Our Spirits portfolio is selected to mirror the philosophy of our wine portfolio. We work with distillers who are local, fun to work with, and represent the best and most classic representations of their craft. Our Spirits portfolio is managed by Andrew Bohrer, whose many years experience bartending and shaping the cocktail scene in Seattle, brings to us the type of passion we seek to deliver to you.

Andrew Bohrer Bio

Andrew’s father told him to be a Playboy photographer by day and a jazz musician by night. At the age of four, Andrew trusted his father’s aspirations to be a mandate―he remains an acceptable photographer, and a champion of the smoking jacket. He also snuck past the velvet rope with his trombone while underage, but found himself a better drink slinger than bop player. This began a questionable habit that spiraled into a suspect career behind the bar.

Andrew would hate to believe that drinking and serving whiskey eclipsed playing trombone, but this is somewhat true. Now, he just forces people to listen to J. J. Johnson while he crafts classic drinks and builds tomorrow’s. His father deals with it.

Andrew Bohrer dipsographs in a surly fashion at caskstrength.wordpress.com various drinky periodicals and recently authored The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried: 100+ Intoxicating Oddities You’ll Actually Want to Put Down, a book that he did not title. He gives seminars at Tales of the Cocktail ranging from chef’s knives to chainsaws; topics for which he is well versed. Bohrer is a co-founder of the Washington State Bartender’s Guild. Bohrer was a former bartender at Vessel and Rob Roy. He was the opening bar manager at both Naga Cocktail Lounge and Mistral Kitchen―all 4 bars listed in Food and Wine’s top 100 bars in the world. Bohrer is currently a ronin bartender, mixology consultant and the spirits educator & portfolio manager for Vinum Importing & Distribution. He can also open a bottle of beer faster than any mortal.


History of Distillation

Spirits are made using a process known as distillation. Distillation is used to separate out and then concentrate liquids with different volatility. In principal for spirit production this procedure relies on the different boiling points of ethanol (78.5C) and water (100C). In simple form: An alcoholic liquid is heated to 78.5C and the vapor is then condensed and collected. The first clear evidence of distilled alcoholic beverages are found in Asia dating to around 800 BC. The Japanese distilled Shochu from sake (rice wine), Arrack was made in India from a mix of rice and molasses, and in the Caucasus mountains (modern day Georgia) Skhou was distilled from mare’s milk. There are some records pointing to a type of distillation used by the Egyptians to create perfumes, but the evidence is not conclusive. Greek alchemists in Alexandria in the first century AD began to improve on just basic steam collecting devices and developed the first stills. As Europe descended into the Dark Ages it was ironically (Islam forbids alcohol consumption) the medieval Arabs who continued the distillation research. It would appear that their research was directed towards perfumes and purifying water rather than creating alcoholic beverages. In the Middle Ages of Europe the earliest evidence of alcoholic distillation comes from Salerno in southern Italy in the 12th century. It was not until 1437 however that the production of brandy (using wine as a base for distillation) is first noted. In the 14th Century the popularity of distilled spirits rose and were commonly used as medicinal remedies for the Black Death. The basic process of distillation today has not changed very much since the 9th Century. Many distillers actually prefer traditional methods to the modern techniques that can also be used. The traditional French alembic copper pot stills are widespread across Europe and America, the personal touch each of these stills provides is highly touted and coveted.

Distillation Process

For the production of spirits two methods are used for 95% of the spirits produced. The single batch pot still and the continuous method also known as the Coffey or Patent still. The pot still is the easiest to understand. The alcoholic liquid to be concentrated is heated until it reaches the boiling point of the alcohol to be separated off. (In reality temperature is not the determining factor, but the vapor pressure in the liquid. However to make the explanation slightly simpler with less reference to Raoult’s Law and Dalton’s Law, we will assume temperature.) The alcohol evaporates and rises as steam up a small pipe at the top of the vessel, as it moves along the pipe it will cool down and condense into a liquid which can easily be collected. Continuous distillation continuously (as the name would suggest) removes the distillates and replenishes the source material. Generally two different columns which feed into each other are used, the less volatile components are constantly re-condensing and then being re-disitlled. This results in a very pure end product and is used when purity is the goal.

Types of Spirits

Spirits are generally categorized by the base from which they were distilled. Hence there are Grain, Fruit, and Vegetable spirits depending on what was fermented to make the base liquid. The most famous of the fruit spirits is probably Brandy where the base is wine made from grapes. Grain spirits usually use a beer like base and the most common are Whiskeys.

Spirit Producers

To help narrow your search please enter a Producer or type of spirit into the search box.
Types of Spirits producedProducer PictureAbout the Producer
Absinthe, GinPacific Distillery Pacific Distillery is a small, family-owned-and-operated distillery located in the heart of Woodinville, Washington's wine country, just north of Seattle. We specialize in making world-class hand-made spirits using old-world methods, recipes and equipment.
Pacifique utilizes the knowledge accumulated from years of running their small family herb business to good use. Botanical samplings from around the world, in addtion to what they have grown in their garden are combined to make the best spirits possible.
Pacifique uses one of the old style copper pot stills to distill their Absinthe and Gin.

Making old world spirits requires old world skills and old world equipment. Since their products are single-batch, hand-made spirits, it only makes sense for them to use an alambic pot still that was made with this craft in mind. Pacifique is committed to the methods of spirit-making that were practiced by the craft distillers of the 19th Century.
Another reason for choosing a traditional copper still is the chemical properties copper exerts during the distillation. Copper has excellent heat-transfer capabilities, resistance to corrosion from wine being distilled into brandy, and copper chemically neutralizes many of the unwanted flavors that can ruin a liquor.
The botanicals used in Pacifique spirits range from familiar aromatic spices like citrus zests, cinnamon, anise and juniper, to hard-to-find and exotic items such as roman wormwood and florentine fennel.

Pacifique Absinthe Verte Supérieure
A super-premium absinthe, hand-crafted in the historic Franco-Swiss style. Pacifique is made in exact accordance to a classic 1855 French recipe, and faithfully represents a recreation of the kind of absinthe one would drink in 19th century France. Pacifique is artisan distilled using historic distilling techniques in a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still. By using only the finest grain spirits and selected botanicals chosen from around the globe, we insure a truly world class product that reflects the undeniable qualities of the art of traditional distilling.
Wormwood, green anise and fennel are often called the "Holy Trinity" of absinthe botanicals. Virtually every true quality absinthe of the Belle Époque era was founded on a delicate balance between these three ingredients. The sweet, spicy, robust flavors of the anise and fennel are wonderfully complimented by the fresh, cool, herbal aromatics of the absinthium wormwood.

Voyager Single-Batch Distilled Gin
A gin lover's gin. That's why Voyager Gin tastes the way gin is supposed to taste: bold juniper, fresh, light citrus and mild hints of exotic spices; not like whiskey, not like vodka. And definitely not like the potpourri sitting on your grandma's dresser.
Voyager is a hand-crafted American gin in the London Dry style. It's been artisan distilled using only the finest grain spirits and select, all organic plants, herbs and spices. We choose our botanicals from around the globe to insure that Voyager is truly a world class product that carries forward the traditions of 19th century craft distillers. These ingredients are placed into a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still and carefully distilled to insure that the finished flavor and aromas are fully integrated and complementary. The result is an ultra-premium spirit that mixes perfectly in your favorite gin-based cocktail: from a classic dry Martini to a refreshing Gin & Tonic, or one of the many great new creations by today's talented mixologists - Voyager is a gin that epitomizes the essence of cocktail culture.

For distillery and product information, please see: www.pacificdistillery.com
Anise, Limoncello, SambucaMelettiThe Silvio Meletti Company was founded in 1870 by Silvio Meletti. The roots of this company and its successful products are to be found even further back. Silvio Meletti was raised in a poor family and soon quit his study to help his mother at work; his mother ran a small store and, among many other items, sold home-made anise liquor which was very popular among her customers.

Silvio Meletti also used his talent for commercializing his products; he used to give liquor bottles as presents to people he trusted in neighboring towns so the liquor would be known outside his town. Therefore, the company product markets, productivity and personnel quickly increased.

The anise distillation is an old tradition in Ascoli and it is still possible today to find exquisite quality home-made anise distillates especially in farmers’ homes. Silvio Meletti learned his mother’s technique and recipes and started studying French essays on distillation (His family still owns his book dated 1700) and after several experiments, he enhanced the recipe and distillation technique that is still used today to obtain the Anisetta Meletti.

This main ingredient is green anise (Pimpinella anisum), a type of anise typical of the Mediterranean area; green anise is strongly aromatic because of the clay nature of the soil in the Marche region and particularly in the Ascoli area. The anise of these lands is, in fact, two or three times more fragrant than the anise in other Mediterranean areas.

The recipe and the distillation procedure used originally in 1870 are the same used today by the Meletti heirs and the Meletti family. They are still a family owned company with the fifth generation now at the helm.

Anisetta was not the only big creation Silvio Meletti left to his successors. His second creation was in a way a “daughter” of the first one; in 1903 he bought for 24,150 Italian liras the Royal Post Office building located in Piazza del Popolo, the town main square. In few years, he completely remodeled the whole building and transformed it in one of the most beautiful Italian coffee houses and one of the most important Art Deco building in Italy: the historic Caffè Meletti.
Caffè Meletti has been and still is not only the gathering place of Ascoli life but also the city symbol in Italy and the world. It is renowned for the quality of its service and pastries: the Pierina pastry, created in honor of Silvio Meletti’s wife Pierina, is very famous.
The Caffè was sold in 1991 by the Meletti family and is now property of the Ascoli Piceno Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio.

Anisetta Meletti was invented and produced for the first time in 1870 by Silvio Meletti, who developed and improved an aniseed-based liquor produced by hand in his mother’s small shop. Anisetta Meletti has a very delicate taste and a special aroma that comes from the quality of the aniseed (Pimpinella Anisum) carefully cultivated in certain areas of clay soil around Ascoli Piceno.

Anisetta Meletti is still produced with the systems developed and established in 1870. The most important point of the production is the alcohol distillation with aniseeds.
The alcohol absorbs the aromatic part of the aniseed thanks to the type of stills.

Amaro Meletti comes from an old recipe of the ancient Meletti family and it is the result of a blend of excellent aromatic herbs. It is a very good after-dinner, with ice and without ice too.

Dutch milk and cocoa are mixed to make a delicious and creamy spirit. Meletti chocolate is tasted as a classic punch, at room temperature, with ice or with ice-cream too.

It is obtained by the extraction of the essential oil of the lemon peels and it is well known for its perfect balance among alcohol, sugar and lemon. It is kept on freezer and it is served ice-cold.

It is strong drink obtained by a mixture of water, alcohol, sugar and aromatic herbs coming from the aniseeds.

For more product and winery information, plus tasting & technical notes and accolades, please see:
Gin, VodkaSun Liquor DistillerySun Liquor Lounge opened in Capitol Hill in May of 2006. Located on Summit Avenue it has served as an intimate neighborhood scratch cocktail lounge. The drinks here are made using fresh squeezed juices and in-house made syrups and bitters.

Sun Liquor Distillery opened in March 2011 at 514 E Pike Street in Seattle.
Head distiller Erik Chapman and Founder Michael Klebeck worked tirelessly for several years to figure out how to make this dream a reality.

In the Fall of 2011 they debuted their flagship Hedge Trimmer gin; this was
followed by their award winning UNXLD vodka and robust Naval Strength Gun Club gin.

Hedge Trimmer Gin
The flagship gin is distilled from organic wheat and flavored with nine fresh and dried botanicals. This gin is the perfect balance, it is gentle enough to drink its own and yet flavored to make wonderful cocktails.

Gun Club Gin

Robust strength and 13 botanicals are what make this gin in a class of its own.
It has a heavily spiced flavor and is made with seasonal ingredients. This gin is great for spirit forward cocktails.

This vodka is distilled slowly four times using organic wheat and then rested until bottled. This award winning vodka is clean and smooth.

For distillery and product information, please see: www.sunliquor.com
Gin, VodkaSound Distillery
Ebb + Flow

Ready for a little local flavor?
Ebb + Flow Vodka and Gin — the first craft spirits to be distilled in Seattle since Prohibition. The vodka and gin is made one slow batch at a time, with hometown pride.

Ebb + Flow Vodka is a single malt vodka made from 100% Washington Palouse Malted Barley that has notes of vanilla and just a hint of natural sweetness.
Ebb + Flow Gin is amazing to sip, but is also crafted to bring out the best in classic cocktails, with a rich balance of flavors: herbal, citrus and spice.

The first distillery in Seattle since the prohibition, Sound Spirits currently makes and gin and vodka from its 15th street Interbay location. It is run by friendly Boeing engineer Steven Stone in his off hours. After putting in a full day at Boeing, where he works as an aerospace engineer, Stone spends his evenings turning Washington state barley into vodka.
Stone has had a long interest in home brewing beer, but the idea to produce spirits came about two years ago from his friendship with Christian Krogstad, one of the owners of House Spirits, a leader in Portland’s booming craft distillery scene. Krogstad was finding success producing things like Aviation Gin. He wrote a business plan, found seven investors and went to work.
With help from his wife and one volunteer, Stone began working to produce barley-based vodka. Most vodka is made from wheat and potatoes, but Stone was aiming for something different. He wanted to use all local ingredients and barley, along with wheat, is one of the primary grain crops grown in Washington. Barley has a distinctive taste, Stone says, “a touch sweet,” and he’d be using the grain in the future to make whiskey.
The end result is Ebb + Flow.
GinHayman's Old Tom GinHayman's Old Tom Gin is produced from an original Old Tom Gin recipe from the family archives. Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin that consequently delivers a balanced and mild undertone which results in a subtle and distinctive gin experience.
Specified in the recipes of numerous classic gin based cocktails, it provides balance and nuance unique to its style and long tradition.
Hayman Distillers is the longest serving family owned gin distiller in England today. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is made under the careful supervision of our Chairman, Christopher Hayman.

Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin that was particularly popular in the 18th Century and was the Gin of Choice in the 19th Century.
In comparison to London Dry Gin, the Old Tom style delivers a more rounded taste experience with depth. The distinctive Old Tom Gin profile is the key ingredient in classic gin cocktails such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz.
The style of Old Tom is renowned for its botanical intensity balanced by a light sweetness, which imparts a more complex experience than other styles of gin. Old Tom Gin was traditionally made from grain spirit and distilled in a pot still with Juniper berries being the most dominant botanical in the recipe.
Distillation methods in the 18th Century did not produce a particularly clean or pure spirit and initially Old Tom Gin was lightly sweetened to mask any impurities. The name “Old Tom Gin” comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine in England. During the Gin Craze of the 18th Century when William of Orange encouraged distillation, London was awash with spirits and the preferred style of the time was Old Tom Gin. A wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an Old Tom Cat) was mounted on a wall outside pubs. Passers by would deposit a penny in the cats mouth and would be served a shot of Old Tom Gin by the bartender through a tube between the cat’s paws.
The original company of Hayman Distillers was founded in the 1800’s by James Burrough, the great Grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. James Burrough created the world renowned Beefeater Gin. Although Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987, the Hayman family retained part of the business and continued the tradition of distilling and blending Gin and other white spirits.
GinSacred Sacred Gin is a microdistillery located in Highgate, London, it was established in 2009 by Ian Hart.
Ian studied natural sciences at Cambridge and drew on his love of alcoholic drinks to start researching distillation. Ian started by removing water from Bordeaux wines using a vacuum pump, the idea was to create richer wines from lesser vintages. He realized early on that this would never be a profitable venture and decided instead to make gin.

Sacred is unusual in that it distils its spirits under a low temperature vacuum rather than in traditional pot stills.
Sacred Gin’s recipe is based on a formula from the time of the Dutch Gift of 1660.
It is flavored with 12 different botanicals including Juniper, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Boswellia Sacra (aka Frankincense) from which the product name is derived.

Reduced temperature distillation is achieved by distilling each botanical separately under a vacuum ranging from 1/12th atmosphere to 1/6th atmosphere.
The separately distilled, low pressure, low temperature distillation combination results in Sacred achieving a bright, fresh flavor.

The scale of the production is possibly the smallest commercial gin production anywhere as Ian still manages to hand number each bottle produced.
VodkaBluewater Organic Distilling
Bluewater is proud to present ultra premium spirits that redefine and reinvigorate the market. Their mission is to bring independent and responsible spirits to inspired cocktail enthusiasts. Exclusively hand-crafted in small batches using artisan methods and natural ingredients, their spirits are born independent.

John Lundin opened his organic distillery in September of this year (2012) in a 2,500-square-foot space in the Port of Everett Marina. John originally worked in engineering, construction and project management throughout the Pacific Northwest, but moved to Colorado in 2006 to begin tinkering with distilling wheat vodka. He distilled Bluewater’s first batch of vodka there before moving back to Seattle. The new distillery in Everett is his pride and joy:

“We’re a sail-in distillery,” he says, smiling.

Specialty copper stills, hand-hammered in Portugal form the back-bone of the operation, and his use of 100% organic wheat create a beverage better suited to complement food, not so much as the kick in mixed cocktails.

The Bluewater name represents Lundin’s connection to the water as a lifelong sailor, Lundin started boating as a child with his parents, who were avid sailors. He and his wife Jessica lived aboard their 1992 Hunter 375 for more than four years at Shilshole Bay Marina before he started the distillery.
To Lundin, distilling closely parallels his love of sailing; both take learning, dedication and skill to master.

Bluewater Distilling was founded upon a strong environmental conviction, and his wife, Jessica, is finishing a post-doctorate degree in Earth-Sciences. The end result: Lundin has joined the One Percent for the Planet. This organization includes almost 1500 business throughout the world that have pledged one percent of their sales receipts to help environmental organizations.
As well as being supportive of the environment, John is supportive of the local community, his vodka is bottled in U.S.-made glass; a major source of pride for john.

Bluewater’s unusually smooth vodka, with a pleasant tinge of sweetness, is meant for sipping, straight up.

“We’ve put a lot into this to make the product the best it can be,” he says. “I want to make exquisite-tasting spirits and also have a responsible foundation for the distillery.”

The Bluewater Distillery is located at 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 116, Everett. It is open noon to 6pm most days.

For distillery and product information, please see: www.bluewatervodka.com
VodkaPür•geist Pur Geist

Each variety of pür•spirits is produced according to traditional principles by a 3rd generation artisan distiller in a remote village in southern Germany. The time-honored recipes have been passed down and refined over decades, if not centuries.
The first three varieties of pür•spirits offered in the US – pür•likör blossom, pür•likör Williams, and pür•geist framboise each won a medal at the 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

pür•geist framboise is natural and hand-crafted in the spirit of an ancient distilling tradition. Unlike many other "flavored" vodkas,pür•geist framboise contains no juices, syrups, sugar additives, artificial flavoring materials, nor anything of the sort. It acquires its essence simply from fresh, wild forest-grown raspberries.
From this hand-picked fruit, pür•geist framboise is produced according to a time-honored recipe. The result subtly embodies the tart and sweet, but earthy, aroma of the highly fragrant forest raspberries. What you experience is a finely-nuanced aroma and flavor.
pür•geist framboise captures the spirit of raspberries like no other beverage.

pür•geist sloe is natural and hand-crafted in the spirit of an ancient distilling tradition. Unlike many other "flavored" vodkas,pür•geist sloe contains no juices, syrups, sugar additives, artificial flavoring materials, nor anything of the sort. It acquires its essence simply from fresh, wild sloe berries.
From this hand-picked fruit, pür•geist sloe is produced according to a time-honored recipe that results in a complex and noble flavor.
pür•geist sloe captures the spirit of sloe berries like no other beverage.

pür•geist bierbrand is a distillation of craft-brewed German Märzen beer that is aged in a chestnut cask. The result is a rare and unique spirit that is somewhat akin to Highland Whisky, but, nevertheless, rightly occupies a category all its own.
The secret to distilling pür•geist bierbrand lies in the fine beer, brewed according to the German Reinheitsgebot, and generations of experience!
Exceptional quality is guaranteed by excluding anything but 4 ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast, and alpine spring water. In contrast to commercially mass produced liquors, pür•geist bierbrand is small batch distilled in traditional copper pot stills to extract all the beer’s nuances. New barrels impart a luminous golden color and add chestnut notes to the bierbrand’s fine maltiness.

pür•likör spice is a blood orange liqueur. Aromatic blood oranges, hints of apricots spiced with cinnamon and cloves – perfect for chasing away any winter chills.
The creation of superior liqueurs is a form of art. Handcrafted in our artisanal distillery, the intensely flavorful pür•likör spice, blood orange liqueur, balances the sweetness of the blood orange with the spice of cinnamon and cloves. It is a pleasure to sip and serves as a distinctive accent in cocktails where its intensity stands up well to other spirits and flavors.

pür•likör blossom is an elderflower liqueur embodies centuries of refinement and is crafted in accord with ancient practices in harmony with nature. Satin white elderflowers grow wild in forest clearings in the sunny climate around Lake Constance. Each spring, the distinctly floral scented star-shaped blossoms are hand-picked especially for our liqueur. They are then blended according to a tried and true formula that makes for a natural golden-copper tone, a velvety smooth aroma, and a sophisticated flavor.
pür•likör blossom, elderflower liqueur—made this way for hundreds of years—for a reason.

pür•likör williams is handmade according to traditional principles – from selecting the fruit to filling the bottles. Our pears are harvested at a precise moment in their maturity and individually wrapped and stored to ripen and develop an optimal aroma. During their short period of peak ripeness, the pears are crushed and distilled in small batches – approximately thirty five pounds of pear goes into producing just 0.75 liters of distillate. The highly concentrated and aromatic result is what Germans call Birnenbrand. It captures the essence of the capricious Williams pear and is the defining ingredient of pür•likör williams, pear liqueur.
pür•likör williams, pear liqueur captivates with its seductive elegance and smooth finish. It will stir and feed your senses.
Vodka, Moonshine2bar SpiritsMore than a century ago the Kaiser family settled their South Texas land and established the 2bar Ranch. Five generations of Kaisers have ranched that land under the 2bar brand. Rumors of moonshining are also part of the family tree, but that’s not what people remember about 2bar. For more than a century, 2bar has stood for quality, independence and hard work. Today, Nathan Kaiser is applying those characteristics to 2bar fine crafted spirits.

In Seattle's SODO neighborhood, the legitimate 2bar distillery is now open and ready for you to visit. Everyday, they ferment and distill Washington state's finest grains into smooth vodka and bold moonshine. 2bar has a tasting room open for you to taste these fine clear spirits and perhaps get a glimpse of their future secret plans; here's a hint, it's in those barrels you'll see.

Enjoy full-flavored 2bar vodka in any classic cocktail. As for moonshine, it makes great cocktails too, but it's best enjoyed in a secret flask with friends.
Cane Spirit, RumBatavia-Arak van oostenIt is a taste that has traveled the world from the Dutch East Indies, unique for its ability to both add depth and lift the aromas of citrus and chocolate. From the late 17th to 19th century, in an age when “Punch” was a celebration of all things then exotic – citrus, sugar, and spice, no Punch was without a true Batavia Arrack. In pre-Prohibition America, Batavia Arrack and most notably the Swedish Punsch were essential to many now-classic cocktails. Beyond these uses, Batavia Arrack is also today found in boutique European chocolates and cocktails at Bali resorts.

Batavia Arrack comes only from the Island of Java. It is distilled from sugarcane and fermented red rice, using chinese pot stills and characteristic teak vats. In pre-Prohibition America, Batavia Arrack was essential to many now-classic cocktails.

Before the age of cocktails we had punch, and no spirit was more celebrated and sought for punch than Batavia Arrack. The trade of Batavia Arrack dates as far back as the early 17th century, when Dutch colonialists of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) found this alluring complement to the spice trade that brought them East, and soon found its passage with these voyageurs to Amsterdam and onward to growing demand in London and old New York. More so than rums, gins or other spirits, the Batavia Arrack had then as now the extraordinary effect of elevating the aromatics of the spices and citrus notes. While historical circumstance eventually curtailed the availability and affordability of Batavia Arrack, it remains a highly sought ingredient for boutique chocolatiers and pastry chefs.

It's importance with classic cocktails cannot be understated. New York bartender Jerry Thomas's 1862 imprint, How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon Vivant's Companion (still considered the foundation-text for the fine art of mixing drinks) dedicates the first section of the book to Punches, with 78 recipes, many of which call for Batavia Arrack. Cocktail books still to this day highlight recipes with Batavia Arrack (or the Swedish Punch made from it), no matter the challenge of finding the spirit.
Cane Spirit, RumEl DoradoThe story of rum in Guyana started in the 1640’s with the introduction of sugar cane by the early European settlers. But it was not until distilling was introduced into the new territories by the British in the 1650s that the foundation of Demerara Rum production was laid down.

The Dutch came to Guyana and established the first settlements of Essequibo and Berbice, introducing the cultivation of sugar cane in the 1640’s along the coastal plain and the banks of the great rivers.
By 1658 sugar was being produced in Guyana and within three years the first shipments sailed for Holland.
By 1670, every sugar estate had a small still attached to it. In the same year, the local sugar cane producers formed an exporting co-operative, and by the 1700s there were well over 300 independent estates involved in producing their own unique rums from the molasses - a byproduct of sugar production.
In 1752 the third Guyana settlement, Demerara, was established on the banks of the great Demerara River.

The unique flavor and taste of Guyana Rum is much due to the tropical climate and also the 300 years of production along the banks of the Demerara river.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries more and more of the sugar estates and distilleries merged during the early twentieth century culminating in the amalgamation of all the various stills, equipment and expertise in 1998 by Demerara Distillers Limited at the last remaining Estate, Diamond, on the East Bank of the Demerara River.

Cane Spirit, RumLa FavoriteThe largest of the French West Indies islands, Martinique is home to eight rhum agricole distilleries.
The La Favorite distillery, built in 1842, originally employed a water wheel to power the cane-crushing mills, the first step in sugar production. At that time the estate included two sugar refineries and a small rum distillery with five fermentation vats, a small boiler and copper pot still. Bankruptcy in 1875, followed by the hurricane of 1891 closed the estate until 1909 when Henri Dormoy purchased the property. Dormoy built a railway through the plantation to transport fresh cane from the surrounding countryside to the distillery where he installed a new distillation column and steam engine.
During World War I the new distillery produced alcohol used in explosives manufacture. In 1920, Henri Dormoy built the Chateau de La Favorite, and launched La Favorite rhum in France. Following his death in 1938, André Dormoy steered the growing company as head of the family business. Today, Paul Dormoy is the third generation to continue the tradition of quality on which his grandfather rebuilt this historic estate. In 2004, an additional copper distillation column was installed to increase quality production. Aging capacity has also been increased to meet the growing demand for artisan rhum agricole from small family distilleries where quality is the key to success in a competitive market place.

La Favorite Rhum Vieux Coeur de rhum is blended from stocks of rhums aged at least three years. Aging the heart of the rhum in used American whisky and bourbon barrels imparts a dark brown color that reflects a deep, reddish brown hue.
Cane Spirit, RumLemonhart 151A powerful liquor created using raw Demerara sugar from Guyana, Lemon Hart is often used as the basis for cocktails or punch.
It's alcohol volume, 151 proof, makes it a strong sipping liquor but it is popular and sought-after around the world, particularly by mixologists specializing in rum cocktails.
The brand has existed since 1804 when Mr Lemon Hart began importing, blending and bottling Caribbean rum at Cornwall in England. He soon moved to London and became the first official supplier of rum to the Royal Navy.
Today it is owned by the Canadian-based Mosaiq company who have continued the traditions that made Lemon Hart famous.

Distilled in Guyana and bottled in Canada, Lemon Hart 151 is a caramel-colored, aged, over-proof rum used in many tiki cocktails. Heavier than El Dorado's 151 clear, High Strength Rum, Lemon Hart 151 isn't for the casual drinker.
Hints of burnt caramel, dark fruit and ripe banana are a preview to the heavy, complex taste with layers of cinnamon, dark raisin, dried apricot and baked apples.
Cane Spirit, RumNeissonFounded in 1931 by Jean and Adrien Neisson, the smallest distillery on Martinique has enjoyed considerable success due in large part to a unique combination of rich volcanic soil, plentiful sunshine and a family’s dedication to fine rhum. Today, Grégory Vernant, Jean Neisson’s grandson, continues the passionate work of making Neisson Rhum Agricole. Neisson is a popular drink in this part of the islands and can be found in Martinique bars and luxury hotels. Neisson Rhum Agricole has a distinct fresh sugar cane aroma and smooth finish.
From only 40 hectares of sugar cane fields located on what is known as the Habitation Thieubert, near the coastal town of Carbet, only about 400,000 liters of Rhum Neisson are produced annually.

In the last decade the distillery has undergone extensive modernization including a new Savalle-type copper distillation column, stainless-steel fermentation vats and the acquisition of large, new French oak vats in which the rhum rests before it is bottled. Hundreds of small French and American oak barrels have also been added to the aging inventory in an effort to meet the increasing demand for this much sought-after rhum.
In keeping with his grandfather’s secrets for making superior rhum, Grégory continues to use only sugar cane harvested manually from the fields surrounding the distillery. Chemicals pesticides are not used and the fiels are never burnt before the cane is harvested. The slow, three-day fermentation is an integral part of making Neisson rhum as is the specially-designed, copper, Savalle-type distillation column.

Cane Spirit, RumScarlet IbisScarlet Ibis is very limited and originally imported for one of New York’s premier cocktail bars, Death & Co.
Trinidad Distillers Limited is the production company under the Angostura Ltd. umbrella. The raw material for this rum is imported molasses most of which comes from the Caribbean basin including the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Panama.

The state of the art multi-column still has been upgraded and expanded since my first visit to this facility in 1993. Today there are a total of seven columns which are used to produce a range of rums from neutral spirits which are aged and blended by a number of companies including Angostura.
TDL and Angostura work with the local municipality to reduce the impact of the waste product streams from the distillery through an integrated system of distillery and municipal initiatives. Among the challenges faced by TDL are a lack of space at the distillery around which has grown a thriving industrial and residential area.

Scarlet Ibis Rum shows evidence of its 3-5 years in small oak casks by its color which is between pale straw to light honey. After warmed slightly in my glass the nose reveals a fairly tame amount of alcohol considering the 98 proof. Delicate aromas of brown sugar and dried fruit blend well with the alcohol that is evident but not as dominate as you’d expect. Overall a pleasant nose. First sip confirms the proof with warmth up front. It has a medium body and slightly sweet flavors with a hint of oak and allspice giving way to an unapologetic bold, warm, and dry finish.
Cane Spirit, RumSmith and CrossThis rum represents the distinctively flavorful and aromatic style that made Jamaica rum famous in the late 19th and early 20th century. Containing only Wedderburn and Plummer pot still distillates, famous for their notes of exotic fruits and spice. The incomparable complexity of this rum delivers a tour de force of flavor that historically made it a cornerstone of many classic rum drinks. The mark of Smith & Cross traces its lineage to 1788 as one of England’s oldest producers of sugar and spirits. Over time, the firm and its partners became prominent handlers of Jamaica Rum, with extensive underground cellars along the river Thames.

The great tradition of this style is reflected in the famous drink recipes that call specifically for Jamaica rum. Make no mistake, this is not a sipping rum by contemporary standards. Upon initial pour, allow a minute to open up before tasting.

Through the 19th century and into the earlier 20th century, Jamaica Rum was revered for its deep full flavors and pleasing aromas. In this era, rum fell into three general classes, Local Trade Quality, Export Trade Quality (mainly an ester-intensive "High Continental" style for the German market), and Home Trade Quality for UK (and US) consumption. In the mid 20th century appeared the more familiar "Common Clean" light and/or sweeter styles on offer today, made with the column-still product introduced in the late 1950s.
The heavier bodied Wedderburn and medium bodied Plummer styles were made with a combination of the molasses, skimmings, cane juice, and syrup bottoms from sugar production, and the dunder of the previous rum production. A Jamaica tradition has been the use of wild yeasts indigenous to the region in the fermentation process, which is arguably a major contributor to the special body and flavor. The end result is a rum of tremendous and local character.
MezcalFidencioFidencio Mezcal embodies the tradition and creativity of Oaxaca. With four generations of knowledge and the finest estate grown agave, Fidencio is a unique mezcal that is pure agave.

The first release, Fidencio Sin Humo is a small batch, artisanal mezcal that is roasted with out wood. The flavor is a balance of fruit, agave and spice. The feeling is smooth and clean. In 2011 they released two more mezcals, Clásico and Pechuga. Clásico is a traditional, Oaxacan mezcal roasted in a wood-fired earthen oven. The flavor is a complex balance of fruit, spice and smoke. Pechuga is a seasonal, celebration mezcal that is produced in tiny batches. The Clásico is used as the base and distilled a third time with our mixture of fruit. Suspended inside the cap of the still is a chicken breast, which rounds out the flavors. The result is a delightful combination of tropical fruits and subtle smokiness.

The Fidencio story has two parts: the history of Fabrica de Amigo del Mezcal and Fidencio Spirits.
Fabrica de Amigo del Mezcal is the name of the distillery that produces Fidencio Mezcal. Fidencio Jiménez, the namesake for Fidencio Mezcal, started making mezcal over 100 years ago when he moved to Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca. He began to live the life of a Mezcalero, learning from peers and by trial-and-error. He worked closely with his son Enrique to perfect their craft and to pass down their knowledge to the next generation. In those days, even the equipment was from the land: clay pots for fermentation, distillation & storage and river reeds for tubing.

When Isaac Jiménez, Fidencio’s grandson, became the mezcalero, there were a number of technological improvements that were adopted. In the 1930’s the introduction of copper greatly improved the efficiency and safety of the still. In 1943 the Pan American Highway came through Oaxaca and left its mark on mezcal. The first major impact was on transportation which became faster and cheaper. Around this time oak barrels replaced clay pots for storage. This resulted in the second major impact of this time: aging. In those days, a batch of mezcal was loaded on a truck and sold, town by town, sometimes taking months to sell through a batch. As the mezcal spent time in the oak barrels, it took on additional characteristics, and it was good.

In the 1950’s business was good and profits were used to buy land and expand the agave fields. This allowed total control of quality and production. By the 1980’s The Jiménez family was aging, bottling and exporting mezcal. The torch was then passed to the fourth generation of Jiménez mezcaleros, brothers Octavio and Enrique. While learning the craft throughout his youth, Enrique left to attend university in Oaxaca. He graduated with a degree in Industrial Chemical Engineering. Enrique could not resist the call of his roots and returned to the family business, but not without many new ideas. In 1993 Octavio and Enrique began bottling under their brand Mezcal del Maestro.

Enrique, always the innovator, dreamed of a mezcal that was the purest expression of espadín. In 2006 Enrique branched out on his own and began construction of a new distillery and a dream. This new distillery was designed from top to bottom by Enrique and incorporates all the features found in traditional mezcal palenques along with some modern touches, notably, the radiant heat oven. This oven is the first of its kind in Oaxaca and is the defining force behind the creation of Fidencio Mezcal. Fidencio also has a traditional oven used throughout Oaxaca.

Fidencio Spirits founders, Amy Hardy and Arik Torren, met ten years ago tending the bar of one of NYC’s great restaurants. They shared a passion for wine and food and became fast friends. A few years later Amy was traveling through Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca and came across Villas Carrizalillo, a beachside hotel that was in disrepair. Since then Amy and her partner, Edward Mitchell, have transformed “The Villas” into one of the finest hotels on the Oaxacan Coast.

During the summer of 2007 Amy and Arik took a trip to Oaxaca City to taste and learn more about mezcal. During this incredible experience, they were bitten by the mezcal bug. Through friends of Amy, they had the good fortune to be introduced to Enrique, who was still building out his new distillery. Amy and Arik knew that this was the right fit and decided to pursue a partnership with Enrique before the first drop of Fidencio was made. Edward was on board as the angel investor. So, with a hunch and a handshake, Fidencio Spirits was born.
Whisky, Whiskey, ScotchA D RattrayFounded in 1868 by Andrew Dewar and William Rattray, A D Rattray began trading as an importer of French wines, Italian spirits and olive oil. More importantly, however, the company also established itself as a specialist in the field of blending and storage of malt and grain whiskies.

In the latter part of the 1800s A D Rattray Ltd came to represent a number of well-known Highland Malt distilleries - most notably Stronachie - selling bulk whisky to West of Scotland wine and spirit merchants, publicans and the main Scotch whisky blending houses in and around Glasgow.

Like many other merchants, A D Rattray Ltd suffered during the crisis of the early 1900s and in the late 1920s the partners sold the business to William Walker. Well-established as a whisky broker, Walker set about expanding the business with the acquisition of a number of smaller merchants. Despite rationing during the 2nd World War, the company continued to supply the West of Scotland licensed trade until Walker's death.

A D Rattray Ltd has returned to the family and is owned by Mr Tim Morrison, previously of Morrison Bowmore Distillers and fourth generation descendent of Andrew Dewar. A D Rattray Ltd's resurgence stems back to early 2004 when, using his extensive knowledge and expertise in the whisky industry, Mr Morrison bottled a selection of his own handpicked stock of whiskies for market release.

Today the company's principal purpose is to bottle unusual and exclusive casks of Scotch Whisky, with each one chosen to reflect the different styles of the six individual whisky regions of Scotland. Whether from Mr Morrison's own stock or independently sourced, only casks which are found to be of exceptional quality are bottled under the A D Rattray Cask Collection label and released into selected markets.

The A D Rattray Ltd whiskies which form the Cask Collection portfolio are sourced from distilleries throughout Scotland. This extensive range of whiskies is bottled at natural strength and color without any unnecessary chill-filtration.

All of the flavor from the cask.....in a bottle.

For more information, plus tasting & technical notes and accolades, please see:
Whisky, WhiskeyAmrutAmrut is one of the pioneers of the Liquor industry in India, and has grown out of its locale in Karnataka to an acknowledged Indian and international presence.
Amrut was founded in 1948 by the late Shri J.N. Radhakrishna, J.N.R , not long after the beginning of Indian independence from British rule.
The present Chairman and Managing Director is his son Shri Neelakanta Rao, who has expanded upon the the solid foundations laid down by his father.
His penchant for innovation and technology-upgrade has been the ideal foil for seeing Amrut emerge as a world renowned producer of Whisky and other spirits.
The distillery is named after a legend.According to Indian Mythology, when Gods and Rakshasas - the demons - churned the oceans using the mountain Meru as churner, a golden pot sprang out containing the Elixir of Life.That was called the "Amrut".

Amrut Single Malt Whisky is a product of many years research to produce whiskies matching world standards. This whisky is made from selected Indian barley grown at the feet of the Himalayas, nurtured by the waters flowing there and cultivated by old and traditional agricultural practices. It is carefully mashed and distilled in small batches to preserve the natural aroma and matured in oak barrels in a unique tropical condition, at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level at Bangalore, the garden city of India.

To retain the natural characteristics of this oak aged Indian Malt Whisky, we do not chill filter, some haze may therefore be noticed in the product. Amrut presents this product as a humble tribute to the Indian farmer, who has grown this barley with care and affection with which he has tilled the soil.
Whisky, Whiskey, ScotchBlackadderBlackadder was founded in 1995 by Robin Tucek and all Blackadder whiskies are Robin Tucek's personal selection.
Blackadder believes in bottling only whiskies that are completely natural
Robins challenge, is to select and bottle only individual casks as naturally as possible. To ensure this they only give their whiskies a light filtration to remove any cask particles that may otherwise get into the bottle. Blackadder Raw Cask whiskies, however, are completely unfiltered.

Most malt whiskies bottled by major distillery owners are a marriage of several different casks. These big cask vattings are then often chill-filtered and colored with the addition of varying amounts of caramel before being bottled. Chill-filtration - when the spirit is chilled to freezing point or below prior to bottling - is done to remove any cloudiness in the Whisky. Unfortunately, it also removes many of the natural fats and oils, which detracts from the natural character of the drink.
The more a whisky is chilled when filtering the greater the proportion of fats and esters removed. The natural flavor congeners gather around these fats, and the overall quality tends to suffer.

All Blackadder whiskies are single cask bottlings. Each cask is chosen to represent one of the very best examples of its type and age. No two casks of whisky are ever exactly alike, because the type of oak used and the conditions under which it is stored will both influence the ultimate spirit produced. Blackadder whiskies therefore offer the widest possible variety of singular taste experiences.

Blackadder believes in bottling only whiskies that are completely natural - thus keeping alive the centuries old traditions by which they are first lovingly distilled and then carefully aged over the years they spend silently maturing in cask.
Whisky, Whiskey, ScotchCompass Box Whisky

Compass Box Whisky was established by John Glaser, an American winemaker with a passion for Scotch whisky. Glaser grew up in Minnesota, and while attending college he developed a passion for fine wine and decided to pursue a career in winemaking. He had winery jobs in both Burgundy and Napa before ending up on the business side of the wine industry. He ended up changing careers and started working as the marketing director for Johnnie Walker.

In 2000 he created the Compass Box Whisky Company in an effort to make a different style of Scotch whisky. Less than 20 years ago, most of the Scotch whisky on the market was blends; mostly mass-produced stuff from a small group of large Scottish distilleries. The Scotch world was also dominated by the stuffiness of being the connoisseur’s spirit. Rules for drinking, rules for enjoying, and a flavor which takes years to appreciate. John Glaser and Compass Box aim to change that.

Compass Box blends boutique Scotch whiskies using single malt and single grain whiskies from distillers in different regions of Scotland. Compass Box is fanatical about the oak barrels in which they age their spirits. They utilize American oak casks (like bourbon distillers do) and also some high-quality French oak for others. Each oak barrel has a different effect on the taste of the end product.

The highly conservative Scotch industry has sometimes become annoyed at this flaunting of tradition. The first release of its Spice Tree whisky in 2005 used a technique from the French where new oak staves are inserted into used whisky barrels to give them a burst of new flavor. The Scotch Whisky Association threatened to sue Compass Box because this technique had never been done with Scotch before.

John is of the opinion that Scotch does not deserve all of this baggage and feels that Scotch can be drunk on the rocks, neat, or mixed into cocktails.

For more information, plus tasting & technical notes and accolades, please see:

Whisky, Whiskey, ScotchGlenglassaughGlenglassaugh Distillery is an iconic single malt Scotch whisky distillery located just beyond the boundary of the Speyside region in the north-east of Scotland, close to the small town of Portsoy and picturesquely sited high above the dramatic Sandend Bay. Local barley and good supplies of pure water ensure that whisky of the highest quality is made here.

Glenglassaugh was founded in 1875 by a local entrepreneur and his two nephews. In 1892 the distillery was sold to the Highland Distilleries Company who owned and operated it for many years.
In 1960 the distillery was rebuilt and enlarged with the aim of producing a refined and delicate spirit which subsequently proved capable of long aging. In 1986, following an economic downturn in the industry, Glenglassaugh was mothballed and remained silent awaiting its fate.

In 2008 the distillery's fortunes were revived as it was purchased by a new independent group of investors and following a refurbishment it was reopened later that year.
The aim of the refurbishment was to use as much of the old equipment as possible and by using the same production methods, thanks to finding the old production records, to produce a new spirit of the highest quality as close to the spirit which had been produced before the shut down as possible.
Whisky, Whiskey, RyeHigh West DistilleryHigh West Distillery & Saloon is Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870 and the world’s only Ski-in Gastro-distillery located at exactly 7000’ in the heart of Old Town Park City. High West’s passion is crafting delicious whiskies and marrying these with contemporary Western comfort food.

High West Whiskeys have received multiple awards and accolades and High West Distillery was named 2011 “Whiskey Pioneer of the Year” by Whiskey Advocate, America’s leading whiskey magazine.

High West was started by David Perkins, a former biochemist with a passion for cooking and the American West. David decided to leave his job in the biotech industry and start a distillery to to create a true western rye whiskey, America’s oldest spirit and the thirst-quencher of choice in Old West saloons.

Jane, David’s wife, had a great grandfather who started one of the country’s leading distilleries turn of the century 1900. In 2007, after navigating Utah’s complex licensing process, High West Distillery opened for business.

Rendezvous Rye

The Rendezvous Rye is created by marrying two beautiful “straight” rye whiskies—one old, and one young.
Straight whiskey is the fullest flavored whiskey made in North America. It’s the U.S.
version of a single malt scotch except aged in brand NEW American oak barrels.
Distilled at less than 160 proof, you get all the flavor the distiller meant you to get.

Double Rye

The Double Rye is a blend of two Straight Rye Whiskies: a 2 year old and a 16 year old.
The 2 year old has a mash bill with 95% rye and 5% barley malt and is fermented with
High West’s proprietary yeast. Specific barrels of this whiskey are selected for their
herbal, spicy, evergreen, juniper, eucalyptus notes.
The 16 year old has a mash bill with 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley malt. This whiskey
provides the spearmint, caramel, and vanilla sweetness to calm the younger whiskey.

For more information, plus tasting & technical notes and accolades, please see:
Whisky, Whiskey, BourbonKentucky Bourbon DistillersThe Willett family distillers has a long history in the craft of distillation. Originally the Willett family brought their knowledge with them from England to the American Colonies in the early 1600’s. Before coming to the colonies they distilled brandy in France.

The family settled in Bardstown, Nelson County in Kentucky and were involved with developing several of the most famous distilleries of the area.

During Prohibition, the Willett family raised hogs and cattle at the farm in Bardstown.
In 1935, the Willett distillery was erected on the farm, by Lambert Willett, father of Thompson Willett, founder of the Willett Distilling Company.

In the beginning of 1936, the Willett Distilling Company produced its first batch of 300 bushels (~30 barrels) on March 17th, 1936.
The newly barreled whiskey was stored in one of the eight warehouses. The warehouses were built on some of the highest ground in the county, assuring that a fresh breeze would aid in the maturation of the whiskey. Five years after the foundation of the Willett Distilling Company Lambert retired from the Max Selliger & Co. to manage his farm and oversee the distilling process.

The Willett Distilling Company continued to operate until the early 1980’s. The Willett’s had made their mark on the Bourbon industry and it was now time for them to retire. On July 1, 1984, Even G. Kulsveen (pronounced Evan), a native of Hamar, Norway, and son-in-law to Thompson Willett, purchased the property from the Willett’s and formed Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd. Even Kulsveen continues to operate at the facility to this day

Noah’s Mill

Aged in wooden barrels, bottled by hand at 57.15% alc./vol. (114.3 proof)
Noah’s Mill Genuine Bourbon Whiskey is handmade in the hills of Kentucky.
This is a Bourbon of extraordinary character and smoothness not found among younger whiskies. Its superior taste and flavor characteristics are made possible only from using the very finest quality ingredients at the outset along with the long years and patience necessary for nature to mellow everything to perfection. We bottle this Bourbon at a strength that best compliments its age, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it like no other Bourbon.

Rowan’s Creek

Rowan’s Creek is stored in charred oak barrels. It is hand bottled at 50.05% alc./vol. (100.1 proof).
Rowan’s Creek is made and bottled by hand, in small lots, one batch at a time.
This Bourbon takes its namesake from the creek that still runs through our distillery. Back in the late 1700’s when John Rowan first settled around Bardstown , whiskey makin’ was the order of the day. John went on and made a name for himself as a well respected judge and statesmen. The judge is long since gone, but the creek that still bears his name is still carrying the best limestone spring water there ever was for making good Bourbon, so you know the whiskey makin’ is still going on. Try a sip of it, straight up in a snifter, or add a dab of branch water if you like. Either way, it’s the very best there is.

For more information, plus tasting & technical notes and accolades, please see: