Old Ballard Liquor Co. Alskar Aquavit Citron

by Brett Konen

Layer upon layer of lemony citrus complicates the caraway-flavored base liquor that anchors Old Ballard Liquor Co.’s Alskar Aquavit Citron….


Absinthe, the high-proof, herbal elixir had its heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s, particular among artists, painters and writers in European cities like Paris. It was eventually banned in the United States until around 2007. But absinthe is back! Along with the resurgence and renewed interest in classic cocktails like the Corpse Reviver #2 and the Sazerac, absinthe is being produced around the world, including several producers in the Pacific Northwest.

At week’s end, Halloween night will finally be upon us—the culminating celebration of October. This means the final stop for the season’s Haunted Northwest tour, and we’re going out with a bang. Courtesy of Victoria, BC historian, storyteller and Canadian supernatural television star John Adams, this year-round program exists to satiate appetites for morbid curiosity as well as otherworldly eats.

Continuing to highlight vodkas that play up the flavors of their base rather than obscure them, Bainbridge Organic Distillers’ Legacy Organic Vodka joins the list. Bainbridge’s meticulous “grain to glass” process results in a complex spirit that defies perceptions of fine vodka as tasteless. Earlier this year it garnered the title of World’s Best Vodka at the World Vodka Awards in London.

Two spirits aficionados, Peter Szilard and Gwydion Stone, have joined forces for their Stone & Szilard Distilling project in Seattle. One of their initial efforts is the Foxtrot Gin, a classic London dry style that takes tasters through a time-lapse of botanical flavors and aromas. The juniper, for its part, is unmistakable in pouring a measure from the 86 proof bottle.

It’s that time of year when the skies are as dark when you’re drinking your morning coffee, as they are when you’re imbibing on that evening’s cocktail. Coffee long ago found it’s way into spirits, but many of them are overly sweet and cloying, which doesn’t have quite the same appeal to the denizens in this IPA-loving corner of the country.

Last week, We Dig took a peek at the morbid history (and authentic bites and beverage offerings) behind one of Seattle’s most haunted Irish pubs. Today, we rendezvous in Portland for our next supernatural destination.

At the first sip of Ransom’s “The Vodka,” it’s unmistakable: this is not a clear spirit distilled to fade away behind mixers. Though many consider that the mark of a good vodka, The Vodka aims at showcasing the barley flavor it started off with.

Each Tuesday throughout October, We Dig is putting the “boo” in booze, dishing up a weekly dose of Halloween spirit for our readers. Prepare for chilling lore behind a few favorite Northwest bars and eateries that double as supernatural hotspots. First stop on our haunted Northwest tour: Washington.

The best are back, from wine, beer and spirits to travel, cider and more.
Sip Northwest magazine is excited to release our third annual Best of the Northwest issue, showcasing the top travel spots, industry influencers, wine, beer, spirits, cider and more that are now crowned “2014 Best of the Northwest.

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