Good spirits

Pür Spirits Makes Stateside Premier in Seattle

Here’s how they got here and where to find them.

November 30, 2009

Kiki Braverman grew up in Southern Germany along Lake Constance. A freshwater body of water that straddles Germany, France, and Austria, it’s a yodelicious paradise in the Alps, dotted by thousands of small distilleries and breweries.

Eventually Kiki moved to Seattle and one night she invited an American man named Harvey over for dinner, offering him a liqueur from Pür, a hometown distillery. The next day Harvey called Kiki saying he had scoured the city’s liquor stores to find the spirits she had served him, but to no avail. Later Kiki and Harvey got married and, eventually, they brought Pür Spirits to America.

The Bravermans sell five of the 26 boozes made in Germany: two liqueurs and three liquors. A Seattle friend created the custom labels for these American imports, and she did a good job—the bottles are pretty enough so as to be eminently giftworthy and look more expensive than they are: between $22-$27. You can special order them at any state liquor stores, and they’re currently on shelves at several around town including Queen Anne Liquor (515 1ST AVE N) and University Village Liquor and Wine (2746 NE 45TH ST STE 3).

There is a delicately flavored pear liqueur that would be lovely over vanilla ice cream or mixed with champagne and a lemon garnish, and an elderflower liqueur which tastes like St Germain, only slightly more mellow—I think. (It’s been a while since I drank St Germain on its lonesome.)

Both the sloe vodka—really gin, Pür calls it vodka due to labeling restrictions (crazy uptight Americans)—and raspberry-flavored vodka are light and supple sipping spirits. The sweetness you’d expect from a raspberry flavored vodka is missing entirely, the flavor recalled for me those tart wild strawberries that left ruby stains on my fingertips when I was a kid.

But my favorite, I think, is the scotch-like (though with no smoky peatiness) whiskey made from German marzen beer and aged in chestnut. First chance I get, I’m trying it in an old fashioned.

These bars and restaurants will be stocking the spirits: Canlis, Ray’s Boathouse, Zig Zag, Liberty, Sun Liquor, Feierabend, Sambar, BalMar, and Moshi Moshi.

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