America's oldest distillery in New Jersey specializes in applejack, a historic American spirit

EATONTOWN, New Jersey -- Laird & Company, America's oldest distillery, has been the apple of spirit lovers' eyes for centuries in New Jersey.

The Laird family has been long renowned for their signature applejack and apple brandy. No less a historical figure than George Washington is said to have requested the Laird family's signature applejack recipe around 1760.

Founded by Scotsman William Laird, who settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey after emigrating from Scotland in 1698, the distillery carries on the family legacy.

"I represent the ninth generation of Laird family and we've continued our heritage for almost 300 years," said Lisa Laird Dunn, vice president and world ambassador of Laird & Company.

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The apple brandy, which comes in eight different expressions, is popular not only as a beverage but also as a cooking ingredient.

With the disappearance of orchards in New Jersey, the entire production of Laird's apple brandies has moved to Virginia. The barrels are kept there for about two years before they are shipped to New Jersey, where they are stored in an aging warehouse and bottled for distribution.

"Anybody that lives in New Jersey, should take great pride in supporting the history of the state. It's a wonderful legacy and I recommend that with whatever cocktail you enjoy, try substituting the applejack with it," Laird Dunn said.

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