Friday, August 2, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having RUM - 8/16

At the University Club’s first Pinkster Celebration on June 13, 2011, Justin DiVirgilio read from an article he wrote titled “Rum Punch and Cultural Revolution.” He detailed the archeological dig that took place prior to construction of the Quackenbush Square Parking Facility where discoveries included a 17th century brickyard and brickmaker’s house and an 18th century rum distillery.

On Friday, August 16, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., the University Club Foundation will host a tasting of spirits from the Albany Distilling Company at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street.

The Albany Distilling Company is a modest operation, producing craft spirits one small batch at a time. Its headquarters are located in downtown Albany, not far from the site of the city’s original 18th century distillery. Owners John Curtin and Matthew Jager are proud to be a part of New York State’s rich heritage of spirit production.

Photo by Don Rittner
In addition to the tasting, Justin DiVirgilio, President of Hartgen Archeological Associates, will give a presentation about the archeology and history of the 18th-century distillery through its half-century long operation. He was a member of the team that excavated the original Quackenbush Distillery in 2001. Guests may also enter a raffle to win a copy of Beneath the City: An Archaeological Perspective of Albany by Charles L. Fisher, published by the New York State Museum, which features information on the rum vats that are now on display in the museum’s West Hall.

“Our Original Albany rum pays homage to Albany’s first distillery,” said Matthew Jager, who co-owns the company with John Curtin. “The Quackenbush Still House produced an unaged rum from Caribbean molasses and Hudson River water, fermented with wild yeasts in huge, open wooden vessels. We use modern equipment, better yeast, and a more suitable water supply, but we follow the same recipe and use the methods of our predecessors.”

Bright tropical notes shine through the rich, earthy flavor of the Caribbean cane, giving way to a long, creamy, butterscotch finish. Original Albany rum is excellent neat or on the rocks, but also brings an exciting layer of character to cocktails. Original Albany rum will be featured in the signature cocktail for the event, U. Club Rum Punch.

There is no cost for the tasting, hosted by the Club’s Food & Beverage Committee, but reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151 or by emailing . Guests are invited to stay and order dinner from the new menu.

This event is presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc., formed to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. One need not be a member of the University Club to attend. Support for educational programming presented by the University Club Foundation is provided by AT&T.

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