PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Noah Braunstein and Yoni Rabino, friends from Mamaroneck High School, have turned their passion for science and love for good food and drink into a Port Chester business that continues to gain momentum.
Neversink Spirits was officially formed in 2012 after years of tinkering, tasting, sipping and planning but didn't start producing its first spirit -- an apple brandy - until early 2015. And now, with 2016 on the horizon, the two are expanding with new products slated for the new year. At the moment they have limited releases of an aged apple brandy and a pear brandy for the holiday season. (Neversink apple brandy, their main product, is available year-round.)
What makes their products different: the fact that their spirits use 100 percent New York State-grown ingredients. It's also made in small quantities (150 to 450 bottles per batch) which allows for a high level of quality control.
Additionally, the two believe that the soil, climate, and environment that fruit grows has a big impact on the experience of enjoying the spirit made from that fruit, and so their processes are designed to exhibit and highlight a uniquely New York style of fruit brandy.
Their product is one of the first eau de vies (aka a clear, colorless fruit brandy produced by means of fermentation and double distillation) in the U.S. "While there is such a rich tradition of eau de vie in Europe, there were only a few being produced in the U.S.," said Rabino.
They took the company's name from the Neversink River, part of the Catskills Watershed, formed a collaboration called The Food Cycle between three businesses: a brewery, a farm, and a distillery, ordered a still from Germany and tanks from Hungary and created their first beverage.
At this point, Neversink Spirits is sold exclusively in New York State, mostly in Westchester, New York City, and Long Island but the two are working on expanding that.
"We hope to put out more and more delicious spirits for folks to enjoy," said Rabino. "The greatest satisfaction of this business is pouring our spirits and watching people enjoy them. Keep your eyes out for new products in 2016."
Go to www.neversinkspirits.com/ for more information including area locations where the spirits are sold.