill. 

Big Brown 

We named all of our Derby Party cocktails after previous winning horses. This one was the most popular and featured our newly released Wheat Whiskey.

big brown      


2 oz. McKenzie Wheat Whiskey
.75 oz FLD Cherry Liqueur
3-4 dashes Orange Bitters
Splash of Club Soda

Orange Wheel for garnish 


Combine top 4 ingredients over ice in rocks glass and garnish with orange wheel. 







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.