Ready to get your cocktail on? Yeah, me too. I mean, I’ve expressed my love of cocktails for some time. I totally scored in the luck department because the mom of classmate of the Babylady’s is making liqueur! As luck and awesomeness would have it they invited the parents over to their lovely home for a tasting. In the interest of a proper review I tasted each of them. It was only right. Agreed?
Would you like a virtual tour?
Doesn’t that look like fun already?
BroVo Spirits is a new company on the local liquor scene. The current (single note) flavor line includes Rose Geranium, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Ginger, and Douglas Fir. They are committed to using small family farms across Washington state grow their products. Pretty cool, right?
The rose geranium and lemon balm are grown in Rice and Northport in the northeast Washington state. Lavender is grown in Sequim and the Bellingham area. The ginger is grown near Duvall in a greenhouse. The Douglas fir is foraged from the Quinault and Bellingham areas. Furthermore, they also use small craft distilleries across the state to make their products.
The story behind BroVo begins with Mhairi Voelsgen. The story goes that her uncle died and she went to Scotland for the funeral. Apparently it is traditional in Scotland to buy a good bottle of single malt Scotch when someone dies and drink it over the course of a year. After the service her cousin pulled out a bottle of Glen Rothes – the same Scotch she had when her father died.
In that moment she had an epiphany- she wanted to make, market, and sell something. And thought “I’ll make Scotch!”. As an aside, aren’t sudden epiphanies so randomly fantastic and fascinating? They might not be exactly where one goes, but they are paths taking you unexpected places. For example, the Ladyfriend and I had a conversation years ago about how the hell to make some money and/or get me out of the nursing field. Our brainstorming sessions quickly become compete nonsense (“I know! We’ll be tattoo artists!” or “Let’s totally exploit the Babylady’s cuteness and sell pictures of her without her consent!” or “We’ll channel our inner-Girl Scouts and make lanyards and god’s-eyes and sell them!”) However, this randomness led me down the path of actually getting new tattoo (grow in my handwriting, resist in hers) and starting this blog which later led to me quitting my job and starting my own edible garden design business (not launched fully yet.) My point is that these things aren’t necessarily linear. So, an uncle dying totally leads to small batch local liquor.
Mhairi did some research and found out the craft industry is growing and saw a real opportunity. She called her business partner Erin Brophy and they started planning.
The pair went to distillery school and did a lot of ‘market research’ – going to bars and talking to bartenders. (This sounds like my kind of research!) Soon they started making test products, at home in their kitchen sinks. They developed a range of a dozen flavors and started sampling them with bartenders. Bartenders really influenced everything they did – from the range of flavors to the type of product to the bottle shape and size and the label.
BroVo now uses a proprietary process (I like to think of this as magic) that combines distilling, infusing, and blending. I don’t totally understand it means. But I do know the result is yummy!
The base can be grape or grain- it is neutral and has no flavor itself. The products blend really well with most liquors- and surprisingly well with tequila. Their website showcases many recipes. I tried many (research people!) but I think my favorite was Barney (Ginger + sparkling wine). Or maybe it was Maryanne (Lavender, Lemonbalm + vodka). But it could have just as easily been the Lumberjack (Douglas Fir + bubbles.) I’m a fickle fool, what can I say?