DIY Distilling

Make your own batch in Gig Harbor

Photos by Liz Morrow

The Northwest is full of DIY booze enthusiasts. Home brewing beer and wine is common practice here, but one area off limits is making spirits. Though there are plenty of folks who illegally distill “moonshine,” the law is still extremely strict when it comes to distillation, which means making your own spirits is pretty much a pipe dream for the law-abiding citizen. Heritage Distilling Co. in Gig Harbor has a program designed to let patrons come in, be a part of the distilling process, and bottle their own spirits through their My Batch experience.

IMG_5854_smallI recently went to the distillery to be part of the experience and was surprised by how much fun it was. With a tour of the distillery and full tasting included, the three-hour program not only lets you be a part of the process, but also educates you on the ins and outs of distilling, as well as the history of spirits.

Each My Batch experience results in a different spirit. During my session, we focused on gin and single malt whiskey. But Heritage also crafts vodka, flavored vodka, wheat whiskey, and bourbon. What was I most excited about? Aging my bottles of single malt myself in a little oak barrel, which Heritage provides.

It’ll be hard to let it sit for three to four months, but I can’t wait to see the transformation from clear unaged spirit into a caramel-colored, aged single malt I’m used to.

During the tasting at the distillery, I immediately gravitated toward the delicious ginger vodka. I’m a ginger fiend and love pretty much anything and everything ginger flavored. As soon as I took a sip, I knew I had to bring it home and make ginger cocktails. With the summer sun out in full force, citrus and ginger make for a perfect warm-weather cocktail.

IMG_5925Raspberry Ginger Cocktail

  • 4 ounces ginger vodka
  • 1½ ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce honey syrup (½ ounce honey + ½ ounce water)
  • 6 raspberries
  • Candied ginger

Muddle raspberries in bottom of cocktail shaker. Add ingredients and fill shaker with ice. Shake cocktail until shaker is frosty. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with candied ginger. Yields 2 cocktails.

When you go

The My Batch experience is $99 per person. Only paid participants are allowed on the production floor to participate during My Batch sessions.

The session includes the class, tour, and samples of spirits paired with food.

The spirits and cask are not included in the $99 class reservation fee. The events are usually scheduled one or two times a month.

Visit Heritage Distilling’s waterfront location at 3118 Harborview Drive in Gig Harbor, or learn more.

is a South Sound contributor and a blogger, writer, photographer, designer, and author at Delightfully Tacky.
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