Housed in a former boiler room—which contained a massive coal-fired furnace that steam-heated the surrounding buildings during the Industrial Revolution—Breuckelen offers a selection of gins and whiskeys.
They make all their spirits on the premises, from scratch, using organic ingredients sourced from within New York State. And they do it all themselves, from milling the grains to corking the bottles.
So how’s this stuff made? Here’s a simplified rundown:
Breuckelen’s spirits start with organic, whole-grain wheat from Upstate New York. This is milled into flour, which gets dumped into a huge masher, mixed with water and natural enzymes, heated, and then cooled. Next they add yeast and pump it into fermentor tanks (which smell just like baking bread!). What comes out is like a crude form of beer. That’s loaded into their custom still, which heats the mash gently and evenly. During the fermenting process, the spirit that comes off first isn’t palatable, so the brewers smell and, eventually, taste the first few jars to determine when the alcohol is good to drink.
At this point, the spirit can become either gin or whiskey. The gin is re-distilled with juniper berries, lemon peels, ginger, rosemary, and grapefruit. The whiskey is aged in charred oak barrels, which gives it a maple syrup flavor, along with the yeasty taste of the wheat. Finally, the spirits are diluted with NYC tap water, bottled, and corked.
** article adapted with permission from this piece on Brooklyn Spaces