Toast to Regional Distillers at Slow Food NYC’s 4th Annual Spirits of New York Event

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barrows intense ginger
About a quarter pound of ginger has been used to create each and every 750-milliliter bottle of Barrow’s Intense Ginger.


It’s the perfect time of year to participate in what Slow Food NYC Chair and Natural Gourmet Institute CEO Anthony Fassio affectionately refers to as the “rooftop cocktailing movement.” And since no liquor cabinet is ever complete without at least one conversation piece, you might as well buy a bottle from a local distillery and casually drop terms like “grainshed revival” and “New York heirloom apple boom.”

Don’t know where to start? Join Slow Food NYC and a dozen distilleries on the roof of the McCarren Hotel to taste and learn about local spirits this Monday at the Fourth Annual Spirits of New York event. Tickets costs $40 ($30 for Slow Food members) and are available here.

“Four years ago, when we conceived this idea, we were thinking about putting some attention into alcohol in general because historically Slow Food had focused so much on food,” Fassio says. “So we thought, let’s look into this spirits landscape and see what’s happening there.”

Thus, Spirits of New York was born. And it couldn’t have come at a better time — since its inception, the regional distilling world has exploded. Slow Food NYC requires that producers source regionally whenever possible and all participants must sign an agreement to label genetically modified ingredients. “We’re trying to promote transparency from the producers,” Fassio explains.

Representatives from each distillery will be pouring samples and spreading the local spirit gospel from 7:00—9:00 p.m., and there are no limits as to how much you can sample. Participants include Astoria Distilling, Barrow’s Intense Ginger, Cacao Prieto and Black Dirt Distillery, among others.

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