Whiskey Me Up at the Shanty & Interview with Owner Allen Katz [05.04.2015]

Whiskey Me Up at the Shanty & Interview with Owner Allen Katz [05.04.2015]

On Monday, May 4th, 2015, Whiskey Me Up along with Boozemenus and the LOADed Good Passport did a happy hour special event with Allen Katz, owner of NY Distilling Company and the Shanty. There, Whiskey Personas™ ranging from "Vixens" to "Woodsmen," mingled and drank Mister Katz’s Rock and Rye. And, for those early birds, Allen did an exclusive tasting of the Ragtime Rye, a 3-year-old rye from NY Distilling that hadn't been released yet to the public. [Update: Ragtime Rye arrived on the market on September 3, 2015.]



  • 2-hour long happy hour on a beautiful Monday evening where attendees could redeem their LOADed Good Passport or purchase a Mister Katz's Rock & Rye at a discount
  • 35+ Whiskey Personas, ranging from "Hipsters" to "Woodsmen" to "Vixens" to "Modern Gents and Ladies," attended the event
  • 1 exclusive tasting of the Ragtime Rye (not publicly available at that time) with the Allen Katz, owner of NY Distilling Company


Whiskey Me Up Interview with Allen Katz, Founder of NY Distilling CompanyOur founder, Rose Jia, interviewed Allen Katz on what inspired him and his partner to found New York Distilling and the different spirits they produce.

On creating NY Distilling Company.

“We’re cocktail guys." Allen said proudly as he motioned to the Shanty bar behind us. He continued, "It just made sense for us to be making spirits that go well in cocktails like gin and rye.”

Allen and his partner, Tom Potter, started on this journey over five years ago. Tom had cofounded the Brooklyn Brewery and was looking to invest in something else. The two of them along with Tom’s son, Bill, looked for the perfect locale. They found this lot on Richardson St. in Brooklyn that was perfect. They built out the distillery and carved out a space next to it for the bar (the Shanty). 

On creating Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye.

Long ago, in a time when American saloons were staple pillars of the community, many bartenders added rock sugar to young ryes, which tasted terrible alone. Then, with time, the "rock and rye" became known as having "medicinal effects". According to Saveur.com, many of the rock and ryes were patented as "'alcoholic medicinal preparations" so that "producers could skirt disapproval from the temperance movement while avoiding the higher taxes placed on liquor." As saloons disappeared, so did the the rock and rye.

However, a new form did pop up, called the Rye Whiskey Manhattan. According to Allen's father, in the 1950s, that cocktail was considered the "deathbed cocktail"—as in, the drink you want to have at your deathbed.

When Allen and his partner considered creating their first splash into the market, he thought about the legacy he wanted to leave with his company. As he mentioned before, "we're cocktail guys" so they set to bring about a second Golden Age for cocktails (the first being Prohibition).

Naming the spirit after his father, Mister Katz's Rock & Rye is basically a delicious cocktail in a bottle.

On creating Ragtime Rye.

Being that Allen is a businessman as well. He had a very clear strategy. He would start off with the Rock & Rye, which acted as a “teaser” to the straight rye whiskey (called Ragtime Rye) that just went into market last week (September 3). Allen mentioned that the barrels used for the Ragtime Rye will be reused to make the one-year-old rye that goes into Rock & Rye. (How brilliant!)

The Ragtime Rye is made from New York State grains. That's right, not imported from another state. Straight from NEW YORK. This American straight whiskey showcases the feel of the saloon age through its bold, sweet waxy and velvety taste. 

(A special group of Whiskey Me Up @ the Shanty attendees got an exclusive tasting of the Ragtime Rye before it was ever out in market. Oh yes, we treat our Members well!)


If you had attended the event, you would have seen a bunch of these postcards floating around:



Whiskey Me Up™ Whiskey Persona™ Postcard for Entrepreneur with Mister Katz's Rock & RyeAN ENTREPRENEUR’S MISTER KATZ’S ROCK & RYE:

As an ENTREPRENEUR, you seek to make the world better, faster, and easier by seeing and seizing opportunities where none existed before. When people say you could be the next Picasso or Da Vinci, you reply that you’re just going to be the next “you.”

This bottle of young rye mixed with rock candy sugar is a new twist on an old tradition, much like the innovations you generate. It combines the sharpness of the rye with the round sweetness of sugar, cinnamon and cherries. Like you, it takes what’s familiar and evolves it into something more. Read enough? Have a glass and get inspired.



Whiskey Me Up™ Whiskey Persona™ Postcard for Modern Lady with Mister Katz's Rock & RyeMODERN LADY’S MISTER KATZ’S ROCK & RYE:

As a MODERN LADY, you exude beauty belonging in films past while you embody the power and intellect seen in modern times.

This Rock & Rye is like an Old Fashioned cocktail in a bottle. Like you, this flavored rye is sweet but also provocative. Spice lingers on the tongue as if tooting “Don’t judge me by my sweetness. I’m no damsel-in-distress! I control the situation, so let me open your mind.” So, what are you waiting for? Grab a glass and show the world what they’re missing.



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