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Farm to Bottle: Dry Fly Distilling

boutique boozeWhether it’s artisanal handicrafts or food, consumers are increasingly attracted to brands and products that focus less TV commercials and more on quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

This is apparent in the growing food-to-table movement and explosion of craft brewers in the U.S. over the past few years.

Though it hasn’t received the same amount of press, artisanal spirits, also known as boutique booze – which sounds cooler – is having it’s own Renaissance.

The number of small distilleries in the U.S. is around 240 with projections of there being more than 400 by the end of 2015. This is astonishing growth considering there were barely 50 independent distillers in 2003.

The explosion of these smaller distillers is a boon to mixologists and cocktail connoisseurs who appreciate the purity, freshness and quality of the local ingredients as well as the painstaking distillation process.

Dry Fly Distilling

Dry-Fly-DistillingOne of the companies spearheading this movement is Spokane, Washington’s Dry Fly Distilling. Dry Fly was founded in 2007 as the first distillery in Washington State since prohibition.

Founded by two self-confessed “trout bums,” Don Pofenroth and Kent Fleischmann, Dry Fly is committed to the farm-to-bottle approach. Every drop of liquor they sell comes from fresh, unprocessed ingredients grown by sustainable farms in the agriculturally rich Spokane area.

Despite their commitment to remaining locally-sourced, or perhaps because of it, Dry Fly has expanded all over the U.S. and into Canada. They were awarded the 2011 Distillery of the Year by the American Distilling Institute.

After taking a look at their products, it’s obvious why.

Dry Fly currently has four main offerings. A Vodka, Gin, and Bourbon 101. Their vodka was hailed by DrinkSpirits.com as “a classic – a mind-blowing vodka that is expertly distilled.” Lance Mayhew of the Oregon Culinary Institute described the wheat whiskey as “like a baby’s blanket caressing my tongue, with freshly baked orange scones, cinnamon toast, white pepper and peppermint notes.” We could go on, but you get the point. Dry Fly is making some good boutique booze.

If you’re catering to a crowd that knows their booze, you might want to safe yourself the trouble of trying to pass off a lesser-brand and go ahead and serve Dry Fly. The company’s story is appealing and gives their products yet another dimension.

Recipes

We picked some of our favorite, non-traditional recipes recommended by Dry Fly. If you’re looking to try out something new, give them a shot.

Blueberry Caipiroskablueberry caipiroska

This Blueberry Caipiroska variation of the classic Brazilian Caipirinha had us ready for Happy Hour….around noon.
2 oz Dry Fly vodka
1 lime quartered
3 Fresh blueberries
¾ oz simple syrup
¼ oz blue berry syrup or liqueur (liqueur is better if available)
Muddle  the quartered lime, Dry Fly vodka, and simple syrup. Add ice, shake, and  pour into a rocks glass (no straining). Drizzle with berry syrup/liqueur and garnish with 3 blueberries.

Raspberry Collins

This Raspberry sounded perfect for a summer afternoon on the porch with friends. I can smell the barbecue already. Wait, it’s February?

1 ½ oz Dry Fly gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
¾ 0z raspberry liqueur/syrup
Splash of Soda water
Shake gin, lemon, and raspberry. Strain into a tall Collins glass filled with ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with one fresh raspberry and a lemon twist.

Chocolate ManhattanChocolate Manhattan

Chocolate AND whiskey? Dear God. Yes.
2 oz Dry Fly Bourbon or Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey
1 oz Cinzano Sweet vermouth
3 dashes Fee’s Brothers Chocolate bitters
Stir and strain. Served in cocktail glass. Garnished with Brandied cherry (not a maraschino).