It’s been a long couple of years for everybody, and Temple Distilling in Lynnwood has the perfect remedy: a make-your-own gin and tonic.
After more than two years of ups and downs, the distillery, 19231 36th Ave. W., Lynnwood, is hosting a Spring G&T Garden Party from noon to 5 p.m. May 21. It will be only its second event since the pandemic began in early 2020.
“It’s been such a blessing that we’ve been able to grow during the pandemic, but we’re excited to be back to the good stuff,” said A.J. Temple, who owns Temple Distilling with his wife, Jamie. “It’s great to see customers back in the tasting room.”
The G&T Garden Party will include make-your-own gin and tonics with a garnish bar. Customers can choose one of the Temple’s gins, between three different styles of tonic and then garnish it themselves with a mix of herbs, fruits and vegetables.
The G&Ts will be served in 18-ounce Spanish-style globe glasses and the Temples will be on hand to help guide customers, helping them choose between sage, rosemary, cardamom, cucumber, edible flowers and more in search of the world’s greatest G&T.
Like what you’re tasting? There will be free take-home herbs and plants on hand so customers can take home with them, grow their own garnishes and then recreate the G&T they’ve just enjoyed.
Saturday’s event is a celebration of a long road for Temple. Early in the pandemic, Temple had to quickly shift from making spirits to hand sanitizer. The timing wasn’t ideal, especially in light of the release of Constant Reader, Temple’s more affordable gin that is more restaurant-friendly.
“We released Constant Reader and then all the restaurants closed,” Temple said.
Online sales and hand sanitizer kept Temple afloat until it could re-open its tasting room in May 2021. Since then Temple has seen its distribution increase, especially in Idaho, as restaurants have re-opened and dining out has taken off again.
“We’re feeling very optimistic going into the summer,” Temple said.
As sales slowed and the tasting room remained closed, the Temples invested in the distillery. They expanded into the large space next to their tasting room and built a new production and storage space for distilling equipment, fermenters and barrels, and also expanded the bar area in the tasting room.
“It was a big step up but we pulled the trigger because it was right next door and really fit our needs,” A.J. Temple said.
Part of the expansion plan is to eventually make whiskey and bourbon. Temple purchased a mash tun and boiler from Woodinville’s JP Trodden and is seeking out oak barrels just to house whiskey and bourbon. The plan is to begin distilling the whiskey soon and then let them rest three years in barrels.
“It’s a game of patience and we want to take our time,” Temple said.
While those barrels rest, Temple plans a couple of big releases before the end of the year. The distillery will re-release its aquavit in June, and its next version of its Woodcut Barrel Rested Gin, which has been aged in amaretto barrels with curry leaves, lemongrass and galangal, is planned for later in the year.
West Indies Tonic
2½ ounces Chapter One Navy Strength Gin
Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
Green cardamom pod
Half slice of fresh grapefruit
4-inch piece of lemongrass, sliced lengthwise
The Navy Strength Gin gets its name and history from the British Royal Navy. Combine this citrus-laden gin with a botanical tonic and garnishes from the West Indies for a perfect match. Mix the gin and tonic in a large Copa (balloon) glass filled with ice. Push grapefruit slice down the side of the glass, slide lemongrass in next to it, and top with the cardamom pod.
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