Santa Ana: Aquavit from Blinking Owl Distillery
Orange County’s first distillery after Prohibition is the Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana.
I visited when the distillery first opened with the initial three offerings; vodka, orange vodka and aquavit. They are also now offering gin and whiskey.
Blinking Owl is one of the few distilleries in California that has a special license that allows you to buy bottles as well as taste. The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday and tours are available. The tasting room is a beautiful room full of marble and lush blue velvet.
I had a lot of fun talking to the owners and distiller. I found it really cool the orange vodka uses local oranges (it is Orange County after all) and the aquavit has hibiscus which is California’s state flower.
I’ll have to go back to taste the whiskey now that it’s been aged a bit.
There are cocktails in the tasting room! Here’s a simple but refreshing one featuring the aquavit which turned out to be my fave of the three I tasted. I can imagine this aquavit and sparkling wine combo to be a fun take on a brunch drink.
Swedish 66 – Blinking Owl aquavit, simple syrup, lemon, cava
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