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Chocolate Tour with Lincoln Motor Co

Cacao Prieto Chocolate Tour Dir: Brennan Stasiewicz. Made for Lincoln Motor Cars from Ed David on Vimeo.

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Botanica Schedule of Events

Nat Sherman Cigars, Widow Jane Whiskey, Cacao Prieto Chocolate, and Pop-Up Chefs at Botanica

Come celebrate a unique pairing of Nat Sherman in association with Widow Jane Whiskey and Cacao Prieto Chocolate at Botanica this August. 


Saturday, August 10
2:00 – Midnight

Chef and Entrepreneur Jean Claude Frajmund is originally from Brazil and specializes in the techniques and flavors of France, Spain and Italy. Jean Claude’s mediterranean inspired small plates, or “Pintxos” will feature Basque favorites that feature his connection with the cuisine due to his family ties to the region and the time he spent living in Europe before studying culinary arts at ICE in NYC. The menu will be as follows:

Crisp Egg Yolks with Salmon Roe - Deep friend egg yolks topped with salmon roe.
Tomates Crevettes - Poached shrimp and bernaise sauce inside small tomatoes.
Crispy Pork Belly - Pork belly with watermelon and spicy vinaigrette.
Jamon and Smoked Idiazabal Cheese with Olives
Strawberry Gazpacho - Strawberry, tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.

Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 21
7:00 – 8:30pm, $50 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

This unique pairing will feature six VERY rare, many unavailable at retail Widow Jane Whiskies with two Nat Sherman Cigars and Cacao Prieto Chocolates. Widow Jane Distillery’s heirloom, non-GMO grain whiskies will showcase a flight of Wapsie Valley Corn Bourbon, Wapsie Chocolate Bourbon, Bloody Butcher Bourbon, Wapsie Smoked Bourbon, Widow Jane 7-year Straight Bourbon, and Widow Jane 8-year High Rye Straight Bourbon. A Nat Sherman 1930 Rothschild Dominican cigar and Nat Sherman Timeless 452 Nicargua cigar will be tasted along with Cacao Prieto’s single-origin, Dominican, organic, kosher, 72% dark chocolate.

Thursday, August 15 and August 29
7:00 – 11:00pm, $20 per person 

Widow Jane Assistant Distiller Keir Hamilton will lead a poker tournament for 30 players with 500 chips over three tables and offer re-buys and add-ons. The first three levels will have unlimited re-buy. The blind structure may have increases in later stages. After the first hour, players may pay $10 more for an extra 300 in chips. Each level will be 20 minutes and the levels will be as follows: 5-10, 10-20, 15-30, break/chip up, 25-50, 40-80, 50-100, break/chip up, 75-150, 100-200, 150-300, break/chip up. The tournament direction will decide the structure based on players left and chips on the table. Nat Sherman cigars will be offered during the event.

Thursday, August 22
7:00 – 9:00pm, $30 per person

Noticing that Widow Jane is all about organic heirloom corn and natural limestone water, Cacao Prieto Assistant Chocolatier Hector Hernandez conceived of a tortilla tasting event. Nixtamalization, the process used, is of Nahuatl origin in which the corn is cooked and steeped in limestone water. The steeping liquid, known as nejayote, is drained and the remainder of the corn is washed in order to remove the skin and excess limestone water. Nixtamal is then ground to produce a dough also known as masa. Tortillas will be paired with cactus salad, huarache del mercado, carnitas tacos, nacho libre, guacamole, salsa verde, and home made mole poblano using Cacao Prieto organic Dominican chocolate. Nat Sherman cigars will be available.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Please email with your name and number.

This whiskey really focuses on the front of the palate.  There is a touch of impact in the “bitter” region of the palate, but the sweet and salty regions of the front are the most impacted.  There is a lingering “bittersweet chocolate” finish.  Slightly drying to the palate.
A natural progression from the Wapsie.  The impact moves back slightly, and also impacts the “bitter” region at the back of the palate and throat.  Finish is longer, with the chocolate note clearly more pronounced.
Interesting note on the nose, almost pisco/tequila like.  Some dry vegetal notes on the palate: straw, wheat, dried corn/flour, with a cocoa powder note on both the nose and the palate. Impact is quite balanced, even distribution on the palate.
Medium to full in mouth feel. Some initial spice on first puff, white with some white pepper up front.  Creamy mouth feel.  After the first half inch or so, great notes of cocoa, espresso.
Great example of dialogue with the cigar. You can literally “feel” the movement on the palate as the cigar and whiskey impact different areas. Intersting, the cigar helps stimulate saliva that was slightly stripped by the whiskey
Coming closer together with the cigar- the chocolate note on the palate is clearly shared with the cigar, particularly as the cigar has burned further down
Another great dialogue- the cigar offers all the flavors missing in the whiskey, and the whiskey fills in the blanks of flavor not provided by the cigar.  However the body of both balance each other.
Bright vanilla, slightly sweet with a heavy presence right in the middle of the palate and roof of mouth. Slight caramel with delicate bright spice.
Impact moves outwards to the sides of the palate, impacting the salty and acid areas of the palate, as well as the roof of the mouth where the widow jane 7 hit. The lingering finish moves slightly forward toward the front, and there’s an interesting vetiver note on the finish.
Slightly metallic on the nose, smooth and bright, impacting straight down the center of the palate.
Medium to full body.  Great bright spice, touch of earth – round impact on palate.
Nice dialoge between the sweet smooth whiskey and thespicy smoke. Both impact cool.  The sweetness of the whiskey stands out against the early portion of the cigar.
Nice shift in impact against the “constant” of the cigar.  These two make great companions but the whiskey really allows the cigar’s bright spice (cinnamon) note to stand out.
Again, the “feeling” of a shift in impact is quite noticeable.  The whiskey’s “straight line” is more evident against the cigar, but they share the “bright spiciness” that allows for a true sense of balance in order to complete the pairing experience with a clear conclusion.

Nat Sherman Cigars:
Founded by Nat Sherman in 1930 and family-guided for three generations, Nat Sherman International continues to define the authentic tobacco experience. Through a tradition of innovation and expertly crafted products, Nat Sherman’s timeless appeal is embraced and enjoyed worldwide. Learn more on Nat Sherman’s Facebook or
Widow Jane Distillery:
As great whiskey distillers throughout the world — from Kentucky to Scotland — have long known, it takes sweet water from tough rock to make great whiskey. And, that’s what Widow Jane Whiskey, distilled in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, is all about. Made with pure sweet water of the Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale, New York, it was limestone from this mine which built the Brooklyn Bridge, that statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. Learn more on Widow Jane’s Facebook  or
Cacao Prieto Chocolate:
Founded by Daniel Prieto Preston, an inventor and aerospace engineer, whose family has been farming organic cacao and sugar cane in the Dominican Republic for more than 100 years. Cacao Prieto is an Artisan Distillery and produces bean-to-bar chocolate made fresh daily from the finest organic, single origin Dominican Cacao and distills a line of small batch, cacao-based liqueurs and rums. Learn more on Cacao Prieto’s Facebook or

Category: Chocolate, Events, Liquor, News, Uncategorized · Tags:

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Sweet Talk

June 05, 2013 • Article by Stoli USA


Close your eyes and try to imagine what might happen if an international man of mystery were to have a baby with say, an eccentric chocolate maker. The resulting offsprint might have a career quite like Daniel Preston. Preston is an inventor, an entrepreneur and an aerospace engineer turned chocolatier who is now producing bean-to-bar chocolate made fresh daily out of his Red Hook, Brooklyn factory, Cacao Prieto. It’s a big warehouse space that smells like chocolate and is full of shiny machinery that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time a little bit. To say that Daniel is smart is an understatement, but he’s also warm and incredibly forthcoming about his original story and how he built his chocolate empire. We were all ears.

Tell us a little bit about your background

I’m a first generation New Yorker. My background is an aerospace engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur and I hold more than 120 patents in 17 countries. I designed high-tech toys for the military in my last company and The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune called me “Q” you know, like, after the James Bond Q. One of my more well-known inventions is designing satellite guided parachutes to change the way military air drop is done.

A natural progression into chocolate!

I ended up selling the controlling interest in the defense company I started. When I moved on I had a strict non-compete and I pretty much couldn’t do anything that I was used to doing for the next five years. So, I went on a genealogy trip visiting some family members in the Dominican Republic that I hadn’t seen since I was a child. I fell in love with the country and the islands and was introduced to a family cacao farm— that’s where I became obsessed with the science behind cacao.

Tell us about that obsession

I went a little nuts and took over a family farm. I was fascinated with the original genetics of cacao and I found that the fermentation process across the world (for chocolate) is done in a very non-controlled manner. There’s a couple thousand years of documented history about fermented foods and science related to that and nothing had been applied to chocolate.

So you rethought the process?

There is no winemaker in the world that would stomp his grapes in the mud and let it be feasted on by rats and insects and hope it tastes good in a week. You’d treat it in a semi-sterile environment and control all the variables. So that’s what we did with the chocolate. When we controlled all the variables and got rid of all the pathogens we found that we had a lot of control over the flavor profile of the beans.

Tell us about these machines, I’m guessing it has something to do with your engineering background?

The look and feel of the place is very much turn of the century because its just an aesthetic I like and, you know, the golden age of machines so most of the machines look Victorian but they’re in fact new and I designed them and we manufacture them.

Finish this sentence: Good chocolate is…


See more at

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Cacao Rums

Wine & Spirits Rum Review

Around the World in Six Rums

1. Cacao Prieto Rums

Daniel Prieto Preston, an aerospace engineer who comes from a family of sugar cane and cacao farmers in the Dominican Republic, launched Cacao Prieto in 2010, setting up a chocolate factory and distillery in Brooklyn, New York. He blends his white rum (made from organic evaporated cane juice and fermented with wine yeasts) with organic cacao beans and barrel-ages it to create the most exquisitely robust expression of chocolate I’ve ever enjoyed. Called Don Rafael Cacao Rum, it’s redolent of roasted coffee, tobacco and cacao, as intense as drinking dark chocolate. While the Don Rafael has no sugar, the Don Esteban Cacao Liqueur does– just enough to take the edge off cacao’s natural bitterness, but not so much that it gets cloying. These are exceptional rums, especially if you enjoy dark chocolate.

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The Morning Show: See the World

Cacao Prieto is featured in the Morning Show’s Trafalgar: North America Week See the World!

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SF World Spirits Awards

Cacao Prieto and Widow Jane are proud to present a Double Gold, Two Silvers, and Bronze medal in this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.















Category: Chocolate, Events, Liquor, News, Uncategorized · Tags:


Brooklyn Magazine





Cacao Prieto

POSTED BY  ON MON, JUN 3, 2013 AT 9:30 AM




When it comes to things that seem, in theory, far too good to be true, most people would assume “combination chocolate and whiskey factory” to be one of them. In Red Hook, Cacao Prieto is not only delightfully defying expectations, but also turning out some of the very best products in every category it touches.

Chocolate is a trade that founder Daniel Prieto Preston comes by honestly. So honestly, in fact, that the company’s organic cocoa beans and sugar cane are actually sourced from farmland in the Dominican Republic that Preston’s family has tended for over a century. Preston has also fully thrown his background as an engineer into the process, inventing a number of efficient, sleek chocolate-making machines that the company now sells as a side business.

“The ideas could spark from a recipe dated from the 1800s, or in investigating the collection of botanicals from our apothecary,” the company’s Art Director Michele Gabrielle Clark says of the constantly evolving process. “We’re very interested in using rare herbs and plants, and we love stretching our imaginations.”

Thus far, this has led the company to a few unexpected outcomes, perhaps most notably its hugely popular Widow Jane whiskey. Initially it was just making cacao-based rum and liqueurs; it branched into the whiskey business on a whim last fall. The company now has an individualized distillation process and one of the most beloved whiskeys in Brooklyn. It’s also led to a few brilliant crossovers, including a Widow Jane Bourbon Caramel-filled bon bon bar.

Having established itself as a part of Red Hook’s tight-knit small business community (thanks in no small part, we’d guess, to the on-site tours), it would seem that however circuitous the route, Preston and Cacao Prieto have ended up exactly where they’re meant to be.













Cacao Prieto

Photos By David Loaiza

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Cacao Prieto; 218 Conover Street



Brooklyn Exposed

Featured in Brooklyn Exposed’s


By Jessica McKenzie | FEBRUARY 12, 2013

 Cacao Prieto

Daniel Preston, the founder of Cacao Prieto (218 Conover Street, Red Hook), was an aerospace engineer who sold his defense company and started a chocolate factory and distillery. “You’d be surprised how many engineers would be comfortable in a chocolate factory, but chocolate really came of age in the industrial revolution,” says Preston. Preston and his team of engineers developed chocolate-making machinery they sell to other bean-to-bar companies. He invites curious chocolate lovers out to their Red Hook location to see the mix of Victorian and state-of-the-art equipment at work. Although there are no scheduled tours during the winter, the sign on the door says “Please Knock” and they give impromptu tours all the time. “We’re friendly people,” Preston said. The storefront where you can taste and purchase their products is staffed from 11am – 7pm on weekends.

Their cocktail bar Botanica is closed until spring, but you can whip up your own Valentine’s Day cocktail with Cacao Prieto’s Don Rafael Cacao Rum (available at Dry Dock Wine & Spirits in Red Hook): simply shake with muddled raspberries and ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a raspberry. If you want a traditional offering of chocolate for your sweetheart, Preston suggests the Bark Bars. Each organic, single-origin bar comes with a postcard illustrating a romantic story from his family history.

Read More at Brooklyn Exposed…

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“Fuente de Juventud” Fountain of Youth Facial Soap

Scientists at Cacao Biotechnologies & Cacao Prieto have developed a new method of fermenting and extracting cacao beans that significantly increases the potency of natural antioxidants. The molecules being developed are Epicatechin based bioflavoniods with extraordinary antioxidant activity; more than 1000 times more potent than similar molecules derived from green tea.

In collaboration with ASP (Art, Science, Passion) and founder Rhett Butler, a facial soap was formulated with our developed Cacao Epicatechin antioxidant. The soap is truly a fountain of youth product formulated with natural and organic ingredients it posses a high percentage of functional ingredients. There is no “angel dusting” in this meticulous formula that spared no expense for function.

UV rays, IR radiation, pollution, and lifestyle factors generate damaging free radicals that can prematurely age skin. Antioxidants neutralize these unstable molecules, acting as a second line of defense against photodamage and accelerated aging.  This soap will improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation by neutralizing free radicals and stimulating collagen production.

The unique soap’s ingredients include: Epicatechin antioxidants from Cacao Prieto, Widow Jane mineral water, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, almond oil, activated carbon, iron oxide, brown sugar, honey, green tea, urea, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, avacado oil, rose hip oil, grape seed oil, sheat germ oil, evening primrose oil, camellia tea seed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, perrila oil, apricot oil, hazelnut oil, vitamin E, bentonite clay,  honeysuckle oil, chamomile oil, blood orange oil, neroli oil, sweet orange oil, myrrh oil, cardamon oil, bergamot oil.

The soap will be branded and marketed by ASP later this year as part of their “black” line of natural products. The below samples were packaged by Cacao Prieto for our beta test panel of doctors and consumers.







































Our scientists and “apothecary” laboratory is available for collaborations or developmental work. Please contact us to discuss your product development needs.



Category: Chocolate, Events, Farm, News, Uncategorized · Tags:

Craft Spirits and Craft Chocolate

Cask | Blog: Craft Spirits and Craft Chocolate Under One Roof:

By  | Published August 9, 2012  |

Photos © Dan Goldberger for Caskers.

Walk past the glass front of the red brick building on Conover Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the first thing you notice is the cute little chocolate shop.  If you look a bit closer, you can see the vats of molten chocolate, and you know that Cacao Prieto is not just a chocolate store but is in fact a chocolate maker.  Once you step inside, you can smell that there’s something else going on here.  As you look around, you notice that some of the machines you assumed were part of the chocolate making process look quite a bit more like copper stills. And who barrels chocolate, anyway?

Cacao Prieto is simultaneously one of the most unusual artisanal chocolate makers and unusual distilleries.  Of course, this is a great thing.  In addition to the fine dark chocolate bars and candies (most of it 72% cocoa), Cacao Prieto uses its chocolate in both a chocolate rum (Don Rafael Cacao Rum) and a chocolate liqueur (Don Estaban Cacao Liqueur).  Both are excellent.  A coffee liqueur made specially for Brooklyn Roasters is coming soon, and we can’t wait to try it.

Then, of course, there is the Widow Jane Bourbon.  We can’t say enough good things about, so we had to offer it to our members on Caskers, starting Friday.  This limited edition (only 1,500 bottles) bourbon begins life in Kentucky.  After the folks at Cacao Prieto select the best barrels they can find, they bring them over to Brooklyn, where the whiskey meets with water from the Widow Jane Mine in upstate New York, the very same mine whose limestone is found in the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.  This mineral-rich water infuses the whiskey with incredibly interesting, uncommon and uncommonly delicious flavors.  Widow Jane is an experience to be savored.

There are some interesting things happening in Red Hook these days, and a whole lot of them are happening at Cacao Prieto.

Cacao Prieto is located at 218 Conover Street, in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Click here to send us a message, or call us at (347) 225-0130.

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