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40 Under 40 Tastemaker 2019

Leslie Merinoff, 32

Cofounder/Co-distiller, Matchbook Distilling Co.;

Partner/Bartender, The Lin Beach House/Days Like These, Greenport, NY

Making it personal

Years of work with big-name liquor brands gave Merinoff­ insight into just how few craft spirits make their way to the American market. In the summer of 2018, she decided to change that. Merinoff­ lobbied for New York State Assembly Bill A10128A, which, after its passage into law, allowed New York State distilleries to create spirits for private, un­licensed individuals. She then cofounded Long Island-based Matchbook Distilling Co., a commission-based bespoke distillery and incubator that allows anyone to create small-batch spirits. Merinoff also bartends at Days Like These, the bar located inside a hotel where she has part ownership, and is currently a board member at Brooklyn-based Brownsville Community Culinary Center.