The Best Local Liquor to Stock in Your Home Bar

A.J. Rathbun and five of Seattle’s bar stars recommend their favorite local booze
stock your home bar best local liquor

THE PANEL:
Andrew Friedman, Liberty Bar
Andrew Bohrer, Vinum Importing
Courtney Matzke, Rob Roy
Kenaniah Bystrom, Essex
Amanda Reed, Tavern Law
A.J. rathbun, Seattle magazine

VODKA
Rain City Spirits Vodka (SoDo; $22–$26, retail; drinkraincity.com)
“This is very solid vodka, great in martinis or Cosmopolitans. It doesn’t taste like ethanol, and has good balance.” —Kenaniah Bystrom



Seattle Distilling Company Rocket Vodka (Vashon Island; $42; seattledistillingcompany.com)
“With oodles of grain and spice flavor, and a delicate kiss of sweet on the finish, this vodka is made with Palouse-grown wheat.” —A.J. Rathbun

Project V Single Silo Vodka (Woodinville; $29.99; projectvdistillery.com)
“It is round and rich on the palate with a nice clean finish. It’s the perfect martini vodka and also great for mixing.” —Amanda Reed



GIN

Sun Liquor Gun Club Gin (Capitol Hill; $32; sunliquor.com) “This gin’s higher proof brings an extra dimension in drinks. But the botanicals also still shine, and the spiciness makes this a great wintertime gin.” —Courtney Matzke


Captive Spirits Big Gin (Ballard; $30; captivespiritsdistilling.com)
“It has everything you want from a traditional gin. Juniper punches you in the face, the bitter orange wakes you up, the coriander romances you, and the Tasmanian pepperberry breaks your heart.” —K.B.


Pacific Distillery Voyager (Woodinville; $32.99*; pacificdistillery.com) “This really is the local go-to for a well-crafted cocktail and martini-friendly gin.” —Andrew Friedman

WHISKEY

Golden Distillery Samish Bay Single Malt Whiskey (Bow; $39.95; goldendistillery.com) “Honey, vanilla, malt, brown sugar and oak notes make this whiskey dandy for sipping, as well as for using in cocktails.” —A.J.R.

Woodinville Whiskey Microbarrelled Bourbon (Woodinville, $49.95; woodinvillewhiskeyco.com) “By the time you read this, Woodinville will have released their first full-sized barrel bourbon. From all reports, it’ll be as smooth as the small-barrel version, with even more flavor.” —Andrew Bohrer

Westland Distillery American Single Malt Whiskey (SoDo; $55; westlanddistillery.com) “A new and much anticipated entry into the local market, this whiskey has floral notes mingling with its muscularity. It could well be America’s first great single malt whiskey.” —A.F.

LIQUEURS
Letterpress Distillery Limoncello
(SoDo; $32.95; letterpressdistilling.com) “A smidge sweeter than what you might get from your Italian grandmother, but with brilliant lemon flavor. This really is a great example of an internationally made product, but done terrifically well here in Seattle.” —A.F.

Sound Spirits Depth Crème de Cacao (Interbay; $45; drinksoundspirits.com) “Using chocolate nibs from local hit Fran’s Chocolates during the distilling process, this has a subtle and lovely chocolate flavor that will change how you think about chocolate liqueurs.” —A.J.R.

Sidetrack Distillery Fruit Liqueurs (Kent, $20, 350-milliliter bottle; sidetrackdistillery.com) “Sidetrack makes a line of fruit liqueurs and eau de vie that are delicious. Picked and infused from fresh fruit, these liqueurs are bright and elegant.” —A.R.