HomeLifestyleTravel & FoodBrooklyn Spirits Find Out Why You haven’t Drunk Until you’ve Drunk In Brooklyn Here’s one for the cocktail aficionados and anyone interested in the craft goods movement: hand-made, maker-proud goods are pouring out of Brooklyn. In the forthcoming book, Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough, author Peter Fornatale profiles not only the spirit makers, but also the people locally making the ingredients to make the perfect cocktail; like bitters, honey, coffee, pickles – you name it. ‘We were excited about the burgeoning distilling scene that was not only growing in Brooklyn, but producing high quality products.’ The book took one year to produce, from perfecting the idea to completion. After contacting the distillers to understand the processes of making the spirits, Peter and his team then visited the bars to “sample” the cocktails. Now that’s what we call research! Peter told us some more about the Brooklyn cocktail scene: The Plus: Why are craft cocktails so popular in Brooklyn at the moment? Peter Fornatale: Craft cocktails are popular in Brooklyn right now because there are so many people experimenting with different expressions of what a cocktail is. It’s not just a lot of bars making the same drink. There are dozens of bars doing things in unique ways that all have to be tried to be understood. That variety and expertise fuels this wonderful movement. TP: Do you have a favourite recipe from the book? PF: This is like asking us to choose our favourite child! So many amazing bartenders — from well-known and internationally celebrated ones like Dale DeGroff and Toby Cecchini, to up and comers like Alicia Blegen and Danny Kent — helped us that it doesn’t feel quite right picking a favourite. That said, I would like to call out one of the DIY recipes from the book. Toby’s recipe for homemade cocktail cherries is just amazing, especially the magical elixir that results from the liquid which stores the cherries. A quarter-ounce makes any Manhattan into a memorable one. TP: Have you learnt anything from researching and writing this book that you didn’t realise before? PF: We didn’t realize the depth of knowledge and dedication that so many people involved in the cocktail movement are bringing to Brooklyn. Some of the stars of the scene are the youngest partakers; they’re fearless and willing to push far beyond tradition to create unique expressions of the modern cocktail. Check out the blog, where you can also buy the book.