Guest post by Juli Crompe.
For someone who admittedly likes cocktails, PROOF was unexpectedly a whole new world. While I like to think I know something about spirits (having studied them a bit in college for an elective course), PROOF was proof to me (haha!) that the world of spirits and distilleries is growing much faster and is much more innovative than just a few short years ago.
I never cared much for gin, or dark spirits, and find most liquor by itself to be more of a nuisance than a pleasure, but PROOF changed that for me in a big way. I decided "When in Rome..." and chose not to limit myself at this event based on what I've previously enjoyed, and opened myself up to the possibility of new liqueurs, spirits and flavors.
|One of two large rooms with booth after booth after booth of food and liquor!|
|Rain City Spirits Apple Liqueur will be released next week. Definitely check them out!|
|Skip Rock Distillers out of Snohomish has a wide |
variety of liquors and liqueurs, including
Raspberry, Blackberry (right) and even Walnut,
as well as vodka, gin, bourbon and whiskey!
|Skip Rock Blackberry Liqueur was so good!|
Brandy based, it was smooth, creamy, & jam like,
delicious on its own or mixed in a cocktail.
Recipe: Kir Royale, 1/2 oz. Blackbery Liqueur with
3 oz. Bubbly, garnished with blackberries!
|Bluewater Organic Distilling makes 100% organic vodka and gin from Everett, WA, I really enjoyed the Halycyon Organic Gin, more of a London dry style, crisp and great for sipping!|
|Letterpress Distilling currently only makes a vodka |
and limoncello, with an amaro coming soon! Their vodka
is crafted from 100% Washington-grown soft
white winter wheat and two-row barley.
|Gold Medal winning Cherry Bomb Cherry Whiskey from Eastside Distilling in Portland was really great for someone like me who doesn't tend to enjoy whiskey. It had rich flavor and was not overwhelming or syrupy.|
|Chambers Bay from Port Steilacoom Distillery crafts a really great vodka. Smooth and simple with notes of honey, I really enjoyed one.|
PROOF was also full of 15 food vendors and restaurants, showing off some delicious bites!
|Kickin' Boot in Ballard served pulled pork sliders. Very smokey with simple flavors, it was a great way to get some bread and meat in your stomach to soak up some of the booze!|
|Fresh Bistro served up a pork filet mignon, beautifully decorated with edible flowers, pancetta bits and served with a really creamy, delicious cauliflower puree and sweet glaze.|
|Manhattan, formerly Manhattan Drugs, served up a creamy, cheesy grits dish with shrimp and pork belly. The grits were so smooth, and delicately balanced with the rest of the flavors. A winner for me!|
Above was only a small portion of the incredible amount of flavors, styles, and types of liquors that were available at PROOF. This was only the first annual, but based on the success and incredible strength of the distillery industry, I know this event is here to stay. I highly recommend checking it out next year, but buy your tickets early...they sold out a few days in advance this year. I now look forward to sipping my way through the growth of the NW distillery market for years to come!