Sailing down 15th Avenue, you can easily miss one of Seattle's hottest landmarks. Sound Spirits Distillery, the first of its kind in the city since Prohibition, sits modestly butted against an antique shop. Octopus arms painted on the wall - an emblem of the distillery's brand - reach for the car wash next door. Inside this space, Steven Stone and his masterful crew craft old-world spirits with a twist - the most alluring of which is their trademark aquavit.
What led you to the distillery business?
My background is in aerospace engineering, but I was also a home-brewer of beer for over a decade. When I recognized early on that the craft distilling industry was about to explode, I very much wanted to be a part of it.
Why isn't aquavit as popular in the U.S.?
For the most part, I think aquavit is just an unknown category for people. Ninety percent of the folks that tour the Sound Spirits distillery have never heard of it. Still, the flavors are exotic and can be a little too adventurous for some.
What gets the most use on your bar cart?
Ebb + Flow Gin. It's quite delicious and mixable. Plus, I get an awesome discount.
Favorite cocktail to mix at home?
I usually stick to the simple classics. I like to make an Old Fashioned, a Negroni, a Martinez, etc. More recently I've been experimenting with my new Depth Cacao Liqueur made with Theo Chocolate.
What's on the horizon for Sound Spirits?
My crew and I are very excited about the upcoming release of our Depth Menthe Liqueur. Even more so, we'll be bottling our first whiskey next year - a 100-percent Washington-grown single malt. Beyond that we are looking forward to expanding our production with larger and more efficient equipment. One day, I hope to have a bar and restaurant attached to the distillery - a spirit lounge, if you will.
Read more about Sound Spirits Distillery in our Fall/Winter Newsletter, available in all of our locations and online. Check back next week for a closer look at a Seattle craft distillery rooted in Italian culture.