JANUARY 2020 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 61
LI SPIRITS RYE
DRINK’S LOCAL ROOTS
BY CJ ARLOTTA
Even though Long Island Spirits
began producing vodka when it
first opened, it’s now also known for
several types of spirits, including gin,
bourbon and, of course, its rye, which
garnered popularity after it won the
Chairman’s Award in the 2018 Ultimate
Its flavor can be attributed to the East
End distillery’s progressive distillation
processes, including the use of
champagne yeast. But what matters
most is the terroir.
“Rye is a very terroir-sensitive
grain,” says Richard Stabile, founder
and proprietor at LI Spirits, one of a
handful of distilleries on Long Island.
“It’s deep rooted, and farmers refer
to it as a cleansing grain. Ryes have
different flavors from all around the
country, primarily because they are
Farmers on Long Island tend to
use what’s known as winter rye as
a cover crop, which acts as a protectant
against soil erosion. Since
winter rye is a deep-rooted plant, it
absorbs many of the flavor profiles
from its surrounding areas, some of
which are produced by the Island’s
wineries, giving the distillery’s rye
a distinct flavor.
“Our ryes tend to be a bit sweeter,
where most ryes are very spicy,” he
While Rough Rider Bull Three Barrel
Moose Rye Whisky can be sipped
neat or on the rocks, the distillery encourages
customers to use the spirit
in their own cocktails at home or try
one of the many cocktails listed on the
menu at the distillery’s tasting room.
For instance, take the traditional
Manhattan cocktail. While LI Spirits
does offer it, something new has
recently hit the menu — and to make
it, one would need the distillery’s
branded smoked cocktail kit, which
includes several branded components,
including a torch and charred
8-inch staves cut from old Rough
Rider bourbon barrels.
LI Spirits’ smoked Manhattan cocktail
is made with the standard ingredients;
however, the key to getting the
distinct flavor is smoking the glass
ahead of time with the staves.
“You’ll see the smoke enveloping the
inside of the glass, and then you put
some cubes in there, and then you
have your Manhattan, and go right
into it — just delicious,” he says.
LI Spirits is located at 2182 Sound
Ave. in Baiting Hollow. It can
be reached at 631-630-9322 or
Craft Bar Chef Samantha Schuman
pours a glass at Long Island Spirits.
A crispy wonton filled with
savory or sweet American fillings
There’s a flavor for everyone!
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