Showing posts with label liquor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label liquor. Show all posts

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Albany Distilling Co.

This visit was slightly different than our normal outings, inasmuch as food wasn't really involved and there was a cat.

We visited the Albany Distilling Co., which bills itself the first legal distillery in Albany since the prohibition era. Currently, they offer 3 types of whiskey and a rum batch.  We were informed that the next batch of rum was being aged in whiskey barrels, which sounds delicious so keep an eye out for that some time this January.

The Albany Distilling Co. is a small business that opened not too long ago in 2011.  It's located next to The Albany Pump Station, perfect for grabbing a beer while waiting for a tour. There were only 3 people there when we dropped by, and as far as I gathered that was the entire staff.  The equipment and ingredients, however, were top notch and the distiller knew his field.  Our entire tour took place in a single room, as well as the sampling, where we were shown the ingredients going into the mash (all of the whiskey grains were grown within New York State), different batches in stages of fermentation or aging, and took a couple shots of the finished products.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Golden Harvest Farms

You know it's fall season when there's an abundant of all things apple and pumpkin-flavored, but nothing beats the real thing. The epitome of fall happens the moment you pick a ripe apple from the branches and bite into its crisp, juicy flesh. Upstate New York is magical in the fall and wouldn't be complete without a trip to the orchard for apples and cider donuts. J and I went on a whim and it just so happened to be opening weekend of Pick Your Own at Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie. Just 20 miles from Albany, this orchard is a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

It's always a good sign when you are greeted by the rich, fragrant smell of freshly made apple cider donuts as soon as you drive through the parking lot. The sweet smell is enough to lure you into the shop first but a treat is much more rewarding after you've worked for it. If you need a little pep before venturing into the orchard, a distillery is conveniently located onsite. Harvest Spirits
has been making a range of liquors from apple vodka to apple jack and brandy. $1 will get you a sample and boy will it hit you. It's strong stuff, maybe that's why they'll only serve you up to three samples. Hard liquor isn't really for us but we really appreciate locally sourced and handcrafted products. Harvest Spirits also had samples of ice cider on hand from Slyboro Cider House.  Produced much like ice wine, ice cider is sweet from the residual sugars and the apple flavor is very prominent. We were big fans and picked up a bottle.

Warmed up from a couple shots, J and I were ready to hit the orchards. This pick your own was a steal at $15 for a half bushel bag plus two coupons for FREE apple cider donuts! Apple sampling is encouraged too which meant free snacks along the way. It's still pretty early in the season, so not all the apple varieties are prime for picking. Our favorite were red crisp and sweet galas and we had no problem filling our bag, and stomachs to boot. But of course there was still room for donuts at the end of the trip!

To round out our apple picking adventures, we picked up a gallon of apple cider and half a dozen of cider donuts (plus two free ones from our coupons). I'm usually on team yeast donut, but these cider donuts are one of the few cake donuts that I love; they're not too dense and deliciously covered in cinnamon sugar. Don't wait til you get home to have your first bite, especially if they are still warm. Eating one in the parking lot is perfectly acceptable and the more sugar you're covered with, the better. Plus it makes for a very special moment eating a freshly made donut made on premise from the cider pressed from the apples that you're standing a mere few feet away from. Now I'm curious, where are other must go to orchards in the area for apple cider donuts? -R