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Monday, May 12, 2014

Champagne Wishes: Catskill Provisions Honey Whiskey Highly Recommended by Whom You Know

Whiskey fans, listen up: there's a fabulous, handcrafted, NY-state whiskey that is an absolute must-try! Catskill Provisions' Honey Whiskey is every bit as delicious as it sounds, with notes of toffee, vanilla, and spice (and, of course, honey!) playing together on your tongue. Founded in 2010 by Claire Martin, Catskill Provisions is dedicated to producing outstanding products made with absolute top-notch quality honey, which is created by "the happiest bees in New York State." Ms. Martin started beekeeping as a hobby, but the hobby soon turned into a passion, and the joy it brings her is evident in the pride she takes in Catskill Provisions' products. The Honey Whiskey is made with handcrafted rye (distilled by The Finger Lakes Distilling Company), and then infused with late-summer honey, produced in the Catskill mountains. The result is a sweet, smoky whisky that is completely different from any other whiskey you've tasted. The sweetness is not overpowering at all; rather, it just adds another layer of complexity to the finished product. I've enjoyed my Honey Whiskey on the rocks, but am looking forward to making some hot toddies with it on a cold night, as well. Two thumbs up from this panelist!

I’m a bit of a brown liquor snob: Oban is my favorite, with Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey a close second. So it was with some skepticism that I tried Catskill Provisions’ Honey Whiskey. Of course, it’s a lot sweeter than your average whiskey, but the rye really balances it out. Surprisingly light, this is one of those dangerous liquors that you could easily drink way too much of; i.e. it’s not too sweet and still potent. It’s not going to replace my wintertime whiskey sodas, but a honey whiskey and soda may be my go-to summer drink. Pour a double shot over ice, fill with soda, and have a really nice afternoon outside with friends.
For something more complicated, try a PROVISIONAL COCKTAIL, made almost entirely with Catskill Provisions local ingredients (plus some lemons).

Provisional Cocktail:

1 part New York Honey whiskey

1 part Provisional Lemonade (recipe below)

1 part seltzer/club soda

Pour whiskey and lemonade over ice. Top with a seltzer floater. Garnish with lemon.

Provisional Lemonade Recipe:

Juice from two lemons

Two tablespoons Raw Basics Spring Honey

One tablespoon Maple Syrup

Two cups of water

Boil all ingredients together, adding more water to make it less sweet or more honey to make more sweet. Cool before using.

You can really throw back quite a few of these before you remember that you’re drinking whiskey. Mix this up for a summer barbecue and get ready to give your guests the recipe.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me something for my cold. It was called “Rock and Rye”, and she would put just a touch of it into a tea for me whenever I was sick. This whiskey, “New York Honey” by Catskill Provisions, is just that memory. A touch of the alcohol ( 80 proof!), to be sure, blended with the finest honey you’ll taste. Use a shot in your hot toddy, stir it with a cinnamon stick, and you'll feel better, no matter what ails you. The generous folks at Catskill Provisions have collaborated with The McKenzies, from Finger Lakes Distilling to make a locally made, distilled and finished rye whiskey. What a throwback, and how great is their carbon footprint reduction as well? Fair trade, local produce, wonderful product, and most happy bees all combining to give your mouth a treat. One of their exquisite old time bottles will give the gift of happy to any of your relatives. Serve this at your next 1920’s cocktail party, for a time warp mixer. We loved it as an aperitif, or as a digestif, since the balance is there, and the subtle hint of honey gives the rye a smoothness that adds spice to your beverage.
Honey – Whiskey. I admit I was prepared not to like this. But it is delicious! And now has a place on my bar. It is very light in color in the glass. My first sip was conclusive. The honey note floated on the top of the whiskey – all the way to the last moment of the taste. This proves that great whiskey is not just made in Tennessee. I would buy a bottle of this because of the honey note. And I will attempt to convert my friends with a sip. This is worth tasting … and more. 


Catskill Provisions New York Honey Rye Whiskey 

It’s a match made in heaven. Small-batch Rye whiskey by FingerLakesDistilling. Raw wildflower honey from the Catskill Mountains. 

All made in America, even the bottle. 

Handcrafted 80 proof New York rye is infused with our late-summer honey for a smooth, wonderfully complex spirit with rich notes of toffee, vanilla and smoky spice. Sip it on its own or blend it into a memorable cocktail. With a hint of mellow sweetness that rounds out the edges, it’s a game-changer for those afraid of the dark. 

Distillery: Finger Lakes Distilling (Brian & Tom McKenzie) 

Proof: 80 

Mash: 80% Local Rye 20% Barley 

Barrels: Charred American oak (new) 

Production: 2400btls 

Who we are: 
Located in a small corner of the Northwest Catskill Mountains, Catskill Provisions specializes in creating raw, all-natural handmade food products while subscribing to the philosophy that a thriving society makes use of the closest resources around it. In the surrounding area of Long Eddy, New York, we source as many materials from local purveyors as we can while employing people from within our community. Catskill Provisions continues to grow a list of clients that is comprised of farm-to-table restaurants, hotels, and specialty stores all likeminded in our sustainable philosophy.

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