Hello spirit, liqueur, cocktail and local distillery lover. Flowers are blooming, the sun is (at least here and there) shining and we’ve also got a host of interesting new spirit and liqueur releases and news to share.
Local Craft Tours: If you’ve been waiting for an easier way to visit a number of local distilleries and learn more about the Washington state spirit scene (while not worrying about driving to do it) you’re in luck. Local Craft Tours is a new distillery tour company that takes folks around to visit our awesome local distilleries. Co-owner Tara Fuller says it’s like a “speakeasy on wheels.” The tour gives participants some local bar history and modern craft cocktail and Washington state distilling history, as well as a tasty cocktail, three distillery tours, spirits tasting, snacks and transportation.
Bluewater Halcyon Organic Gin: Recently voted Best Washington Gin for 2013 by the Seattle Gin Society, Halcyon is made at the distillery in the Craftsman District of the Port of Everett from 100 percent organic ingredients. A juniper-forward style gin in the London Dry style, this new gin goes wonderfully in a nice and easy gin and tonic and in other cocktails, and comes in glass bottles made in America (a rare occurrence). Stop by the distillery six days a week to taste the gin (and its vodka) and to learn more about how it supports, promotes, and practices environmentally responsible distilling.
Letterpress Distilling Limoncello: One of my favorite summer drinks is the Italian liqueur limoncello, which is like sunshine in a bottle. It’s delicious served extra chilled by itself, mixed into a cocktail or with a splash of soda over ice. Now, local Letterpress Distilling has unveiled its version, which is made with honey syrup sans artificial flavorings or colorings. If you’ve haven’t had limoncello before, or have had a bad one (sadly many made in the US are), be sure to stop by Letterpress Distilling to sample a good one (it also has vodka to taste). The distillery is open Saturday and Sunday from 12–6 p.m. and two hours before every Sounders and Mariners game.
2bar Spirits Moonshine and Vodka: Being on the state distillery scene a mere six months, 2bar Spirits is focused on releasing products that are 100 percent local and 100 percent made on site. It currently has a vodka and a moonshine available for local spirit lovers, with the former made from Washington wheat and the latter made from Washington corn. 2bar also has a great story (a fine accompaniment to any sipping): it is named after 2bar ranch in south Texas, a ranch that’s been in distiller Nathan Kaiser’s family for five generations. Learn more at the distillery, which is open every day from 2 to 6 p.m.
Taste a Host of Local Spirits: PROOF, The Washington Distillers festival, is happening on June 15 at the Foundry (formerly Urban Enoteca) at 6 p.m. and will feature more than 30 distillers from Washington state. There will be a chance to taste an incredible range of locally made spirits and liqueurs, as well as a chance to learn more about the distillery industry and the folks who are making it one of the best in the country. Fest attendees will also have the chance to sample bites from top restaurants. It’s a great way to learn more about drinking locally. The awesome Washington Distillers Guild is hosting PROOF.