Bee vodka all the buzz in NY

Tourists in New York's Finger Lakes or lower Hudson Valley who enjoy visiting wineries are finding they c an get more impact for their visit at several places.

An example: That New York vodka I mentioned the other day now has made its name known. Bee Vodka, from Montezuma Winery's new Hidden Marsh Distillery, was unveiled to the public yesterday at a special tasting at the Seneca Falls complex in the Finger Lakes.

Bill Martin, 32, co-owner and winemaker at Montezuma, noted that "This vodka is made from 100% honey. It's the only one like it in the U.S."

Hidden Marsh becomes the third licensed farm distillery in New York State. The others are in the Hudson Valley -- Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery in Warwick and Harvest Spirits at Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie.

A farm distillery must use only ingredients of New York origin, is allowed to conduct on-premises tastings and sell spirits for off-premises consumption, under state law. A fourth farm distillery, called Finger Lakes Distilling, is planned to open next year in Burdett, Schuyler County. (While it is under construction, you can keep up with its progress on its blog.)

The 80-proof Bee Vodka is triple-distilled in small batches, each of which takes about two months to make, using a pot still imported from Germany.

Martin released an apple brandy in June and plans to expand the line through the remainder of the year to include a honey brandy and other cordials. The vodka sells for $48.99 for a 750ml bottle, the brandy $28.99 for a 375ml bottle at the distillery. Martin plans to begin distribution of the vodka next year.
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