ABOUT THE HUDSON STANDARD
You might be surprised (then again, maybe not) at how many Makers invent their best ideas over drinks with friends. In the case of The Hudson Standard, the conversation was actually about drinks (how’s that for meta)?
New York’s beer and wine cultures are well-established, but in 2012, the cocktail market was still fledgling. That year, Marianne Courville, who was living in Chatham, N.Y. and running Hudson Wine Merchants — the store she co-owns with her husband, Michael Albin, on Warren Street in Hudson — was inspired by the West Coast’s cocktail scene. With a deep knowledge of spirits and liqueurs, Marianne began experimenting with making bitters in her Hudson Valley studio using locally-sourced ingredients. She also dabbled in concocting the lesser-known shrubs – syrups made from fruit, vinegar and sweetener — a Colonial American culinary tradition made new again. Like bitters, shrubs are an unusual and versatile cocktail mixer, but with the added bonus of blending perfectly with seltzer to create a tart and sweet ‘mocktail’ that satisfies even the most the discerning palate.
Marianne (pictured above, center) built her woman-owned business into a woman-operated company with the hiring of Anja Rothe (at left) and Emily Woerthman (at right). Each subsequent year of discovery brought new flavors: Pear Honey Ginger shrub and Ginger bitters in 2013; Strawberry Rhubarb shrub, Apple Coriander Maple shrub and Celery bitters in 2014; and Cassis Berry shrub, Peach Lavender shrub, and The Hudson Standard’s proprietary Love-Struck bitters in 2015.
The company’s growth, popularity and commitment to handcrafted goods received an outstanding commendation in 2015 when it was named a Martha Stewart American Made Finalist.
The Hudson Standard has, yes, set a new standard for — and raised New York’s profile in — the international cocktail arena, while continuing to keep everything locally-focused. The team says, “Working with local farms has been fun — these days, there is such an openness to new ideas about crops, production, sustainability and cooperative ventures. We feel The Hudson Standard is a welcome convergence between the cocktail revolution and the ‘farm to table’ movement.” The purity of the New York-grown ingredients, which include an organic apple cider vinegar from the Finger Lakes, come through in the powerful flavors of the shrubs and bitters. We’ll toast to that.
Watch Anja and Emily demonstrate how to make a shrub soda: