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The Damson Plum (Prunus Damascena) originated in ancient Persia and spread throughout Europe in the middle ages, making its way to North America with early settlers. The Damson is the tartest and spiciest of all plums. Historically famous in jams, brandy and gin, these small, crimson plums have become rare, losing popularity to larger and sweeter cultivated varieties. Our Damson Gin Liqueur is made just after New York State's autumn harvest. The plums are barrel pressed to extract the juice along with the rich color of the skins, then blended with a small batch American gin. The result is an exceptionally bold and bright liqueur, delicious in classic fizzes. By FLORENCE FABRICANT for NYT July 19, 2011 Damson plum jam is utterly English. But take those dark little plums, grown by Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, N.Y., extract the juice and mix it with small-batch gin from upstate and you have a thoroughly New York drink. It’s old-fashioned sloe gin, updated (sloes are a small plumlike fruit). Tart-sweet and 33 percent alcohol, it’s labeled liqueur by Scott Krahn, who makes it in the Finger Lakes region to add to the line of products made by his company, the American Gin Company based in Manhattan. It does wonders for iced black tea on a late summer afternoon. Use it in sparkling wine to give a new twist to kir royale. Or mix it 50-50 with plain gin, a splash of orange juice and a few drops of orange bitters over ice, and call it whatever you want. The liqueur’s name, Averell, nails its Empire State pedigree as it refers to a former governor, a Harriman, from a line of railroad moguls.