As our Cunard bartenders strive to deliver the most professional and knowledgeable experience to our Guests, some of our ship’s company on Queen Mary 2 (QM2) recently spent the day at the Van Brunt distillery in Brooklyn, New York.

New York state was once home to hundreds of distilleries before prohibition put an end to them. But in the last decade or so, many micro-distilleries started popping back up, producing small-batch spirits using ingredients from local farms. Following this trend, last year we decided to search for some craft American whiskey’s to add to our extensive whisky selection on board. That’s when we discovered this small distillery in the heart of Brooklyn, and instantly fell in love with their products:

A bit about the brewery

Daric Schlesselman and Sarah Ludington of Van Brunt Stillhouse make farmhouse whiskies. They take a traditional approach to distilling, using time-honoured processes to create their own unique spirits. The owners, together with friends, built this distillery from the ground up, and today it stands in the beautiful waterfront neighbourhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, approximately 15 minutes walk from the QM2 dock in NYC.

The team from QM2 had a great experience as Mr. Daric himself briefed them about their distillery and their products. He took all of them on a distillery tour as well and showed the different variety of malts and grains, mixtures of grains for the different blends of whiskey which are all distilled in small batches – around 30 gallons per batch. They have their own variety of bitters too. The team came away with far more knowledge to help educate their colleagues and be able to provide some unique insight for our Guests.

We’ve listed The Van Brunt Stillhouse American whisky, Bourbon, Moonshine and smoked corn which are great products for either drinking neat and or in cocktails. In fact, there’s even a bespoke, Cunard, moonshine cocktail, called ‘Over the Moon’, exclusively available in our Commodore Club which consists of:

  • Champagne Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée
  • Van Brunt Stillhouse moonshine
  • Fresh raspberries and freshly squeezed lemon juice

This is just another example of how we’re helping to support local communities and trying to create something unique to delight our Guests!

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