by Brett Konen
Bitters are an alluring ingredient. Originally intended for medicinal purposes, today’s flavor options run the gamut from celery to lavender…
In addition to the culinary/agritourism powerhouse of Cobble Hill, BC’s Merridale Estate Cidery (bistro, ciders, events, etc.) is their distillery. Rick Pipes, co-owner of the Cowichan Valley’s popular Merridale Cider with his wife Janet Docherty, decided to study the craft of fruit brandy and eaux de vies after mastering the art of traditional cider-making.
“There are a lot of gins out there that hit you directly with powerful herbal notes,” explains Christian Krogstad, founder of House Spirits Distillery and distiller of Aviation American Gin. “With Aviation, we were going for less of the bright, ‘green’ flavors and more of the ‘brown’ flavors—the earthier notes.”
Say juniper-forward gins are conversational: this one is a covert exchange under the breath.
Seattle radio station KISW 99.9 ROCK might be best known for “The Men’s Room” program, their midday weekday program comprised of four male DJs, music, pranks, spirited commentary and beverage-based collaborations. The first was The Men’s Room Ale, a red ale brewed by Elysian Brewing that donates a large portion of its profits to Puget Sound Fisher House. Now comes Worker’s No.
Bitters. So you’ve heard about them in cocktails and food recipes. It’s now a buzzy, bandied about word, you see teeny bottles lining back bars, but you’re still not quite sure what it is or how to use it?
Chef Jonathan Chovancek and mixologist Lauren Mote created Bittered Sling Extracts and quickly carved out a niche both locally and internationally for their unique and diverse specialty cocktail creations.
Brandy Peak Distillery is Southern Oregon’s oldest legal distillery. Opening in 1993 with the country’s only two legal “wood-fired pot stills,” the Brookings, Ore., distillery began their first run of brandies a year later on their 57-acre lot, amidst wild blackberry bushes, shrubs and more.
“East Van Vodka—a Tribute to East Van
For the makers and doers, the dreamers and inventors. For the artists and artisans, the hardworking and the inspired. This spirit is for the odd ones. It’s for the proud and the quirky, the charming and misunderstood.”
This new artisan vodka certainly is charming and it should be proud, for it’s delicious. And hopefully it won’t be misunderstood as just another high-octane, flavorless vodka.
Specialty purveyors of craft fruit brandies and brandy-based liqueurs, Stone Barn Brandyworks uses only regional fruit for their spirits. When it’s not the produce-yielding season, founders Sebastian and Erika Degens move their production more toward whiskey but fruit is the focus in the end. A native of Germany where his family made fruit brandies, Sebastian melds his inheritance with the abundance of unadulterated Northwest fruit.
Your New Year’s Eve celebration is probably set to include some of the usual suspects: resolutions, friends and maybe even a bubbly bottle for when the ball drops. But, if you’re looking to infuse your evening with something a little different, then you’ve come to the right place. Kickoff 2014 right with some uniquely crafted cocktail just in time for your New Year’s Eve celebration.
Hornby Island’s Island Spirits Distillery is the little Phrog that could. A foundation of three partners in British Columbia gave way to two in early 2010 with the departure of winemaker John Grayson, and it is now run by icebreaker captain and distiller Pete Kimmerly and professor of organic chemistry Naz Abdurahman.