This post is by Voracious contributor Anna Roth.
When Pacific Distilleries invades Woodinville wine country this fall, it will become the second major distillery to open in Washington state since Dry Fly Distilling opened in Spokane last September. Not only that, it will become one of the only distillers in the United States to make absinthe according to old-fashioned French methods.
That’s right. Absinthe.
Owner Marc Bernhard -- who describes himself as "an absinthe person for the past ten years" -- is growing the most important ingredient, wormwood, in his Everett backyard. (European tests recently revealed that absinthe actually only contains trace amounts of wormwood's dangerously psychoactive ingredient, thujone -- discrediting the wild-and-crazy absinthe mythology completely. Thanks, science!)
Still, don’t get too excited. Chances are we won’t be dancing with the Green Fairy until Christmas. The distillery is still in the licensing process, and absinthe requires two to four months of aging ("You have to periodically taste it to know when to bottle it," explains Bernhard). Until that magic moment, we’ll have to make do with the distillery’s Voyager Gin, which should hit the market by mid-October and promises absinthe-like botanicals, including fennel and licorice.
Follow the distillery’s progress at its blog: www.pacificdistillery.blogspot.com.