It took a while for us to release a gin. That’s because, in true slow-crafting style, we wanted to get it exactly right. We actually added several pieces of equipment and made changes to our process in order to get the clean, focused, delicate, dry gin we’re releasing today. We think it sets a new standard for gin. It has to, because it’s our pride and joy, our flagship product, the main reason Chuckanut Bay Distillery exists at all. Here’s why – the two main owners of our distillery are Matt and Kelly. They’re a couple of friends who discovered they had a shared passion and the kind of relationship that would allow them to embark on a joint venture. It’s been an ad-venture as well. An early motivator for them was to create a gin. One of their very own, one they could be proud of, and, most importantly, one they would love to drink. Here are their gin stories -
Matt had a very special relationship with his grandfather. When Grandpa Del died, Matt inherited the retro liquor cabinet. And its contents. Sentimentally, this was nice. Del savored life in a very full way and that enjoyment included his evening cocktail. Perhaps the occasional late-morning cocktail. Materialistically, this was also a score, as the cabinet contained some pretty rad stuff. Matt opened one bottle, dusty with age, which turned out to be gin. He tasted it and was floored. The flavors were pure, subtle, perfectly integrated. He’s pretty sure there were trumpets playing somewhere while he drank it. Maybe a bassoon as well. Anyway, it was really good stuff, and it created a passion in Matt that became a dream – that became a goal – that has now become a reality. Grab some Chuckanut Bay Distillery gin. And get ready for trumpets.
Matt’s Gin Cocktail – The Martini. Matt makes his Winston Churchill style. Pour a couple of ounces of well-chilled gin in a nice martini glass. For the vermouth, hold the glass and nod in the direction of France. Drink.
Kelly’s gin story also starts with his grandfather. Lowell was the family patriarch and the Gin-Dispenser-in-Chief. Gin worked its way through the warp and woof of the family members’ lives. It was served in times of – contemplation, celebration, commiseration, commemoration. Kelly’s first exposure might have been via having his pacifier dipped in a glass of gin. There was an actual gin ritual, the centerpiece of which was a big spoon liberated from the Navy. Said spoon resided full-time in the ice drawer of the freezer. To make you a gin drink, Lowell would take The Big Spoon in one hand, use it to crack some ice in the palm of the other hand, dump the ice in a highball glass, then pour in a liberal amount of gin. I imagine him saying, “There, drink your friggin’ cocktail.” Kelly now recalls his grandfather while drinking his very own Chuckanut Bay Distillery gin. He pours liberally and carries a big spoon.
Kelly’s Gin Cocktail – The Fun Guy. Okay, this sounds delicious but is hard to replicate. First, you need a friend who forages for chanterelles and then pickles them along with a proprietary mix of savory vegetables and herbs. Now that you’ve got the chanterelle-pickling-friend part down, take some vermouth, swish it in a highball glass, and dump it out. Fill a shaker with gin and ice, shake, strain into the glass. Sloppily plop in a pickled chanterelle. Enjoy.
Long live slow-crafted gin. Long live the memories of Del, Lowell, and the legacy such people create by shaping our dreams.