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Finger Lakes Distilling NewsletterDecember 2013
In This Issue
Gift Card Promotion
Upcoming Whiskey Seminars
Cocktail Corner
Quick Links


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Tastings and Events



Saturday, December 14
Triphammer Wines & Liquors
3-6 pm

Wednesday, December 18
Watkins Glen Wine & Spirits
Watkins Glen
4-7 pm 

December 24 & 25

January 1

Thursday, February 13
Whiskey 101
Finger Lakes Distilling

The History of Whiskey 6-7:30 pm 

Thursday, February 20  
Spirits Dinner
Culinary Institute of America
6 pm

Thursday, March 20
Whiskey 101
Finger Lakes Distilling

The Making of Whiskey
6-7:30 pm 

Thursday, April 10
Whiskey 101
Finger Lakes Distilling
Cask Aging & More  
6-7:30 pm 

Please come out to see us!



Dear Friend of FLD:

I hope you've all had a chance to stock up on plenty of our spirits for your holiday celebrations and gift-giving. If not, stop into our tasting room sometime in the next few days and we'll help you pick out the perfect items for your friends and family. If you can't make it into the shop, we're also running a gift card promotion - see below - or you can always find our products at your local retailer.

Those of you who have braved the snow and cold to visit us these past few weekends (I actually had to help someone push their vehicle up our steep driveway last Saturday) have been rewarded with some delicious warm winter cocktail samples. We've posted all the recipes on our blog.

After the holidays, we'll continue to keep a busy production schedule at FLD, but our visitor counts decline considerably. This creates a great opportunity for you to have a more intimate tasting experience, so please consider coming out for a visit.

Also, our Whiskey 101 seminars will be held over three sessions this February-April. We'll be offering some in-depth classes that cover all aspects of production, history, and the current state of the whiskey industry today. If you'd like to reserve a spot for these classes, give us a call at 607.546.5510 or sign up here. Another great gift idea!

Wishing you a joyous and "spirited" holiday, 

Brian McKenzie
Finger Lakes Distilling   

Gift Card Promotion -

From now until Christmas buy a $50 gift card for only $40


Still looking for something for that person that is so hard to buy for? FLD Gift Cards are a perfect solution and can now be purchased at a discount from now until Dec 23. Online orders must be placed by Friday, December 20 at 4:00 pm in order to receive in time for the holiday.

Place your order here or stop by our gift shop. Our gift cards can be used for any items in our store - spirits, merchandise, or even FLD tours when they resume this Spring.



Thomas Reports on Latest Whiskey-makin' Trip to Mt. Vernon




"Last month, I was invited down to help with the making of George Washington's Rye Whiskey at his rebuilt distillery at Mt. Vernon, Virginia. It is made every Fall and Spring. I was extremely pleased to help.  


George Washington had the largest distillery in the nation at one time. This little known fact is left out of history books, for the most part. It was a very profitable business for him and fit well as a sideline to his large milling operation that is still located on the same plot of land today.   


This year, visiting distillers made rye for the whole month of November. I was only able to join in for a few days. Mashing had been done and they were mid way through the stripping or beer runs through the still. I helped with that and the doubling runs.  


The distillery, although large for its day, is quite small by today's standards. The most fascinating and challenging aspect of distilling there, is that the stills are fired with wood. Modern distilleries, like FLD, use steam to heat the stills which is much easier to control than wood.  


The process at Mt. Vernon is slow - two distillations have to be done to get a good product. It is literally like going back in time as no modern conveniences are used.  


All in all, it was a great week and I look forward to going back to help out again. The rye we made will be on sale soon in the gift shop at the distillery at Mt. Vernon, as will the peach brandy that we helped to produce there a couple of years back." 



Whiskey 101

FLD to Offer Winter Seminar Series 


We at Finger Lakes Distilling are excited to announce our winter seminar series, Whiskey 101. The seminars will begin in February and conclude in April. All sessions will run from 6 to 7:30 pm. FLD staff will use the 3 sessions to give an in-depth look at whiskey making from its earliest stages to the award winning products being produced at Finger Lakes Distilling today. Each session will include a soup or chilli created with McKenzie whiskey and sandwiches also inspired by our long list of spirits.

Session 1: The History of Whiskey

Thursday, February 13

From the primitive stills of the 13th century, this session will trace the history of whiskey to Bourbon County, Kentucky. Learn about the first "moon shiners" in Scotland and the development of whiskey in America. Understand the terms: grain and single malt whiskeys, blended and cask strength whiskeys and more. Learn how the major distilleries of Kentucky and Tennessee differ from the many growing craft distilleries of today.

Session 2: The Making of Whiskey

Thursday, March 20

Spend time in the still room and learn how whiskey is actually made: from whole grain, to flour, to mashing, to fermenting, to distilling. Learn about yeast making, the sour mash process, fermenting, setting the proof, and all aspects of whiskey making before the white dog hits the barrel. Learn the differences between the world's whiskey's: Irish, Scottish, Canadian, and American whiskeys.

Session 3: Cask Aging and More

Thursday, April 10

The last session will be held in the barrel room. An in-depth description of barrel aging will take place, including the making of the modern whiskey barrel. The session will also include time on the bottling line to see how the actual product is hand bottled at FLD. Get a chance to bottle your own whiskey.

Space is very limited for these seminars. Please call the distillery if you have any questions or to enroll. Cost for the seminars is $20 per person per session. Those enrolling in all 3 sessions can attend at a discounted rate of $50. You can also enroll online on our website by clicking here.

Cocktail Corner
This month's cocktails are inspired by the season and use rich ingredients like our brown spirits and quintessential Christmas spices like cinnamon, clove and bitter orange.

Bringin' Figgy Pudding

  • 2.5 oz. Fig-infused McKenzie Bourbon 
  • 0.75 oz. Maple Syrup 
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice  
  • 0.25 oz. Balsamic Vinegar (we used F. Oliver's Autumn Cinnamon Pear) 
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with flamed lemon peel   


To make the fig-infused bourbon, quarter figs and allow to soak in mason jar of bourbon for 1 week. We suggest 3-4 figs for each pint of bourbon.

For the cocktail, shake all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with flamed lemon peel. 


Simple Christmas Punch





Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl with large ice mold. Mix ingredients, then garnish with pomegranate seeds and top with ginger ale. 




FLD Hot Drinks Line-up   
 For all the hot toddy recipes we've been serving in our tasting room this Winter, please see our latest blog post.






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.