Tag Archives: alcohol

A Quick Tour of the new Bainbridge Island distillery

Keith Barnes, left, helps his son Patrick change out the container that catches the distilled product at the business they've started, Bainbridge Organic Distillery.

Now we’ve had craft brews, craft wines, and apparently the new movement in the lush world of spirits are craft distilleries. And a new one is set to open in August on Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Organic Distillery is one of a half dozen new craft distilleries to be approved to start up in Washington state since a law last summer allowed craft distilleries, according to a May Seattle Times article. More than a dozen others also were awaiting approval at the time. Also according to the Times story, another hopeful Bainbridge operation, Hidden Cove Distillery, also was awaiting approval from the state, but I wasn’t able to track down more information in a brief search.


The Bainbridge Organic Distillery will likely open later this month, but owners Keith Barnes and his son Patrick, gave a few of us from the Sun a sneak peak (maybe not so sneak, but it makes me feel special) at the operation off Sportsman Club Road. They make whiskey, and as that ages, they also make a gin and vodka to sell while their whiskey ages.

The first batch of whiskey hasn’t had a lot of time to age (they just started the operation less than a year ago), but the couple, quick tastes I had revealed it as an already complex drink. It’s caramel in color and in the first sweet notes that waft up from a snifter. It hits the tongue smooth and warm with a smoky exhale that the alcohol picked up from the charred inside of oak barrels. The gin, a drink that I’m in general not as familiar with, had definite notes of juniper berry as well as the characteristic pine-like bite.

When they open later in August, I’ll take one for the team and do more in-depth tastings.

In addition to the great lesson in distilling, I learned at least one whiskey-drinking hint. Patrick showed me how to bring out the flavor notes in a whiskey by adding a touch of water, in this case RO water, essentially a filtered water. It wasn’t enough to water it down, but it cut it just enough to smooth it out a little more and all the smoky, sweet notes just popped.

Bainbridge reporter Tristan Baurick will have many more details about the distillery in Monday’s paper, but I thought I’d share the video I shot now. The first one is the one that will go with the story. The second is just some raw footage of Keith Barnes describing the distilling process, which I cut out of the final video, but that I found just so darn interesting that I shared it here.

Good Drinks to Get Stuck In the Snow With

In the past week, I’ve found plenty of folks are using all that time at home, stuck in the snow, as a good excuse to take in a nip here, and a nip there. The couple times I passed by a liquor store, one in Seattle and one in Bremerton, people have definitely decided a bottle is among their necessary snow provisions. I’m not judging, I’ve had my own share of hot-buttered rum and cocoa spiked with peppermint schnapps.

I tried calling the state liquor control board to see if there was any spike in sales, but I haven’t heard back yet. So, I decided instead to share a few warm drink recipes I found online.

Plus, I felt this was a good excuse to share a really cute snow/drink photo I saw in our reader-submitted photo gallery.
Misty Winter Warmer

(from cocktails.suite101.com)

It makes four quarts, and brews up in a 30-cup coffee maker

1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
2 quarts cranberry juice
46 ounces pineapple juice
2 cups Canadian Mist whisky
4 1/2 cups water

Place the brown sugar and spices in the pot basket of a 30-cup coffee maker. Add juices, water and whisky to the pot. Brew like coffee and serve hot, right from the pot. How easy is that?

Bourbon Furnace

(From Forbes.com)

After you’ve been out romping in the woods, and while the kids are slurping up hot cider, here’s a little concoction that the grown-ups can enjoy.


6 oz. hot apple cider
three whole cloves
one stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 oz. bourbon

Pour cider and bourbon into a stemmed mug. Garnish with cloves and cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Hot Baked Apple Toddy

(from About.com)

2 oz apple whiskey
1/4 baked apple
1 tsp honey
hot water
cinnamon stick for garnish

1. Place the baked apple into a warm Irish coffee glass.
2. Add whiskey and dissolve sugar in the mix.
3. Top with hot water and stir.
4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.