But what of Cacao Prieto?? Strolling through Red Hook, there were signs of sweetness ahead. But still, I wasn’t prepared for this gorgeous distillery-factory in the middle of this barren neighborhood.
Daniel Prieto Preston, formerly an aerospace engineer and inventor (!), opened the gorgeous beans-to-bar factory in 2009. His family owns cacao plantations in the Dominican Republic, which is where his beans come from. While working with them, he noticed the alcoholic wash produced during the fermentation of the cacao seeds. This lead to a line of sweat cacao rums and the first rum distillery license in New York City since prohibition.
Not only do they produce delicious rums and beautifully packaged 72% dark chocolate bars, with post cards designed by Brooklyn artist SophieBlackall…
… but master chocolatier Damion Badalamenti also makes fresh bonbons—like the sugar-rich, rum-filled Conquistador beauties.
All in all, an amazing dose of discovery, inspiration and deliciousness.