Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Hudson, at the cusp of what can justifiably be called God's country—green rolling hills, rows of corn, cows grazing—sits Olde York Farm Distillery and Cooperage. This family-run business occupies the former carriage house of the historic Jacob Rutsen van Rensselaer House and Mill complex, picking up where Rensselaer's distilling legacy left off.
A self-taught cooper and hobby distiller, Stuart Newsome was goaded into business by his daughter, Sophie. Together, Stuart, his wife, Louise, Sophie, and her partner Rory Tice opened distillery in the summer of 2017. After teaching Tice the art and science of spirits, Stuart switched his focus to producing barrels onsite, making Olde York one of the country's few farm-to-cask distilleries.The past decade's profusion of craft distilleries in the region has infused the marketplace with everything from bourbon to brandy made with local New York State produce. But few have ventured into the sweet, tasty realm of liqueurs. "We are all about using as many New York-grown products as we can, not just focusing on grains," Sophie says. "There are so many more things being grown here, so we started exploring flavoring products with other botanicals and fruits."
That experimentation developed into a limited-run line of seasonal liqueurs to accompany their commendable liquor cabinet staples (organic wheat vodka, bourbon, and apple brandy). Following the harvest cycle, the rotating cast of flavors includes standouts like the rose and peony liqueurs (both in this recipe), a black walnut bourbon, a raspberry and black pepper liqueur, and, soon-coming, a Thai basil liqueur. Olde York works directly with area farms to source fruit, herbs, and grains, creating products with distinct gout de terroir.
Olde York's swanky-meets-rustic tasting room in Claverack is open Fridays through Sundays, serving cocktails, local beer, wine, and cider. Tours of the distillery and cooperage are also available on weekends or by appointment.
Peony & Rose Lemonade
- 1.5 oz Peony Liqueur
- 1.5 oz Rose Liqueur
- 1 Whole Lemon Squeezed
- 4 drops Field of Flower Bitters
- Edible flower for garnish
“It’s the peak of summer when we make the peony and rose liqueur, and there is nothing more summery than lemonade, so we put them together. This is the perfect beach or pool-side cocktail.”