You can’t get more Northwest than having pine trees in your liquor. (Image courtesy BroVo Facebook)
What’s more Northwestern than liquor made with pine trees? Two ladies are experimenting with things that grow in the Northwest to craft their new line of botanical “lady-made liquor.”
“Close to 70 percent of our product comes from Washington state,” BroVo spirits founder Mhairi Voelsgen tells 97.3 KIRO FM’s Let’s Eat.
BroVo Spirits currently offer five botanical flavored liqueurs including Douglas Fir, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Rose Geranium, and Ginger.
Voelsgen says she and co-founder Erin Brophy didn’t want to do the same old fruit flavors that are produced by other makers.
“We just made a really long list of different stuff that seemed unique and local that spanned everything from florals to spice,” Voelsgen says, “We took that list of 50 down to about a dozen, then we started researching what was available, what we felt we could get consistently and felt comfortable with, and then we took that down to seven and we cut the last two about a month before production and went with five.”
The spirits have only been available for a few months, but can already be found on notable menus and cocktail lists around the Puget Sound.
“Local chefs seem to love us,” says Voelsgen. “We’ve had a lot of luck with places like Ray’s Boathouse, Elliott’s, Ivar’s really using us in their product line both on the food side and in cocktails.”
“I had some great cupcakes made with their Lavender liqueur,” says Let’s Eat co-host and Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero. “They were delicious.”
The products can also be purchased at several local retailers including Costco, Metropolitan Market, Wine World, QFC, Total Wine and Town and Country Markets.
If you pick one up, Cicero says, “They make great summer sippers just on the rocks.”
For those interested in playing mixologist, there are also drink recipe tips in a booklet BroVo produced called “Sixty Days of Summer.” The drink recipes in the book pair recipes with fun summer events in the region.
“We tied a whole bunch of tourism activities in the area, everything from SeaFair to exhibits like the King Tut exhibit to a cocktail, so you have a cocktail a day,” says Voelsgen. “We have 60 local restaurants and bars that are participating in it, more than 80 recipes in there.”
As for what flavors are coming next, Voelsgen says to look out for a limited edition run of Amaro Rhubarb liqueur.
“It’s aging in dry fly whiskey barrels now,” says Voelsgen.
By JAMIE GRISWOLD, MyNorthwest.com Editor