Three New Locally-made Spirits

A.J. Rathbun

In the April issue of Seattle magazine, I shake up five new (to me) local spirits.

But they aren’t the only new local liquors or liqueurs in town. One of the offshoots of our local distillery explosion (which I detailed in another article) is the growing number of fresh offerings from our expanding crop of Washington State distillers. Consider the three spirits listed below to be three more reasons why our state is becoming a center of cocktail culture.

Ask for them at your local bar or the pick them up at the distilleries or a store to whip up masterful mixtures at home that will entrance your pals and cement your reputation as a home bartender supreme (to help you out, I’ve suggested some drinks you might want to mix using the spirits).

Woodinville Whiskey Company Microbarreled Rye

There hasn’t been a rye produced in Washington state since prohibition, until now. I think the wait was worth it. Smooth and spicy with just a hint of a kick on the trailing end, this spirit is made from 100% rye and aged in charred oak. It’s ideal for sipping neat with a single ice cube or a splash of clear water, or as a base spirit in cocktails both classic and current. I recently served it to a whole host of whiskey lovers via Manhattans using the following classic recipe and it was a huge hit (so much so that my bottle is now empty). To make: Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add 2-1/2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey Company rye, 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth, and a dash or orange bitters. Stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Sun Liquor Gun Club Gin

It’s hard to believe that one distillery could have two distinctively delicious gins in such a short time, but Sun Liquor has done it. Gun Club, as the name might have you guessing, is a bit more muscular than the Hedgetrimmer, bursting with juniper backed by rich spice notes. It recently won a well-deserved gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is a gin that should be savored year-round. I think it shines in the early 1900’s favorite, the Bronx cocktail--this version of the recipe is from Good Spirits and demands fresh orange juice:  Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces Gun Club gin, 3/4 ounces sweet vermouth, 3/4 ounces dry vermouth (I suggest Dolin sweet and dry vermouths), and 1-1/2 ounces orange juice. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange slice.

Mischief Gin
Using a collection of hand-selected botanicals, Mischief’s gin has hints of a flowery field underlined by citrus and juniper. The gin makes you dream of sunny days; and its light demeanor makes it ideal for mingling it into drinks like the Refroidisseur de Mardi. I first detailed this simple pleasure on Spiked Punch and strongly suggest you put it into your summer rotation:  Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces Mischief gin, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Shake well. Fill three-quarters of a highball glass with ice cubes. Strain the mix into the glass. Top with Perrier Lemon sparkling water and stir carefully. Garnish with a lemon wheel.