Grazers: Moonstruck Chocolates and Multnomah Whiskey Library

by Megan Walsh

“Decadent,” “rich,” and “sweet” are all words we easily familiarize with the flavors of chocolates and truffles, but Moonstruck Chocolate…

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Benton City, Washington’s Col Solare Winery isn’t yet licensed to sample their exceptional grappa at their tasting room, but let me take the guesswork out of the equation for you—it’s worth diving in and buying a whole bottle.
Col Solare was born as a Red Mountain collaboration between the team behind Chateau Ste. Michelle and celebrated Italian winemaker Marchese Piero Antinori.

Seattle-based Captive Spirits Distilling has captivated gin lovers since they opened in 2012, and launched their flagship Big Gin. Around that same time however, owner and distiller Ben Capdevielle was also creating something a little different. Inspired by the fact that many of the world’s premium spirits are aged in used bourbon barrels, Capdevielle was also aging Big Gin.

Seattle-based distiller Skip Tognetti named his operation Letterpress to allude to how he makes his spirits—by hand, so it’s apparent to anyone who tastes them that the finished product was created with intention and care (read more about it here). Letterpress Distilling’s vodka is no exception to this doctrine.

A Seattle suburb that once housed the headquarters for both wholesale giant Costco and world champion Seattle Seahawks, Kirkland, Washington is now a vibrant beach community with a tourism draw of its own. From dog-friendly cafés on the waterfront to privately-owned local boutiques and a new pedestrian walkway, Kirkland is on the up-and-up.
As the first cocktail bar of its kind to open in the town, Bottle and Bull sets a standard for the city that borders Lake Washington.

The iris has long been prized for its colorful beauty, delicate aroma and noble connotations. Since the Renaissance it has symbolized the long-flourishing Italian city of Florence, where the world’s most famous iris garden can be found. Today irises still decorate the surrounding Italian region of Tuscany. Eugene, Oregon-based Elixir, Inc., founded by Florence-born Andrea Loreto, celebrates the flower’s long, storied history, and gives a nod to its Italian tradition, with Iris Liqueur.

Monsoon restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood recently launched a series of spirits flights to educate guests on various spirits. And the best part is that the flights are half price after 9 pm. Each flight contains three, 1-ounce pours of one style of spirits. They are generally classic sipping spirits like whiskey, cognac, agave-based spirits and eau de vies. Learning never tasted so good.

PROOF, the 2015 Washington Distiller’s Festival, ttakes place July 11 at Fremont Studios from 5:30-9:00 pm. The event is hosted by the Washington Distiller’s Guild, a non-profit made to promote the success of local spirits within Washington.
This one day event will feature rums, vodka, gin and more from more than 40 distillers right here in the Pacific Northwest.

Lavender is a delicate flavor to concentrate into a liqueur, but as Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs does nothing but what their name suggests, who better to take on the task?
Though less than a year old, the Lacey, Washington-based producers have already experimented with ingredients as diverse as fennel, chrysanthemum and hibiscus.

“Oh say can you… sip!” On the cusp of Fourth of July weekend, I care less about fireworks and more about what kinds of libations and sustenance I’ll be stocking my cooler with. After all, it’s not a celebration without a spread worthy of the occasion.
Feeling extra festive, I decided to opt for a simple, elegant and absolutely delish dessert that’s easy to make, easy to transport and even easier to eat. You won’t even need to turn your oven on for this one.

 
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