Albert Savarese wants you to drink your vodka on the rocks. The former owner of Port Chester’s since-closed Still the One Distillery is back, with NY Barrel Syndicate, a new syndicate liquor brand that’s producing crisp, signature vodka with a nod to the county.
NY Rocks Vodka is created using water sourced from Yonkers as a base to the distilling. “The vodka is very drinkable on its own,” says Savarese. “One of the greatest components is the Yonkers water, which is famously good. That’s why I’ve always wanted my distillery in Westchester, because it’s got some of the greatest water around New York. And when you’re making spirits, it’s extremely important. It’s like pizza: People get water from New York down in Florida or Arizona for their pizza parlors. The same goes with alcohol.”
The vodka is distilled six times and then run through a charcoal filter flecked with coconut shells to give the spirit a crisp, clean finish. Tasting notes include subtle wafts of vanilla, licorice, and fennel that blossom with bright citrus.
Savarese’s signature bourbon, meanwhile, is distilled in Kentucky, using the region’s traditional methods, but his tweaked mash bill adds a dash of New York style to that down-south flavor. He also has plans for a gin and another bourbon, with a sherry-cask finish.
While it’s encouraged to drink your vodka neat or on the rocks (pun intended), Savarese offers up several recipes for his customers to get creative with. Here’s how to make a NY Rocks Vesper: