POSTED BY VIRGINIA K. SMITH 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.
Photos By David Loaiza
Cacao Prieto; 218 Conover Street
It’s not too late to RSVP! http://widowjane.eventbrite.com/
Tasting of the custom coffee liqueurs produced for Brooklyn Roasting Company
The weekend has passed, but what a fun weekend! After a fantastic evening at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic opening gala on Friday, I headed on over to my first MCC event on Saturday afternoon, the Hands-On Distilling Workshop: The Art and Science of Distilling. The seminar was held at Cacao Prieto in the Red Hook part of Brooklyn…
As part of The Manhattan Cocktail Classic we are offering a Hands-On Distilling Workshop – The Art & Science of Distilling on Saturday May 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm, only a few tickets are still available. Hurry up!
When: February 10-14, 11am-7pm
Where: E.R. Butler & Co, 55 Prince Street, New York NY
Cacao Prieto is teaming up with Brooklyn Botanic Garden. On Friday, February 10th, we will be shaking up chocolate rum cocktails for the LUSH boogaloo and latin soul dance party. The LUSH event celebrates Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s collection of over 6,000 tropical orchids.
Friday, February 10 | 8 p.m.–Midnight | BBG Palm House
An evening celebrating Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s collection of over 6,000 tropical orchids Read more;
In December 2011, we hosted a party for the happy doll charity.
On November 28th, 2011 we opened our factory doors for a preview party. Over 150 people showed up for a night of tasting bark bars, bonbons, and liquor. More images after the jump.