A Visit to Okanagan Spirits Distillery

January 29, 2015


I’ve never been a huge fan of spirits (aka the hard stuff aka hooch). Perhaps because I have only dabbled in the lower priced, lower quality ones over the years and/or mixed them with every type of mixer possible – pop, juice, koolaid – anything to reduce the horrid taste and inevitable throat burning.

And don’t even get me started on Scotch. Why anyone wants to drink the taste of mold is beyond me. But again, just my humble opinion.

And then, a few years back, I was introduced to a “real” cocktail by my friend Tyler. Shortly thereafter on my fortieth birthday I went to my first real Speakeasy in NYC and experienced many more. And then my friend Tyler’s family became owners of a Craft Distillery in the Okanagan (aptly named Okanagan Spirits) and Tyler had become well versed in the art of mixology.

And just to brag a wee bit on Tyler’s behalf Okanagan Spirits truly knows their hooch. They took home the  World Class Distillery and Distillery of the Year for 2013 honors, by the World Spirits organization based in Klagenfurt Austria. This is HUGE people, especially for a Canadian distillery. So trust me, this is truly the GOOD stuff. And visiting the distillery is MUST do the next time you visit Kelowna or Vernon.

And…. that takes us to Monday night. We were treated to a private tasting and tour of the distillery compliments of Tyler with of course a lot of sampling.


First up were the award winning liqueurs, amazing one and all but I think my fave was the Haskap. BTW – the Black Current Liqueur scored the highest score at the World Spirits Competition in 2013 of any of the entries. This is sort of like being the “Top Dog” at the Westminster Dog Show. Amazing!

Then we moved onto the spirits. Tyler introduced us to the first run of their Single Malt Whiskey “Laird of Fintry” which was a limited run of only 300 bottles. You actually had to enter your name in a lottery to even be considered to purchase one of these babies so we felt quite honored to be part of the inner tasting circle.

And then the magic happened….. As Tyler told his tales of Laird of Fintry and the history behind it, he was squeezing fresh lemon juice, whisking fresh egg whites, adding simple syrups and a dash of the Whiskey and voila – a Whiskey Sour was presented on the bar.

And it was GOOOOOODDDDDD. And not just because of the fresh squeezed lemon, and homemade simple syrup, but because the Whiskey was that good. There’s no wincing or throat burning going on here. This is smooth as butter and finished with almost a caramelly taste. Delish.

So, I am officially adding the Whiskey Sour to my growing cocktail list. But only if it’s made by Ty and Laird of Fintry Whiskey 🙂

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