The Best Local Liquor to Stock in Your Home Bar

A.J. Rathbun and five of Seattle’s bar stars recommend their favorite local booze
FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

!--paging_filter--pstrongTHE PANEL: /strongbrAndrew Friedman, Liberty BarbrAndrew Bohrer, Vinum ImportingbrCourtney Matzke, Rob RoybrKenaniah Bystrom, EssexbrAmanda Reed, Tavern LawbrA.J. rathbun, emSeattle /emmagazinebrbrspan style="font-size: large;"strongVODKA/strong/spanbrstrongRain City Spirits Vodka /strong(SoDo; $22–$26, retail;a href="http://www.drinkraincity.com" target="_blank" drinkraincity.com/a)br“This is very solid vodka, great in martinis or Cosmopolitans. It doesn’t taste like ethanol, and has good balance.” em—Kenaniah Bystrom/em/p
pimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_rain_city_spirits_vodka-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="101"brbrstrongSeattle Distilling Company Rocket Vodka/strong (Vashon Island; $42; a href="http://www.seattledistillingcompany.com/products.html" target="_blank"seattledistillingcompany.com/a)br“With oodles of grain and spice flavor, and a delicate kiss of sweet on the finish, this vodka is made with Palouse-grown wheat.” em—A.J. Rathbun/em brimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_seattle_distilling_rocket_vodka-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="98"brstrongProject V Single Silo Vodka /strong(Woodinville; $29.99; a href="http://www.projectvdistillery.com" target="_blank"projectvdistillery.com/a)br“It is round and rich on the palate with a nice clean finish. It’s the perfect martini vodka and also great for mixing.” em—Amanda Reed br/em/p
pstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_single_silo_vodka-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="86"brbrspan style="font-size: large;"GIN/span/strongbrstrongSun Liquor Gun Club Gin/strong (Capitol Hill; $32; a href="http://www.sunliquor.com" target="_blank"sunliquor.com/a) “This gin’s higher proof brings an extra dimension in drinks. But the botanicals also still shine, and the spiciness makes this a great wintertime gin.”em —Courtney Matzke/embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_sun_liquor_gun_club_gin-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="119"brbrstrongCaptive Spirits Big Gin/strong (Ballard; $30; a href="http://www.captivespiritsdistilling.com" target="_blank"captivespiritsdistilling.com/a) br“It has everything you want from a traditional gin. Juniper punches you in the face, the bitter orange wakes you up, the coriander romances you, and the Tasmanian pepperberry breaks your heart.” em—K.B./embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_captive_spirits_biggin-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="131"brbrstrongPacific Distillery Voyager/strong (Woodinville; $32.99*; a href="http://www.pacificdistillery.com" target="_blank"pacificdistillery.com/a) “This really is the local go-to for a well-crafted cocktail and martini-friendly gin.” em—Andrew Friedman/em/p
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pspan style="font-size: large;"strongWHISKEY/strong/span/p
pstrongGolden Distillery Samish Bay Single Malt Whiskey/strong (Bow; $39.95; a href="http://www.goldendistillery.com" target="_blank"goldendistillery.com/a) “Honey, vanilla, malt, brown sugar and oak notes make this whiskey dandy for sipping, as well as for using in cocktails.” em—A.J.R./embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_golden_distillery_single_malt_whiskey-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="144"brstrongWoodinville Whiskey Microbarrelled Bourbon/strong (Woodinville, $49.95; a href="http://www.woodinvillewhiskeyco.com" target="_blank"woodinvillewhiskeyco.com/a) “By the time you read this, Woodinville will have released their first full-sized barrel bourbon. From all reports, it’ll be as smooth as the small-barrel version, with even more flavor.” em—Andrew Bohrer/embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_woodinville_whiskey-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="182"brstrongWestland Distillery American Single Malt Whiskey/strong (SoDo; $55; a href="http://www.westlanddistillery.com" target="_blank"westlanddistillery.com/a) “A new and much anticipated entry into the local market, this whiskey has floral notes mingling with its muscularity. It could well be America’s first great single malt whiskey.” em—A.F./em/p
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pspan style="font-size: large;"strongLIQUEURS/strong/spanstrongbrLetterpress Distillery Limoncello/strong (SoDo; $32.95; a href="http://www.letterpressdistilling.com" target="_blank"letterpressdistilling.com/a) “A smidge sweeter than what you might get from your Italian grandmother, but with brilliant lemon flavor. This really is a great example of an internationally made product, but done terrifically well here in Seattle.” em—A.F. /embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_letterpress_distillery_lemoncello-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="109"brstrongSound Spirits Depth Crème de Cacao/strong (Interbay; $45; a href="http://www.drinksoundspirits.com" target="_blank"drinksoundspirits.com/a) “Using chocolate nibs from local hit Fran’s Chocolates during the distilling process, this has a subtle and lovely chocolate flavor that will change how you think about chocolate liqueurs.” em—A.J.R./embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_sound_spirits_depth_creme_de_cacao-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="108"brstrongSidetrack Distillery Fruit Liqueurs/strong (Kent, $20, 350-milliliter bottle;a href="http://www.sidetrackdistillery.com" target="_blank" sidetrackdistillery.com/a) “Sidetrack makes a line of fruit liqueurs and eau de vie that are delicious. Picked and infused from fresh fruit, these liqueurs are bright and elegant.” em—A.R./embrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_sidetrack_blackberry_liqueur-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="74"img src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/12_13_sidetrack_rasberry_liqueur-final.jpg" style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" height="300" width="70"brbrbr/p