The ever-expanding Brooklyn brand can apparently (sort of) handle two gins named after it, so why not two vodkas? Joining the carpetbagging Absolut Brooklyn is Brooklyn Republic Vodka, which is actually made in the borough, by Brooklynites using Brooklyn water (if not Brooklyn grains)!
The Brooklyn Paper caught up with the folks behind the new liquor and found a touch more authenticity than you find in your run-of-the-mill Brooklyn-branded baubles (Williamsburg Camels, we're looking at you). The company is run by Kary Laskin, who grew up in Starrett City and lives in Park Slope, along with her dad Gary Shokin, a Lithuanian immigrant taxi driver-turned-auto shop owner who gave up his business to focus on the booze, and Mark Krupkin, who originally hails from Latvia. Though this is the first we've heard of it, the trio apparently started selling their vodka in April. “About a year and a half ago, we realized it was something we all really love and thought, why not start making it ourselves? There’s a natural connection with Brooklyn,” Laskin told the Brooklyn Eagle.
The three mix, purify and bottle their potent potable near the Navy Yard and say the response to the drink has been good. "We’re now in around 300 locations around the New York area. We’re in the five boroughs as well as Rockland, Nassau and Westchester," Laskin says. "As soon as people see the name ‘Brooklyn,’ they get excited. Many people who are not really vodka drinkers say they really enjoy it on the rocks or in shooters." But still, they swear the name isn't just about trying to make a buck off a popular brand. "It’s not a bandwagon thing for us—it’s who we are," Laskin told the Paper. "This is my heart and soul."
Fine. As long as people don't start going around ordering Brooklyn tonics, mmkay?