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Red Hook Artisanal Distillery Offers Behind-the-Scenes Tour

 Jack From Brooklyn, a Red Hook distillery whose signature product is called Sorel, will be hosting a tour of its facility in collaboration with Yelp on May 31.
Jack From Brooklyn
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RED HOOK — A Red Hook distillery whose signature product brings a taste of the Caribbean to the Brooklyn waterfront is offering a look into the inner workings of its facility.

Jack From Brooklyn, in collaboration with a Yelp series of events called Brooklyn Born, which takes people behind the scenes of production facilities in the borough, will host a free tour on May 31 at 177 Dwight St.

The distillery opened in 2012 as a purveyor of Sorel, an artisanal alcoholic beverage created by owner, Jack Summers.

For decades, Summers, 46, cooked Sorel out of his kitchen. The alcoholic drink is made with hibiscus, ginger, nutmeg, cassia, clove, cane sugar and 100 percent organic grain alcohol.

But a golf-ball sized tumor in his spine pushed the Fort Greene resident to pursue his true passion.

“I got serious about alcohol,” he said.

Before his cancer scare, Summers was a director of new media and production at a fashion magazine in New York. When his doctors found the tumor, he underwent surgery and recovered completely, but the ordeal pushed him to quit his job and find a new perspective on life.

“The tumor was the best thing that ever happened,” he said.

Summers launched Jack From Brooklyn in 2012 and the 3,500-square-foot production facility is the only place where the drink is commercially produced, he said. The product is sold in more than a dozen states as well as Canada and Australia.

Summers has previously hosted tours of the facility, but the May 31 event marks his first collaboration with Yelp, he said.

Traditionally, Sorel is sipped over ice but some bartenders are using the flavor for cocktails and mixers, Summers said. During the cold winter months, he even served it hot.

“You never actually taste booze,” he said. “You just feel booze.”

To RSVP for the event, visit this website