Almost 100 years ago, hidden away from the prying eyes of Elliot Ness and his prohibition revenuers was a beautiful and secret place: The Thousand Islands. These private sanctuaries, most accessible only by boat, still share a liquid border between New York and Canada.
Some islands little larger than the canopy of a maple tree. Some 20 miles long where the crossing of the International border is even now as simple as taking one more step down a wooded trail. Well known to wealthy New York City socialites, aided by local fishing guides turned "drinking guides" by night, the treacherous shoal-filled waters of the St. Lawrence River were crisscrossed with speedboats transporting revelers to and from Canada, the land of the Midnight Fun.
While moonshine was the norm for most of the US during prohibition, The 1000 Islands was the gateway to America for quality Whiskey, Rum and other Spirits made in Canada and the rest of the world. After all, it was never against the law to drink alcohol in the US, only to produce, sell or transport it.
During those "dark days" of recreational repression, quality spirits flowed across the river in purpose-built mahogany speedboats stacked to the gunwales with libations: Whiskey, Rum and Vodka headed for the speakeasies, underground casinos, and Park Avenue hotels of New York. These same boats served as late night water taxis transporting thirsty Americans to and from legal nightclubs and bars on the Canadian mainland. Many of those boats, meticulously restored and maintained, still ply the crystal clear waters of the 1000 Islands today. They serve as a living history of this once calm and secret domain of the "upper class," turned into a flowing highway of liquid gold and revelry.
At Dark Island Spirits, we embrace the bootleggers, partiers, and the just plain bored of our not-too-distant past: and we will be honored to produce and supply like-minded people of the 21st Century with "Spirits of Leisure" worthy of this colorful and hard-fought freedom of recreation.
Coming soon: Dark Island Whiskey, Dark Island Vodka, and Dark Island Rum.