By George…the Boys from Finger Lakes Distilling Have Done it Again!


Finger Lakes Distilling - Lake Seneca, New York

“Two hundred gallons of Whiskey will be ready this day for your call, and the sooner it is taken the better, as the demand for this article (in these parts) is brisk.”

Letter from George Washington to his nephew, Col. William A. Washington, 1799

I am just about to crack open my last bottle of the McKenzie Rye Whiskey from Finger Lakes Distilling, so that I might have the proper libation while reading about the lad’s latest adventures.  It seems that Brian and Thomas Earl McKenzie recently returned from a week of working their copper pot magic at George Washington’s reconstructed distillery at Mt. Vernon. They were there as part of a team of handpicked  American craft distillers tasked with the recreation of  our first President’s peach brandy. Click here for that grand tale.

Brian and Thomas Earl McKenzie at Mt. VernonWhile Washington’s main focus was the production of  rye whiskey, he did develop a taste for the fruit brandies early on–and I am proud to say that it was a Scotsman from my home state  that introduced the good General to the virtues of this particular nectar.Robert Laird served with the Continental forces under Washington, and it was  his family that  supplied  the troops with Apple Jack from their distillery in Scobeyville, New Jersey. 

 The McKenzie RyeUnfortunately for me, while I can get plenty of Apple Jack here in New Jersey, the McKenzie Rye is not yet available for distribution in the Garden State, and the word from the distillery is that their cupboards are bare until early 2011. Even If I were to employ the standard Continental Army ration of  1 gill per man, and then limit my consumption to only every other weekend, I would still deplete the McKenzie before Christmas.  

I guess I better find my  recipe for the  Jack Rose cocktail.

Posted by: Chris Poh


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