APALACHIN, NY – Today’s Food and Farm Showcase features a local distillery that is using locally-sourced ingredients to make some uniquely delicious spirits.
Waterman’s Distillery on Route 434 in Apalachin has been making grain-neutral distilled spirit products since 2018.
Owners Joe and Michelle Alig specialty is their ‘607’ line, which include a variety of flavors including Jalapeno Ginger, Salted Caramel Maple, and Elderberry Lavender.
The Alig’s are able to get a great deal of their ingredients locally, including lavender from Lavendel Fields, right down the road from Waterman’s, coffee from Java Joe’s in Binghamton, as well as corn for their product base at Turek Farm, owned by Michelle’s family, in King Ferry.
The goal at Waterman’s is to make a great tasting product with local, fresh ingredients.
“We certainly outsource much of our ingredients. Our corn, our peppers for our Jalapeno Ginger. If we can’t, like our oranges, obviously, there’s not a citrus grove here in town. So, you know, we’ll go through somebody like. So, we do try to keep everything in town, or as close to town as possible. And if not close to town, certainly in New York state,” says Alig.
Much like the rest of the world, Waterman’s felt the toll that 2020 and the COVID pandemic has taken on everyone.
However, despite the halt in business, the distillery took up making a different product, hand sanitizer.
Alig says they were contacted by Onondaga County initially to make sanitizer in their distillery for the county, but were able to keep much of it locally in the end.
After 3-plus months of making sanitizer, Alig is able to look back on that experience and now they did their part to help the community that has kept them in business.
“It was a very, I would say, a very emotional experience for us. Being able to reach out to the community, and having people come here, literally in panic on days. There were many days where I left here in tears. It was just, certainly, a labor of love to be able to give back to your community, who essentially supported us from the day we opened,” says Alig.