Last Thursday I took photographs for a NYC Gin Society event at Amor y Amargo. The NYC Gin Society is an organization that sponsors events connecting members with new gins, new cocktails, and opportunities to meet the mixologists and distillers behind them. I was connected to this event through my friend John, pictured below.
[I also apparently made some things up about Seattle Distilling's history. Truth below.]
While I was there, I met Tami, who with her husband Paco are one of the couples behind Seattle Distilling on Vashon island.
Seattle Distilling has a wonderful origin story. According to Tami: "Paco grew up in a family that brewed its own spirits in handcrafted stills, creating liquor out of whatever raw materials were available -- Once they even used grass, which is kind of hilarious and bizarre!" Later he left the country for Seattle, but never lost the love of carpentry, crafting, and most importantly spirits. He shared his dream of starting a distillery with Tami and day they met their future partners, Ishan and his wife, Amanda at their preschool and gluten-free baking club(!). Ishan and his wife had started a distillery on Vashon Island, a small island in Puget Sound outside of Seattle. "I told Paco about this and suggested he might be able to offer to work with them to construct their still. He visited their web site and the first thing he saw was on the page was an image of their beautiful copper and wood distillery equipment."
The couple was discouraged but not defeated. Tami says "I met Amanda first, I told her how we admired their stills, and she told me that their still photo was stock photography and that they were looking for someone with distilling experience. So we got the husbands together and they hit it off immediately and merged their distillery concepts into one. They built the still together, out of copper on top of a vintage stainless steel steam kettle. That's the gist of it! From that moment on the couples became a team and Seattle Distillery was born.
Seattle Distillery has just finished a rebrand and is currently focusing on four core products, a whiskey, a gin, a vodka, and a coffee liquor, all crafted from local ingredients. I'm going to try to see their stills the next time I'm out West, but until then it was wonderful to have a taste of my second home. Until next time, Seattle!