Long Island Spirits Celebrates Distillery’s First Decade

Long Island’s first distillery turns 10.

Long Island’s pioneering craft distillery is maturing with grace, acquiring the depth, character and complexity associated with exquisite small batch bourbon. Long Island Spirits of Baiting Hollow marks its 10th anniversary this month and kicks off a year of special events, promotions and new product releases to celebrate the occasion.

Initially a disruptive addition to the established Long Island wine country landscape, Long Island Spirits blazed a trail for additional craft spirits operations on the East End and the burgeoning national craft spirits movement. Founded on January 5, 2007 by Master Distiller and Long Island native Rich Stabile, Long Island Spirits was licensed as the 100th distilled spirits plant in the United States. Today there are more than 1,250 distilled spirits plants across the nation and the number continues to grow.

A student of local history, Stabile has spent the last decade launching brands that reflect Long Island’s landmarks, legends and lore. His flagship product LiV Potato Vodka – made from locally sourced Marcy potatoes – celebrates the iconic Long Island tuber. Rough Rider Small Batch Bourbon and Rye Whiskey commemorate the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, and Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky and Deepwells Gin exemplify the distinct geography of Long Island. It’s the ultimate can-do success story. Once a single-product company, Long Island Spirits brands are now distributed in more than 30 states, serving up a spirited taste of Long Island to a national audience.

The growth of Long Island Spirits is evident at the Baiting Hollow site. Construction of a 4,000 square foot barrel house is underway with an automated bottling line, stone mill, additional fermenters and an additional still due to be completed during 2017.

To get in on the party, plan a visit to the Baiting Hollow tasting room, a converted potato barn dating to the early 1900s. During the month of January, visitors will get a 10 percent discount on all bottles and can imbibe a signature anniversary cocktail created by the Long Island Spirits mixology team. The “LiV-X” is a festive mix of LiV Vodka, Raspberry Sorbetta, Cranberry Juice and Ginger Beer, is available for a limited time, and includes the LiV cocktail glass as a keepsake.

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T.W. Barritt is a passionate baker who studied the art of bread and pastry at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. He is the author of “Long Island Food: A History from Family Farms and Oysters to Craft Spirits" published by History Press.