Rootstock Spirits’ New York State Apple Jacks + Apple Brandies

Head distiller Collin McConville explains the old-world techniques behind their delicious spirits

Apple Jack, a high-proof liquor distilled from apples and aged in American oak—predominantly former whiskey barrels—is one of a handful of spirits that can carry its name only if it has been produced in the US (like bourbon). Apple brandy, the broader category Apple Jack falls within, can be made the world over (with the most famous being Calvados from Normandy), but only Apple Jack …

CH Japan: Indigo Dyeing Leather + Cotton

From the Tokushima farm of Yoshiharu Toyama to the vats of dye master Naoyuki Asai in Kyoto

Many people don’t know where natural indigo comes from or realize how few indigo farms are left in Japan—only five in Tokushima, the country’s traditional indigo farming region. Indigo is a green plant that has a higher percentage of blue than other green plants (though most have some). Traditional indigo dye in Japan is made from sukumo, which is what the harvested and fermented indigo …

Reclamation of Black-Owned Farmland

According to census data, there were 925,000 black farmers in 1920. By 2017, that number dropped below 50,000. Discrimination within the industry, institutionalized racism upheld by USDA agency workers, purposefully incorrect documentation of ownership transfers, the industrialization of the agriculture industry, and many more reasons lead to the decline. Plenty of banks, certification organizations, and distribution networks also actively discriminated against black farmers. The US …