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High spirits: Bainbridge distills “World’s Best Vodka”

Bainbridge Island is now home to the “World’s Best Vodka.”

Bainbridge Organic Distiller’s Legacy Vodka earned that distinction at the World Vodka Awards in London Thursday. The vodka beat out more than 1,000 brands from 25 countries, according to a news release.

The selection was made by an independent tasting panel. This is how judges described Bainbridge’s entry:

This is an excellent spirit that’s well balanced and full of individual character, great potential for cocktails. It has a powerful but soft nose with berry fruits and grain coming through. Rich, creamy, marshmallow flavours develop nicely on the palate.

The Legacy Vodka also won the award for best packaging design.

Bainbridge Organic Distillers opened in 2009. The company produces vodka, Doug fir gin and whiskey in small batches.

The World Vodka Awards are part of the World Drinks Awards,

Kitsap ahead of curve in Medicaid expansion enrollment

With 6,122 residents enrolled in expanded Medicaid programs, Kitsap County is well ahead of its enrollment goal. The county has already exceeded its target number by 160 percent, according to a release from the state Health Care Authority.

Kitsap has enrolled a total of 16,406 residents in Medicaid since the start of the Affordable Care Act rollout in Oct. 1. That figure includes new and renewing enrollees.

Though open enrollment for private health plans offered through the state exchange ends March 31, applications for Medicaid are accepted all year.

The map below compares progress in Medicaid enrollment among Washington counties:

Port Gamble General Store closed for expansion

blog.pgstoreThe Port Gamble General Store is 98 years old and still growing.

The historic store and cafe closed Jan. 2 for a remodel and expansion. It will reopen in February, according to the store website. The project will add a new dining room and bar to the existing cafe. The expanded dining area will open in May.

The store last closed in 2009. It changed hands and reopened in 2010.

A much larger redevelopment project for Port Gamble is in the works. Planned amenities include housing, a waterfront “lodge” and retail. The county will hold public hearings on the master plan this year. Port Gamble is operated by Olympic Property Group.

Watch for a story on the store expansion in an upcoming A&E section.

Meegan Reid/2009 file photo