Amy Zavatto is the daughter of an old school Italian butcher who used to sell bay scallops alongside steaks, and is also the former Deputy Editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She holds her Level III Certification in Wine and Spirits from the WSET, and contributes to Imbibe, Whisky Advocate, SOMMJournal, Liquor.com, and others. She is the author of Forager's Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients and The Architecture of the Cocktail. She's stomped around vineyards from the Finger Lakes to the Loire Valley and toured distilleries everywhere from Kentucky to Jalisco to the Highlands of Scotland. When not doing all those other things, Amy is the Director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance.

Another Good Spirit: Bacardi Superior Rum

Giants have a funny ability (or, perhaps, curse?) for becoming oddly invisible–or, at least, not considered closely. Especially if that giant is a well-known, massively distributed spirit in a land where the trend is that the tinier in production and more homespun the story, the more imbibers want to sip it and hear the tale told. But everybody starts somewhere, and when you know the story of Bacardi – a name synonymous with Puerto Rican rum – it might surprise you to learn that it began on a different island entirely.

One Smoky Spirit: El Buho Mezcal

El Buho Mezcal is pretty easy to love–a little like drinking bottled smoke, but with a sweetness and earthy quality laced in that balances the whole act in your mouth.

Finger Lakes Distilling: White Pike Whiskey

The mash bill of this young whiskey (its aging is all of 18 minutes) combines local corn, spelt, and malted wheat, and it’s meant to be a receptacle of a spirit – for whiskey lovers who don’t dig vodka, it’s the equivalent of a base-spirit blank canvas. It’s soft, fruity, and creamy in your mouth, with just a little bit of sweetness that lingers subtly on your tongue from the corn.