One of the most ingenious twists on Dry January came from a partnership between a whiskey company and a meat purveyor.
Hudson Whiskey and Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors teamed up to celebrate Dry January with a Dry (Aged) January New York Strip Steak Kit.
The kits were developed by two New York brands. Pat LaFrieda is meat purveying company that chefs often use, and Hudson Whiskey is the first distillery in New York State since Prohibition. The kits came online January 11, and they included two 20-ounce New York strip steaks that were dry aged with Hudson Whiskey’s Bright Lights, Big Bourbon whiskey, as well as two Hudson Whiskey branded rocks glasses, a cocktail recipe card and a Caskers code to order a bottle of bourbon after (or during) Dry January.
“They were a smash hit,” says Pat LaFrieda, owner and CEO of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. who developed the proprietary dry-aging recipe and process for the steaks. “When it comes to quintessential New York food, there is nothing like a juicy New York strip steak, other than perhaps a New York strip dry-aged with New York whiskey.”
The idea behind the kits was to help people survive Dry January, whether they chose to order the whiskey right away to pair with the meat or whether they chose to eat the meat first. It was a way to target and celebrate whiskey drinkers, whether they chose to participate in Dry January or not. “It’s a pairing that allows consumers to participate in the challenge of Dry January or not, as they choose,” LaFrieda says.
The kits were such a hit, in fact, that they sold out. “The project really awakened us to the demand for such a combination of whiskey and beef,” LaFrieda says. “This pairing actually brought out a deep umami flavor to the beef, using our specific method in our dry aging process, along with finishing it in Hudson Whiskey. In the past, people have tried this process, but it was always missing something. We found that something and cracked the code.”
The grain-forward whiskey imparted rich notes of vanilla and lightly salted caramel to the premium steaks. “We were all amazed at how delicious the final product was,” LaFrieda says, adding that it took quite a while and extensive testing to develop the steaks.
“Hudson Whiskey is New York attitude distilled, and it’s important to us to support and collaborate with like-minded, local brands,” says Jill Palais, senior brand manager, American whiskeys for William Grant & Sons. “Who better to collaborate with than New York’s undisputed king of meats? We were absolutely thrilled to bring our fans this delicious and out of the box, or is it bottle, way to celebrate Dry January.”
“The feedback from our customers has been amazing,” LaFrieda says. “We’re looking forward to doing it again.”
La Frieda says this collaboration was their first, but it won’t be the last of such cooperation between the two brands. In fact, they’ll likely work on a project together “soon,” he says.