Remember those sweet, spicy date cookies with the brown butter frosting that your grandma used to make every year at Christmas? Well, KennLueur Liqueur is kind of like that.
Dreamed up by RiverSands Distillery in Kennewick, Washington, the unique liqueur is based in RiverSands’ grape brandy (from Columbia Valley Merlot), imbued with a brown-sugary sweetness thanks to a combination of sugar and honey, and complicated with a quick infusion of fresh rosemary for a subtly floral aroma and finish.
Sound Spirits in Seattle is well-known among cocktail enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest. They were one of the pioneers of the craft distilling industry, entering the market in 2010 with their Ebb & Flow Vodka and Gin. Today, Sound Spirits has added liqueurs to their line-up. Their Depth line of liqueurs include cacao, menthe and an herbal liqueur called Vow of Silence.
There is a distinct difference between chocolate liqueurs and cacao (and creme de cacao) liqueurs.
Tequila, which must be made in the Mexican state of Jalisco, isn’t often considered a hometown spirit in the Northwest, but Papa Bueno is making a bid to be known as the Seattle tequila. Founded by Scott Greenburg, a Seattle-based attorney, the company has become a tight-knit, family-and-friends-run operation that controls Papa Bueno’s distillation process as well as importation and distribution in Seattle and surrounding areas (a reach likely to widen in the near future).
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The hulking metal door to Seattle’s MistralKitchen serves both as a guardian from the Northwest elements and as a portal to the culinary collaborative world that is chef/owner William Belickis’ multi-concept restaurant.
Stein Distillery is situated in little Joseph, Oregon (population of barely over 1,000), where it proudly claims the title of Eastern Oregon’s first microdistillery. Since 2009 the Stein family has used grain grown on its own farm in carefully executed family recipes, leveraging the distilling process and consistent small-batch methods to let the ingredients’ true colors shine through.
For all the fame Clyde Common has earned for its James Beard-nominated bar program (currently it’s a semifinalist for 2015, having also been nominated the past three years running), it’s easy to forget that the Rose City institution was opened in 2007 with just as much a focus on food, and that that focus hasn’t wavered since.
The local food movement is widespread in the Pacific Northwest, from farmers’ markets to restaurant menus. When it comes to cocktails however, our farms and producers—while bountiful—still have some limitations. Locally produced gin and vodka are plentiful, but what about specialty liqueurs and citrus?
Bartender Shawn Soole has lived in British Columbia for nearly 10 years.
At J.P. Trodden Distilling in Woodinville, Washington, owner and distiller Mark Neishem will always have materials for a Manhattan on-hand. A distillery amongst the wine-saturated warehouses of northern Woodinville, Neishem says he wanted to do something to set himself apart as a tasting room.
Most people aren’t approached without warning and asked to open a distillery. And Nin Truong and Christa Thomas already had plenty going on when they were offered that very opportunity.
“It was pretty much out of the blue,” says Thomas, whose past successes as a local small business owner with partner Truong had led to their being contacted by the global Our/Vodka brand in November of 2013. “We definitely had to think about it.