From Wall Street to Gin Distiller: Greenhook Ginsmiths (VIDEO)


Steven DeAngelo followed a typical path: He went to a good school, became a capital markets broker, and returned to his hometown of New York. But when the recession hit in 2008, Steven decided to reevaluate his career. He wrote out two business plans, and years later, even he is surprised at where he ended up: as a gin distiller in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Steven still dresses like he’s preparing for a day on Wall Street, almost always donning a button down and slacks. And he approaches his business as a salesman, calling and visiting vendors around the city daily. But the product he’s making isn’t a simple, regimented recipe. Steven has re-thought the aromatic process of distilling gin, fusing methods created by French perfumeries in the 1700s with his stills in Brooklyn today to create a vacuum distilled spirit.

While the process sounds complicated, vacuum distillation is important in this context for one simple reason: It protects the delicate ingredients. If you know anything about gin, you know it’s all about the juniper and other botanicals — which are susceptible to damage. Through vacuum distillation, Steven is able to reduce the air pressure in the chamber so the alcohol distills at a lower temperature, which protects the flowers and spices that are being infused into the raw spirit. The result is a highly aromatic, easy-drinking gin.

DeAngelo also released one of the area’s only beach plum gins, an interpretation of the British classic, sloe gin. Learn more about the beach plum gin and Steven in the video below, and don’t miss the recipe for a beach plum Pimm’s cup from Alder’s Kevin Denton on the next page. Greenhook Ginsmiths will also pour at our inaugural Holiday Spirits event, tickets for which are on sale now.

Plum and Plummer
from Alder
by Kevin Denton

Serves 1

1 oz lovage-aquavit*
1.5 oz Pimm’s
1.5 oz Greenhook Ginsmith’s Beach Plum Gin
0.75 lime juice

In a shaker with ice, combine 1 oz lovage-aquavit, 1.5 oz Pimm’s, 1.5 oz Beach Plum Gin, and 0.75 oz lime juice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Top with soda and enjoy.

*In a blender, combine a small, fist-sized bunch of lovage with one bottle of aquavit. Strain through a coffee filter or fine-mesh strainer.

Tip: If you have the time, blend the lovage and aquavit up to one day in advance. Let settle and strain again before mixing in the cocktail.

If you want to make this a day ahead for a group (serves about 8), simply increase the measurements:

1 cup lovage-aquavit
1.5 cups Pimm’s
1.5 cups Greenhook Ginsmith’s Beach Plum Gin
3/4 cup lime juice

Video Produced and Edited by Erik Spink & Amitabha Joshi.

Music by The Midnight Snackers and Every Flavor Weather Machine.

Special thanks to Kevin Denton and Alder restaurant.