This small-batch distillery’s recipe for success is found in every drop of its spirits, and you can make a part of it.
How many distilleries can boast that their cofounder cooked up his first batch of hooch in a bathtub while he was a teenager? We’re going around counting — and we’re not sure many distilleries would fess up to such a distinction — but we know of one. That distillery is Washington-based Heritage Distilling Company — which wisely cautions no one try such a chemistry experiment at home — and its cofounder Justin Stiefel. Fast-forward some decades and in 2012, Stiefel and crew opened Heritage Distilling, the first distillery in Puget Sound since Prohibition. In 2014 Heritage won 14 medals at the American Distilling Institute Conference, including several Best Of category medals, making Heritage the most-awarded craft distillery in North America for 2014.
Today, Heritage Distilling has three distillery locations where it produces small batches of whiskey, vodka, and gin. The flagship distillery is in Gig Harbor, Washington, and it features Nonna, the only Italian still in the United States. The second location is in downtown Gig Harbor. Eugene, Oregon, is home to Heritage’s third outpost, a full-production distillery, tasting room, and retail space that is open seven days a week.
The success behind that quick expansion resides in every drop of Heritage’s spirits, to which the American Distillery Institute awarded more accolades than any other distillery in not only 2014 but also 2015 and 2016. Then there is Heritage’s investment in its customers. Instead of encouraging bathtub gin, the folks behind Heritage offer a members-only program and private distilling sessions. The former is called the Cask Club. Members receive a 10-liter cask filled with their favorite Heritage spirit. They also get their names posted in the distillery tasting room, discounts, and other privileges to lift their, um, spirits. For the connoisseur who is ready for a deeper dive, Heritage offers My Batch classes. These sessions give folks the opportunity to legally — super important, here — be involved in the making of their own small-batch spirits. The My Batch classes are offered monthly. While you decide whether to sign up for one of those innovative sessions, mix up these cocktails, courtesy Heritage Distilling Company.
Brown Sugar Bourbon Horchata
2 ounces BSB Brown Sugar Bourbon
1 ounce horchata
½ ounce cream of coconut
Orange slice, for garnish
Grated cinnamon, for garnish
Pour all ingredients over ice, stir, and garnish with orange and grated cinnamon
Cranberry Whiskey Sour
2 ounces Elk Rider Bourbon
1½ ounces cranberry juice
1 ounce sweet and sour
Cranberries, for garnish
Gather your ingredients and combine in a rocks glass with ice. Stir until mixed, then garnish with speared cranberries.
Batch No. 12 Negroni
½ ounce Batch No. 12 gin
¾ ounce Campari
¾ ounce vermouth
1 twist orange peel, for garnish
Shake well with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
For more information on Heritage Distilling Company, visit the distillery’s website.