The Head, The Heart and The Tale of Greenhook Ginsmiths
Greenhook Ginsmiths (208 Dupont St.) was founded in 2012 in Greenpoint by brothers Steven and Philip DeAngelo. Steven has an infectious passion for gin and is involved in every step of production. His wealth of knowledge of the history and science of gin making is as impressive as their flavorful products—three distinctly different gins. The distillery is available for tours on Saturdays and can be booked on their website.
Their 94 proof American Dry Gin was named “One of the boldest, most interesting Gins out there,” by The Wall Street Journal. Twenty-four hours before distillation, a “tea” is made from juniper berries, coriander seeds, chamomile flowers, elderflowers, two types of citrus peels, sweet orange and bitter lemon, ceylon cinnamon, orris root, and elderberries. The mixture is macerated with water and a wheat distilled vodka. It starts as a mash, develops into a vapor and continues to transform, rising through the copper still, cooling and condensing and then turns back into a liquid where it begins to resemble gin.
The heads and tails of the batch are discarded. The hearts are about 160 proof at this point and New York tap water is added for the reverse osmosis filtration process. The process takes about 4 months from maceration to bottling. The final product is flavorful and bold, great for traditional gin cocktails and is “carried by over 75% of Michelin star restaurants in the city”, says DeAngelo.
The Beach Plum Gin Liqueur “pays homage to English sloe gin and is made from New York wild beach plums that can only grow from Maryland to Maine on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean,” says DeAngelo. The Long Island plums are delivered whole and sit in the American Dry Gin for about 7 months until the desired color and flavor is achieved. The plums are then pressed for their gin and juice and go through an intense filtration process. The final product is bottled and aged in glass before shipped. “Like a lot of red wines, the Beach Plum really evolves as it sits in the glass, when its first bottled it’s very fresh and bright and fruit forward, but as it sits in glass these really great notes come from the stones of the fruit, like marzipan and almonds and really get enhanced with the oxidation process,” says DeAngelo.
Old Tom Gin is an 18th Century-style gin that requires extensive oak casking. This gin takes on a bold flavor with help from far east spices and rivals the complexity of a fine whiskey. The Old Tom Gin sits in bourbon casks for up to 2 years before moved into larger sherry casks for another 3 months. The sherry is what gives it the “silky finish,” according to DeAngelo.
You can find Greenhook Gin in the New York metro area, soon in Boston and D.C. and nationally over the next couple of years. Though currently limited internationally, you will find it at the only three Michelin star restaurant in Norway, Maaemo, which speaks to the quality of the product as well as the bright future of Greenhook Gin.
Greenhook Gin | 208 Dupont St.
Tours available on Saturdays via booking on their site—meet the Ginsmiths, learn how gin is made and about Greenhook Ginsmith’s unique and innovative distillation process, taste all of their products, and swim in a river of gin!