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The Item: March 2012 

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Tuthilltown Spirits cofounder Brian Lee’s first stroke of marketing genius was to package the distillery’s hooch in 375ml apothecary bottles. This was both a tip of the hat to Lee’s pharmacist grandfather and Prohibition—during the dark reign of the 18th Amendment, spirits could still be obtained by prescription for medicinal purposes. Tuthilltown, which was the first distillery to open in New York since Prohibition, is now offering its signature apothecary bottles as oil lamps ($6), available with a tan ceramic, black ceramic, or brass wick holder. You could outfit an entire patio for the price of a couple bottles of Baby Bourbon. Available online or at the distillery shop, 14 Gristmill Lane in Gardiner, where you can also pick up some fine whiskey to set the mood for your new lamps. Tuthilltown.com.

Bench, Your Name Is Mud

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Get ready for the upcoming warm, wet spring—and muddy shoes!—with the Mudroom Boot Bench, available exclusively from Hillsdale General Store. Opened earlier this year by interior designer Matthew White in the building that housed Dimmick’s General Store in the early 20th century, Hillsdale General Store features classic American-made merchandise, from Case pocket knives to baskets and brooms to locally made honey, maple syrup, and pickles. There’s also an old-fashioned candy counter. “I love old American companies that stay true to their vision and great classic products,” says White. Hillsdale General Store also sells practical and durable furniture pieces made exclusively for the store by local artisans, like the Mudroom Boot Bench. Measuring 40” L x 17-3/4” W x 19” H (not including the console for keys and other doodads), the bench costs $895 and is made of hand-wrought iron, jute webbing, galvanized steel, and reclaimed barn wood. Hillsdalegeneralstore.com.

Put That Knife Away

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Last fall, Sherry Jo Williams of culture+commerce project in Hudson asked several of the emerging furniture, lighting, and fine art makers she features in her gallery/showroom to create smaller, less expensive items for the holidays. Designer and furniture maker Jules Anderson of Slowood Studio (Slowoodstudios.com), who lives and works in Hudson, created the handcrafted cedar Knife Storage Box exclusively for culture+commerce project. Simple, handsome, and functional, the box’s cedar is nautical grade—ideal for wet environments like kitchens—and the inserts are naturally anti-microbial bamboo. The inserts also allow the knives to move freely without dulling blades, as traditional knife blocks tend to do. The bamboo inserts are easily removed for cleaning, or for easy repurposing: Just pop in a glass vase for a chic wooden flower box. Two standard sizes (large: $225; small: $200), plus custom options. Available at culture+commerce project, 428 Warren Street, Hudson. Facebook.com/culture+commerceproject.

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