Supporting local businesses is more important than ever in a tough economy. When it comes time to find the perfect gift for the drinker in>"/>
Supporting local businesses is more important than ever in a tough economy. When it comes time to find the perfect gift for the drinker in your life, shopping local is also pretty easy. Father's Day is just around the corner, and if your dad likes to get his drink on, then a booze-related gift for Dad's day is a no-brainer. Around the Sound are great buys for the booze-lover in your life. You can find something for oenophiles, beer snobs, and cocktail aficionados alike.
Age Your Own Whiskey Kit:
The perfect--albeit expensive--gift for the DIYer. This kit from Woodinville Whiskey Co. includes a 2-liter aging barrel, a funnel, two tasting glasses, and two 750-ml bottles of their 110-proof White Dog. Pour this unaged whiskey into the barrel and wait 3-6 months (taste as you go to determine doneness) for your personally aged whiskey to emerge. $150, available online at Binnys.com.
The Washington Beer Lover's club is like a book club for beer drinkers. Annual membership includes invitations to monthly gatherings at local brewpubs, breweries, and tasting rooms to meet, taste, and talk about Washington beer. Members get a T-shirt in addition to a tasting passport which they can use to collect stamps from every brewery they visit. Annual membership costs $25 and is available online.
Ebb + Flow Vodka and Gin:
Stock the liquor cabinet with some quality spirits distilled right in Seattle. Sound Spirits, located in Interbay, is distilling the first spirits in Seattle's since Prohibition. Their Ebb + Flow vodka and gin are made from 100% Washington barley, and offer more complexity and richness than many of the big-name brands found on liquor-store shelves. Try it for yourself. Their tasting room is open nearly every day for you to sample before you buy. They are also working on an aquavit, available later this summer. $35 for 750 ml bottle. Available at Sound Spirits and Washington liquor stores.
Wine-tasting classes are a great way to taste a number of wines and expand your palate. At The Local Vine on Capitol Hill, classes with their sommelier taste and evaluate at least six different wines in the 90-minute class. There are introductory classes like "Wine 101," or classes focused on one region or varietal, like "Wines of Italy." Classes are $55. More information at thelocalvine.com.
Brew Your Own Beer:
Brewing beer at home can be rewarding, but it's messy and time-consuming, has high setup costs and a moderate risk of failure, and makes your house smell like a brewery. (OK, that last one may not be a bad thing.) At Gallaghers' Where-U-Brew in Edmonds, however, you can enjoy all the perks of brewing your own beer without any downside. Their steam-heated copper kettles cut brewing time in half, their recipes are tried and tested, and they clean up the mess. One batch is 12.5 gallons (some half-batches are available), about 5 ½ cases of beer. Brewing time takes 2-3 hours, then they ferment the beer for you in their large walk-in cooler until you come back 2-3 weeks later to bottle your creation. $150-$165 for a 12.5 gallon batch; half batches are $90. More information, reservations and gift certificates at whereubrew.com.
If you haven't already heard, bitters are the new black. No home bar is worth its salt-rimmed glasses if it doesn't have at least one bottle of bitters on hand. Aromatic bitters are the default option, but unique single-flavor options are available as well. Local company Scrappy's Bitters offers flavors like chocolate, cardamom, and grapefruit in their line of hand-crafted bitters. You can add a few drops of bitters to still or sparkling water, coffee, or desserts in addition to adding them to cocktails. Scrappy's Bitters can be found at specialty shops like DeLaurenti, and Big John's PFI, and online at ChefShop.com.