Dan Rabinowitz couldn’t find what he was looking for — so he decided to do it himself.
“I am a cocktail aficionado,” said the D.C.-based lawyer, who keeps kosher. Rabinowitz loves to entertain, but found it difficult to find quality kosher alcohol to work with.
His friend and business partner, Dov Friedman, felt similarly. Rabinowitz and Friedman found that there were two options for kosher cocktails — canned drinks that were either too low or too high in alcohol content, or bottled ones that just didn’t have the right taste and the presentation was an afterthought.
So Rabinowitz and Friedman found a distillery partner on the North Fork and a new brand was born.
The duo conceived Dekō Cocktails, a certified kosher brand that would satisfy their desire and need for a high-quality product. For Rabinowitz, presentation mattered.
“Whenever I serve cocktails, I make sure I have appropriate glassware for each cocktail,” he said. “The glassware is chilled.”
They came up with an Art Deco design for the bottles, naming the brand “Dekō Cocktails.”
But a beautiful bottle wouldn’t mean much without a high-quality drink and Rabinowitz found that Greenport’s Matchbook Distilling Co. was a great fit for what he and Friedman were looking for.
“They really had a tremendous attention to detail and really appreciated what we wanted to do,” Rabinowitz said.
While he had talks with other distilleries, he was impressed that Matchbook was so focused on quality and didn’t want to cut corners.
“What was really important to us was not simply putting out something that was already there in a different type of package, but really putting out a great product,” he said.
The first two releases by Dekō Cocktails are the Bee’s Knees, a gin with fresh lemons, foraged juniper berries, lavender and pure wildflower honey; and the Gold Rush, a bourbon whiskey fused with fresh lemon juice and honey from local apiaries. Matchbook Distilling sources everything locally, and the drinks are 100 percent certified kosher by Star-K.
The high-end, lovely cocktails are also highly accessible. Rabinowitz wanted everything to be easy for the consumer.
“You put it in your refrigerator, that is all that’s required,” he said. “You don’t even need to put it over ice. Refrigerate, open, sip, done.”
You can buy Dekō Cocktails online now.