What wouldn't you do for a cold Rum and Coke, Martini, or Manhattan on a hot and humid day like today?
Well, you do not have to go very far. A Bronx, NY born doctor, who does not drink owns the first distillery in The Bronx to be established since the days of prohibition. These hand crafted and bottled Artisan Spirits are manufactured by Tirado Distillery.
They manufacture whiskey, maple liquor and rum at the borough’s first micro-distillery is the ironic brainchild of Dr. Renee Hernandez, MD, who has been practicing medicine for 10 years . Hernandez, who also holds a chemistry degree from Fordham University tells City Island Images that he has never tasted the stuff “I don’t drink. I’ve never had a drink,” the 39-year-old Nuyorican internist told me very seriously and quite soberly. He adds that taste is the goal he is trying to achieve.
But that doesn’t stop this doctor from developing locally produced spirits at Tirado Distillery on East 138th Street, where he regularly hosts tastings on Wednesdays between 5-7P and Fridays between 9-11P. Hernandez says he was inspired while visiting the Bacardi factory in Puerto Rico with his father-in-law, who does drink. The father of three says that is when he became hooked on the idea of producing hometown spirits. The name Tirado is his mother's maiden name.
Hernandez says that under New York law, he can only produce 35 thousand gallons and 80 percent of the ingredients must come from state producers. Because of this, Hernandez can only manufacture a small amount of rum, which is made from Caribbean or Arizona molasses. He did tell us that next year he expects to have produced enough Dark Supreme stock in his 3 thousand square foot facility.
Inside this warm and aromatic South Bronx distillery, a visitor can see rows of 7-gallon containers lined up on the floor and flanked by his locally produced purification system. Dr. Hernandez proudly offers up a drink, adding - " No hangovers... I guarantee it". He says his products can be purchased in area-wide restaurants and liquor stores.