I should have known that Brooklyn had become the epicenter of artisanal liquor production in America a while ago, but it wasn't until I was brunching in Red Hook recently that I discovered the movement had expanded way past my expectations.
After finishing brunch we got in the car and turned the corner onto a cobblestone road where Sergiy recognized the name on the sign. Him and Albert had gone to Edible Manhattan's Fourth Annual Good Spirits Event back in February and apparently sampled a whole lot of artisanal whiskeys, rums and liqueurs.
These beautiful murals caught my eye and I think they really add a lot of charm to the neighborhood.
So we parked and decided to check it out.
Chocolate? What is this?
As the sign reads: Beans-to-Bar chocolate made fresh daily from the finest organic, Single Origin Dominican Cacao.
Chocolate and spirits? There has to be more to this story...so it turns out Daniel Prieto Preston, owner of Cacao Prieto, comes from a family that has been farming organic cacao in the Dominican Republic for over 100 years. The Prieto family owns Coralina Farms which provides all the cacao for Cacao Prieto's chocolates and spirits.
Custom designed copper still is the heart of their Brooklyn distilling operation. It's a true thing of beauty.
We were offered the opportunity to do a small sampling.
Don Esteban Cacao Liqueur
I also tried their Widow Jane Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (not shown). It is an extraordinary 5 year bourbon whiskey. I was told that they only produced about 1500 bottles and that each bottle is hand labeled and hand numbered. The water used to create this whiskey is also unique.
"The water used to create this product comes from the Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale, NY. Rosendale Limestone possesses an even higher ratio of beneficial minerals than that found in Kentucky and its sparkling waters are as pure as its namesake, the Widow Jane. The greatest structures in New York are from the gargantuan caissons that allowed the Brooklyn Bridge to soar, to the Statue of Liberty’s 27,000 ton pedestal, to the Empire State Building itself are all held fast and strong by that Rosendale stone."
(Image provided by Widow Jane Whiskey site)
72% Dark Chocolate Organic Single Origin with Hazelnuts & Raisin
Their chocolate bars are hand crafted in their Brooklyn, NY factory with 72% dark chocolate. Packaging includes postcards of the Prieto family history with illustrations by Brooklyn artist Sophie.
Mural painted by Sebastian Gross Ossa and it is right across the street form their factory.
If you're looking for a quick getaway try hopping on the Ikea ferry or the Water Taxi and make a day of it. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to try some unique, one-of-a-kind artisanal products.
Cacao Prieto are open Tuesday through Friday 11-6 & Saturdays and Sunday 11-7. Here's another 11 noteworthy Microdistilleries on the Brooklyn Spirits Trail for you to check out!
218 Conover Street
(Red Hook) Brooklyn, NY