localboozes

Give them local boozes to mix into holiday cocktails.

I spent some time thinking about all the local booze that has started to show up since the distillery laws changed.

There is some good stuff out there, and local spirits make for fun presents, but for the gift guide I wanted to choose bottles that would be well received by all kinds of home bartenders. Because let’s face it: If you offer Aunt Betty a bottle of white dog whiskey, she’s going to think she got punked. (That said, if you are shopping for a moonshine fan, you can buy some from Woodinville Whiskey.)

Here are the crowd-pleasers:

CACHACA Cachaca is a Brazilian liquor made from fermented sugarcane that you may have tried in a caipirinha cocktail. Novo Fogo cachaca is made in Brazil, as you might expect, but the company is based here in Seattle. Does that qualify it as a local spirit? Not exactly, but I still think it makes a good gift.

There’s the novelty factor of course, cachaca is not all that well known in the states. But I also find both products from Novo Fogo are very drinkable; everyone seems to like them. I suggest picking up the unaged Silver ($27.50) for rum fans, and the aged Gold ($34.95) for whiskey sippers.

GIN What I like most about Voyager, a London dry-style gin from Pacific Distillery in Woodinville, is that it’s very versatile in cocktails, so it will earn its keep as a true workhorse of the home bar. Voyager is $25.90 at state stores.

VODKA Interbay distillery Sound Spirits has received high marks for its Ebb and Flow vodka, converting even vodka snobs with its distinct barley character. Ebb and Flow retails for $24 $31 at the liquor store, or you can also buy it at the distillery. Hours vary, so call ahead.