Cortland County is home to more than charming farm communities, outdoor adventures, and a blossoming downtown. It's also home to a group of innovative, creative artisans who grow, brew, and make some of our very favorite things.
For the sake of brevity, below you find a collection of nine of our favorites, though in reality there are far too many to count. Remember, each time you buy local, not only are you supporting jobs, families, and communities, but you are taking home a tiny piece of someone's love, craftsmanship, and traditions. So, shop away, because after all - you're doing a good deed!
J.P. Brown Bag Whiskey is crafted at the ever-enchanting DragonFyre Distillery, of Marathon NY. Made from bourbon mash, created with locally grown corn, rye, and barley, it truly is a taste of terra. Brown Bag Whiskey sips epically smooth, with a sweet body, and a note of rye spice on the finish. Best enjoyed on the rocks or in an apple cider hot toddy.
8. Trinity Valley Cheese Curds
It's a scientific fact that eating cheese produces a delightful dopamine response in our brains, and Trinity Valley's cheese curds are no exception. For four generations, this family has produced cream top milk in the rolling hills of East Homer, NY. While their chocolate milk has rightfully earned a cult following, here in the office, it's the cheese curds that hold a special place in our hearts. Perfect for picnics, charcuterie boards, or deep-fired for an extra special treat, we recommend keeping a container on hand at all times.
Marathon, NY is famous for it's maple syrup and the Boice Family is one of it's corner stones. While they produce all sorts of goodies with their maple, from spicy candied nuts, to sweet maple candy, it's their classic, extra dark pure maple syrup that has earned a permanent place in our pantry. Of course it's delicious on pancakes and waffles, or drizzled on yogurt or oatmeal, but we love it Maple Festival style- whipped into a milkshake! Add a healthy glug of Dragonfyre's bourbon and you've got a gown up maple milkshake that's sure to impress!
Made with certified organic Napa cabbage and daikon radishes, combined with Gochujang paste, ginger, garlic, onions and fish sauce, this fermented deliciousness will give you the kick you crave. Toss it in your next rice bowl, or ramen for a bright, zippy punch. Or, keep an emergency jar in the office fridge, like us, to fix up those boring brown bag lunches. Though made right here on Main Street, in downtown Cortland, they ship, so you can enjoy it anywhere the postal service delivers!
Did someone say Wagyu?! One of only four farms in the tri-state area producing 100% purebred Wagyu, Mid Lake Wagyu calls Marathon, NY home. Wagyu (a unique breed of Japanese cattle) is famous for its high levels of marbling and incredible tenderness, making for a suburb steak. Raised free-range, and given exceptional care and quality feeds, Mid Lake's beef is amongst the best. Impress your guest at your next dinner party, or simply treat yourself when you fire up the grill. My favorite are the marrow bones! They are perfect for roasting and wiping up some herbed marrow butter, delicious on pasta or toast. Mid Lake ships year-round, however quantities are limited, so make sure to place your order well in advance of your next occasion.
4. Coffee Mania Cortland Blend
Our office doesn't run without coffee, and this is what you'll most likely find in our mugs. The Cortland Blend is a medium roast blend of Columbian and Ethiopian beans, with notes of unsweetened baker's chocolate, toasted nuts, and a hint of vanilla. It's even-keeled and easy-drinking and promises to quickly become your go-to breakfast roast. Available for purchase at Coffee Mania or online, we recommend ordering it whole bean and grinding it fresh for optimum flavor.
This caffeinated eye cream kicks puffy bags to the curb in an instant! Made with only all-natural ingredients and herbs grown on the farm, we're convinced there must be a little dark magic mixed in, it works so well. Gentle on even the most delicate of skin, it smooths out fine lines and soothes tired eyes so well you'll find a jar of it in all of our bags. While Daisy Hollow Farm makes the Caffeine Eye Cream regularly, it sells out just a fast, so we recommend you stock up. And remember, sharing is caring. Friends don't keep secrets this good to themselves.
While all honey is lovely, the rare Wild Aster Honey is the bee's knees. Nearly white in color, this high viscosity honey is heady and aromatic. Despite its strong perfume, it is delicate on the pallet and tastes a bit like tropical fruits. It is a uniquely different honey experience, as it crystallizes within days of spinning. This thick texture makes it perfect for spreading atop peanut butter toast. This honey is only produced for a few, short weeks in late autumn. Because of this, there are a limited number of these bottles available. Exodus Apiary Honey can be found at their charming roadside stand, 939 State Route 222, in Cortland, or any of the Coffee Mania locations. For those of you afar, contact them via their Facebook page to have honey shipped directly.
1. Cherry Knoll's Strawberry Rhubarb Pi
The Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Wine is a nostalgic blend of strawberries and rhubarb inspired by Grandmother’s pie. Like most wines, it pairs well with sharp cheeses and roasted nuts. Where it really shines is in an old-school sparkling wine seltzer. Mixed with equal parts fizzy water, poured over ice, and garnished with fresh muddled strawberries and mint, it is suddenly your new signature cocktail. Perfect for sipping on a porch swing from a mason jar, while catching a sunset. This wine brings all the summer vibes, even in the middle of February.
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