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Drink NYC: A Vodka Grows In Brooklyn

By Selena Ricks-Good

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Last year, Kings County Distillery, making moonshine and bourbon, and Breuckelen Distilling Co., making gin and whiskey, became the first distillers to operate in NYC since Prohibition. Now local imbibers can add Brooklyn Republic Vodka to the mix, which is made in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

Crafted by Brooklyn Spirits, LLC, the company is founded by Eastern European immigrants Gary Shokin and Mark Krupkin, and Shokin's daughter, Kary Laskin.

"We've always had a great appreciation for vodka, a spirit that is actually quite fascinating, and in my opinion, not always given enough credit," said Laskin.

Brooklyn Republic Vodka
Credit: Republic Vodka

"My father has been a connoisseur of vodka all of his adult life and has amassed a collection of hundreds of different vodkas from all over the world. We know from experience what good vodka is, so it was an easy and passion-fueled decision to start making it.  And because my family has been in Brooklyn for more than 30 years, it was only natural for us to keep it local."

Grain spirits from a distillery in Missouri are shipped to Brooklyn where the small batch vodka making begins, said Lasin.

Several grain spirits, including organic wheat and sweet corn, are purified with local Brooklyn water which is known for its distinct sweetness.  It is then rectified (purified) multiple times through active carbon at sub-zero conditions, and approximately seven days later, after a final carbon filtration, the vodka is bottled, corked and ready for consumption.

"We believe our flavor stands out because of our proprietary combination of excellent, naturally sweet grain spirits, Brooklyn water--the same water that helps make local bagels and beers so famous--and our extensive purification process," said Laskin. " Because we handcraft every small batch, we can ensure that every drop meets our rigorous standards."

Since launching on April 1, 2011, Brooklyn Republic Vodka is now available in more than 200 stores and bars throughout greater New York. The suggested retail price for a 750 ml bottle of Brooklyn Republic Vodka  is $23.

Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.

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