Always Drink Responsibly

03 June 2013

Spirits of Summer 2013: Contest Winners & Delicious Cocktail Recipes from Washington State Distilleries

There's no better way to kick off summer in Seattle than with a refreshing cocktail that, if you close your eyes upon sipping, transports you to that sandy beach or picnic blanket. This past Sunday I had the good fortune of sampling and judging 15 delicious and innovative cocktails from local Washington distilleries. I will now share with you the contest winners and a handful of my favorite recipes and selections.

1st & 2nd place, Most Original category

And the winners are...
Best Summer Cocktail
1st - Project V: Dutch Henry
2nd - Fremont Mischief: Blackberry Lemonade
3rd - Bluewater Distilling: Thyme Bandit

Most Original Cocktail

1st - Blue Spirits Distilling: Pink Pepper Martini
2nd - kkAda Sutra: Kettle Corn Martini
3rd (tie) - Letterpress Distilling: La Vespa
and Oola Distillery: Jawbreaker Punch

Best Presentation
1st - Blue Spirits Distilling: Pink Pepper Martini
2nd - Heritage Distilling Company: Raspberry-Sage Cooler
3rd - Captive Spirits: Gin & Tonic

Sommelier David LeClaire, owner of Wine World, announces the winners.

LL's favorite cocktails
Contest cocktails as presented to the judges.
Below are a few of the winning recipes from the event. I've included links to the distiller's website for your perusal and purchase information. If you cannot make the trek to each individual distillery, bear in mind Wine World now carries every Washington distiller and will be happy to assist you.

Blue Spirits Distilling- Pink Pepper Martini (Lake Chelan)
2.5 oz Blue Spirits Local Choice Pepper Vodka
1 Freshly juiced lime
0.5 oz Hibiscus Grenadine
Splash of Simple Syrup
Rim with Lime flavored sugar 
[LL Note- balanced blend of spice and sweet, a favorite!]

kkAda Sutra- Kettle Korn Martini (Marysville)
1 oz kkAda Sutra
1 oz Frangelico
Salt rim. Place maraschino cherry at bottom of martini glass. Shake/pour.
[LL Note- What does kkAda taste like? To me, just like a sea salt caramel with a hint of butterscotch. This liqueur is delectable straight. Look for more yummy kkAda Sutra recipes on their website.]

Heritage Distilling Company- Raspberry Sage Cooler (Gig Harbor)
Muddled raspberries & sage 
Collins mix
Splash of Soda
Serve over ice with choice of Heritage Soft Gin or Vodka
[LL Note- Also noteworthy is Heritage Apple Cider Whiskey- yum!]

Project V Distillery- Dutch Henry (Woodinville)
1 part Single Silo Vodka
1 part cucumber simple syrup
2 parts pink grapefruit juice
Cucumber slice garnish
[LL Note- This was the quintessential summer cocktail in my opinion!]

I also want to mention Rain City Spirits' Espresso Liqueur- that is a must-try for you coffee lovers! And to acknowledge Oola, Letterpress, Soft Tail, BroVo, Bainbridge and all of the distillers on hand at the event. Washington distillers are on the rise and to be watched not only locally, but nationwide! Anticipating what concoctions will be at next year's Spirits of Summer!

Patrons at Spirits of Summer 2013