Daniel de la Nuez, one of the founders of Forthave Spirits

A Visit to Forthave Spirits

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Collection of herbs, roots, and spices.

As I walked into the production facility of Forthave Spirits, located on the 6th floor of an industrial building in Bed Stuy, I was struck by two things: how tiny the space is, and how much activity was crammed into it. I'm greeted by a glass of Mondeuse and two men overseeing almost the entire production process for some of Brooklyn's most interesting new craft spirits. The center of the floor is taken up by six large fermentation tanks, used for macerations and storage. One corner houses a myriad collection of herbs, roots, dried flowers and spices sourced from all over the world, which are combined in the making of all three Forthave products. Along one wall is a dismantled still, put together every time another batch has to be made. Against the back wall stands a rack with a collection of jars and vials: experiments in macerations and extractions. On the bottom rack are demijohns of small, pilot batches for potential new products, such as a nocino, a traditional Italian walnut liqueur, with the raw material sourced from upstate New York.  A stack of three barrels holds aging experiments of aperitivo and amaro. Against the fourth wall is a library, a collection of books (the "Treatise on the Manufacture & Distillation of Alcoholic Beverages" first published in 1871 being a particular highlight) and vintage bottlings of amaro, aperitivo, and various other botanical spirits, a source of inspiration going forward.

The workroom at Forthave.

Though only commercially available since the beginning of this year, the idea for Forthave Spirits has been incubating for some time. Two friends, Daniel de la Nuez and Aaron Fox, met through a shared love of aromatized and botanical spirits, and a shared experience in New York’s restaurant, bar, and alcoholic distribution industries. Years of careful planning, trial and error, and fine-tuning yielded the first three products: a gin, an aperitivo, and a French-style amaro. Talking to Daniel, and seeing the facility, one gets a sense there is more to come. In a tiny space on the sixth floor, which functions as a distillery, a laboratory, a library and, a tasting room, the potential for locally made botanical spirits is being pushed and expanded by Forthave with ferocious enthusiasm and boundless optimism. Oskar Kostecki

Forthave Spirits Amaro Marseille 375ml

The Forthave Marseille Amaro is truly unique affair. Based on a medieval recipe of four thieves who, as the story goes, traded their secret concoction for clemency. It is at once soft and assertive. Eucalyptus, mint, cinnamon, dried lemon peel, dried tea leaves, and honey dominate the nose, while the palate further reveals star anise, lemon extract, a touch of vanilla, and cloves. Marseille uses raw honey as a sweetener, and similar to something like Amaro dell'Erborista by Varnelli, it gives it a wonderful, soft and lush texture. Perfect as an after dinner digestif. Oskar Kostecki

  • bitter
  • 10 in stock
  • no discount
  • $27.99

Forthave Spirits Red Aperitivo 24%

The Forthave Red Aperitivo is a base of sugar cane distillate infused with 13 botanicals, and contains no artificial coloring.It has a beautiful deep ruby hue, and explodes on the nose with notes of orange, plums, chamomile, rose, grapefruit rind, cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron. The palate is viscous with a pleasant bitterness and balanced sweetness. Enjoy on the rocks with a dash of soda water, or in your favorite classic coktails. Makes a delicious Negroni. Oskar Kostecki

  • aperitif
  • 18 in stock
  • no discount
  • $34.99

Forthave Spirits Blue Gin 43%

A fuller-bodied style of American gin, the Forthave Blue Gin is creamy and viscous on the palate, with notes of citrus rind, juniper, aniseed, allspice, mint, pine, lavender, and a long, savory finish. A perfect choice for classic gin cocktails like a Negroni or Aviation, it also plays beautifully in a straightforward Martini. Make this your choice for an autumnal local gin! Oskar Kostecki

  • aperitif
  • 15 in stock
  • no discount
  • $37.99