In Good Spirits: Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in Gardiner Is a Must-Stop for Craft Beverage Lovers
Presented with Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery
Those who know a thing or two about the history of New York’s craft beverage boom know that Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in Gardiner was where it all began. After Ralph Erenzo’s plans for a climbers’ lodge on the site of the Tuthilltown Gristmill at the base of the Shawangunks was scuttled by the town in the early 2000s, he embarked on a new endeavor to transform the historic property into a whiskey distillery—the first in the state since Prohibition.
As if that weren’t enough, Erenzo’s efforts to ensure the new distillery could have a shop and conduct samplings and tours prompted the Farm Distillery Act of 2007, effectively opening the floodgates for would-be distillers all across the region. Thanks to his efforts, today there are 185 craft distilleries in New York, and Tuthilltown’s line of bold yet refined Hudson Whiskeys, as well as gins, vodkas, and liqueurs made from locally sourced grains are known to connoisseurs around the world.
Suffice it to say then that a day trip to Gardiner to hang out at the distillery and its bucolic 36 surrounding acres is a bit like visiting New York’s craft distilling Mecca. Whether you’re looking to make a pilgrimage to check out the distillery and its offerings for yourself or stopping by after a hike in the nearby Gunks or Mohonk and Minnewaska preserves or a u-pick trip to one of Ulster County’s plentiful farms and orchards, Tuthilltown has something for you to enjoy.
The Visitor Center—equal parts shop, tasting room, and cocktail bar—is your launch pad into the wide world of Tuthilltown’s spirits. Tours are expected to start up again at the end of May, and will include a history of the distillery and the land and a walkthrough of the distillery and explanation of the distillation process, with special focus on what sets New York whiskey apart.
Stop by the bar for a Self-Guided Tasting Flight ($12) and introduce yourself to the fine spirits distilled on-site. The approachable offering (which comes with a choice of five spirits, tasting notes, and a Hudson Whiskey branded rocks glass to keep) allows you to explore Tuthilltown’s diverse array of spirits at your own pace.
Get acquainted with favorites from the Hudson Whiskey line like Bright Lights, Big Bourbon and Short Stack (Do the Rye Thing aged in Vermont maple-cured bourbon casks) or dip into Tuthilltown’s non-whiskey offerings like the Apple Vodka (made with fruit sourced from within 10 miles of the distillery) or the coffee and cacao liqueurs developed in collaboration with Millerton’s Irving Farm Roasters and Fruition Chocolatiers in Shokan.
Want to find out what those spirits are truly capable of? Try a seasonal cocktail from the rotating menu developed by Tuthilltown’s in-house mixologist. And for folks who aren’t into hard spirits, the bar also offers selections from other Hudson Valley producers, including wine from Whitecliff Vineyard, beer from Sloop Brewing Co, and cider from Awestruck, Bad Seed Hard Cider, and Kettleborough Cider House.
Looking to score a bottle or two to take home? The on-site shop the only place you’ll find Tuthilltown’s gins, vodkas, and liqueurs, as well as limited edition bottles from the new xSeries of small-batch spirit innovations.
If the weather is nice, be sure to grab a blanket and picnic on Tuthilltown’s Great Lawn, take in the sights and sounds of the Shawangunkill River running through the property, or meander the site’s hidden walking paths.
While an on-site restaurant is currently in the works, you can find food truck favorites like Winnie’s Jerk Chicken and Fish and The Bus OC on-site during the weekends from May through November or order a pie from Pasquales down the road and post up with your crew for the whole afternoon. And if you’re looking for a spot to host a rehearsal dinner, birthday, anniversary, or other private event, Tuthilltown’s got that covered, too. Bookings come complete with space for up to 80 people outdoors and custom cocktails designed by Tuthilltown’s mixologist to fit your celebration.
Whether you’re swinging by to experience one of the region’s most-storied distilleries for yourself or in need of a relaxing regular spot to wile away a Saturday with friends and family, Gardiner’s Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery is a must-stop for Hudson Valley locals and visitors alike.