This month, Greenhook Ginsmiths Distillery – Brooklyn’s finest new addition, debuts the worlds FIRST-EVER commercially produced BEACH PLUM GIN LIQUEUR. Greenhook’s Beach Plum Gin Liqueur is setting a new standard for innovative micro- distillers everywhere and raising the bar with creating a product never before made for public consumption.
The Beach Plum Gin Liqueur was created solely with New York in mind. Originally, the Founder of Greenhook Ginsmiths, Steven DeAngelo, set out to create a Sloe Gin and as he searched, found that none were produced stateside. It was during this research phase that he remembered the Beach Plums of his childhood that grew wild around the Rockaway Beaches and became intrigued with what could be made with them.
“I grew up seeing Beach Plums, but never really knew what they were; my research taught me that Beach Plums were a rare, native type of Wild Plum that are very close relatives to both Damsons and in particular the Sloes - which I originally wanted to use,” says Steven. “What really drew me to it was the fact that the Beach Plums are actually and exclusively indigenous to New York and the Northeast Atlantic Coast from Maryland to Maine.”
The Beach Plum’s history is deeply rooted in New York’s past- Native Americans actually traded Beach Plums for various different purposes and they also were noted in the diaries of both Giovanni di Verrazano and Henry Hudson during their explorations of New York. Today, names of places like Plumb Beach in Brooklyn and the infamous "Plum Island" in Long Island reflect the long-standing influence of Beach Plums in the area.
While Beach Plums have been noted in history and can still be found today in the North East, they’re nonetheless an extremely rare and exceptionally finicky fruit. They require low-lying sandy soil to grow on and need a full two years to produce. Because of this, Greenhook Ginsmiths partnered with not one but two local New York farms to grow enough of the actual Beach Plums to produce his exquisite Beach Plum Gin Liqueur.
Steven DeAngelo wanted to bring the same patience and care in producing his Beach Plum Gin Liqueur. At Greenhook, he employs a whole-fruit-maceration (instead of the quicker and cheaper pressing method) and steeps the entire Beach Plum Fruit into his Flagship American Dry Gin. While this process takes much longer to accomplish (6-9 months) then the standard pressing method, the outcome is a beautiful gin liqueur with a much more complex flavor profile. After the maceration is complete, nothing is added to the infusion except a very small amount all natural Cane Sugar to slightly sweeten and enhance the delicious notes of the fruit.
The final result gives off tart and sour cherry notes on the nose, along with aromas of juniper, citrus and cinnamon. At first sip a soft, silky mouth feel with bittersweet fruit fills the palate ending with a long, dry finish of beach plum notes subsiding to spicy coriander, chamomile, and bitter almonds.