Seafaring is a tradition with spirits; encased in barrels, they traveled the treacherous waters aboard ships. The thrashing the spirits received over open waters contributed an aging effect to the alcohol’s flavor.
Ingrained with the tradition of seafaring spirits, the name Bluewater Distilling is a tribute to the water as well. In the realm of sailing, “blue water” refers to the deep ocean. Bluewater’s founder and owner John Lundin is also a sailor and understands the tremendous commitment both on and off the water. His respect for the sea encouraged him to form his business to pay tribute to that, even in name.
“To me it was a great metaphor to the challenges and also the satisfaction of earning your place,” Lundin said. “You don’t just step into it lightly.”
Bluewater’s distilling process is unlike most others using traditional, ancient distilling techniques. Alembic stills from Portugal line the wall that separates the production space from the lounge area of Bluewater Distilling. Lundin’s fusion of old-world techniques with modern-day distilling provides what Lundin describes as an “ethereal, almost black magic, effect of copper which has this tremendous smoothing effect of copper you almost can’t find.” The tribute to old-world distillation is completed by Lundin’s use of open flames to power the stills shaping of the spirit. During the time that the spirits are in the still, it requires absolute patience and careful attention, but the end result is worthwhile.
In addition to traditional distilling techniques, sustainability is another cornerstone upon which Bluewater Distilling was founded. Being organic gave Lundin an edge in an otherwise industrial market. To date, there are less than 10 organic distilleries in Washington State.
“In this day and age to have a place at the table, to have a purpose for existing, to have any meaning to the business, you have to choose a sustainable path,” said Lundin. “I think to not do so makes you irrelevant from the start.”
Bluewater’s commitment to sustainability can be seen in nearly every aspect of their business, from their locally-sourced ingredients to how much waste they produce. Nearly all waste produced at Bluewater is either compostable or recyclable. The size of this distillery’s garbage bin is akin to the one you put out on the curb at your home every week.
“In a way, the organic certification not only provides us with integrity of sourcing, but also provides the consumer with an integrity of production,” said Lundin.
Lundin’s Bluewater empire has expanded with age; what began as a distillery has become a cocktail bar and restaurant. Their spirits infused with fresh fruit lead to a better cocktail experience and their commitment to local, ethical sourcing adds freshness you can taste in the local ingredients Bluewater’s kitchen relies on.
But we’ll let you be the judge of that. You can find Bluewater Distilling at the Everett Marina at 1205 Craftsman Way #109, Everett, WA 98201.