|The beginning of another new year means the holidays are over and winter is hanging around for another a few months. It’s the perfect time to indulge in a tasty glass of gin to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. With artisanal gins popping up around Seattle’s supermarkets, finding the bottle that best suits your taste buds is a welcoming adventure during your Seattle vacation stay.
Here in the Puget Sound, local gin production has recently bloomed due to a new legislation. In the summer of 2008, craft distilleries were permitted establishment in Washington State as long as 50% of the ingredients used to make liquors and spirits were sourced in the state. Seattle now has more distilleries than any other city in the country. Maybe best of all, there’s nothing but support from each distiller – you won’t find harsh rivalry here, folks!
A quintessential cocktail spirit, gin is a true classic. How it’s made truly represents the flavor and quality for your best cocktail experience. For most big brand out-of-state distillers, they will bring a neutral grain spirit and select a botanical flavoring to add: juniper berries, sometimes citrus, and maybe other spices, too. If juniper is predominate within the gin then it can be legally classified as gin. Any other flavor profile that is distinguished is all due to the creativity and resources of the distillery.
Many Washington’s distilleries use a neutral base derived from wheat, rye, corn, honey, potatoes, apples, grapes, malted barley, or even mixed fruits. Starting with a base that has flavor adds to the overall outcome of the gin. There are three ways of adding additional flavor to gin: compounding, maceration, or distillation. Compounding is where botanicals are added directly to the gin. Maceration is where flavors are compounded into the spirit which is then distilled to remove impurities. Distillation is where botanicals are introduced into the vaporized spirit at various stages of the distillation process. Aging in different barrels also adds to the different flavors of the finished spirit.
During your stay here in Seattle, be sure to check out some of the distilleries and bars below to find the perfect bottle of gin to accommodate your taste buds.
Copperworks Distilling Company – Voted Best Distillery in Seattle Magazine’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards
Sun Liquor Distillery – Their Gun Club Gin is popular with customers and staff
OOLA Distillery – A micro-distillery located in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood
Zig Zag Café – Near Pike Place Market!
Bathtub Gin & Co. – A cozy drinking establishment in Belltown/Gin Alley
Liberty – A neighborhood bar and coffee house in Capitol Hill