Sugar cube

Splash of Becherovka

Orange segment (blood orange, if available)

2 oz. Hardware Distillery Aquavit


Splash of water


Place the sugar cube on a tea plate. Cover the sugar cube with Becherovka and soak the sugar cube until softened. Place the sugar in the glass with the orange and muddle lightly, crushing the softened sugar, but lightly bruising the orange. Add ice and Hardware Distillery Aquavit. Top with a splash of water. Garnish with orange.

A near pear disaster

A near pear disaster

Pears are the basis of our vodka and aquavit. We purchase Washington State pears from a company in Vancouver, Washington. They are packed as concentrate in 5-gallon pails, which weigh nearly 60 pounds each.

For each batch of pears, I drive our truck to Vancouver and bring the pails back to the distillery. The most recent trip was few days ago. I bought 24 pails.

Sadly, this time the packers had not secured the pails of pear concentrate to the pallet. The pails were stacked two pails high, and as I entered the on-ramp to I-5, the top row of pails slid to the side of the truck, and tottered at the side edge of the back of the truck. They were ready to topple onto I-5.

The next exit was a mile away. I drove very slowly in the right lane, constantly checking my rear-view mirror and the sight of the white buckets, bent against the side of the truck.

As I reached the exit, I looked for someone to help me. I am not strong enough to move the 60-pound pails. There was a small shopping center. I knew that there would be no one to help me at the small shops. Then, I spied a charity donation center.

When I parked, several people told me that the pails were ready to fall out of the truck. I thanked them for the information.

Two young men were at work at the donation drop-off. I offered them $20 to straighten the pails. They agreed, but said no one could see them accepting the money.

After the pails were straightened, the $20 was passed via a handshake. I was back on I-5, and on my way to making vodka and aquavit.

We will be open on Veterans Day

We will be open on Veterans Day

Our Tasting Room will be open on Monday, Veterans Day, noon to 4 p.m.

Gift boxes are in, and we recently bottled Whiskey and Aquavit. Check out our new Aquavit cocktail, the Julevit, just in time for the holiday season.



Being a fjord, the Hood Canal is perfectly situated for the production of aquavit.

It is similar to Scandinavia, the birthplace of aquavit, in climate and topography, and we expect an excellent aquavit to come from our waters.

Aquavit is a holiday treat in Scandinavia.It is one of the older liquors, and there are records of aquavit dating back to the 16th century. Like many of the older spirits, it was named “Aqua Vite” for “water of life” and was considered to have medicinal properties.

Aquavit is also spelled “akavavit” or “akevitt.” It is associated with many traditions in Scandinavia. It is popularly believed to help digest rich foods, and it’s enjoyed at holiday time and celebrations throughout the year. It is often drunk while singing a traditional drinking song.

Like gin, the recipes and flavors of aquavit vary among brands and are kept secret. Also like gin, there is a dominant flavor. In aquavit the dominant flavor is caraway. Other botanicals found in aquavit recipes may include cardamom, cumin, anise, fennel, and lemon or orange peel.

Aquavit is usually aged in barrels, but it does not have to be. Norway has a unique tradition of sending barrels of aquavit in ships from Norway to Australia and back again. The steady movement of the waves, the humidity and the mercurial temperatures cause the aquavit to extract more flavor from the barrels. Upon returning to Norway, the ocean-aged aquavit can be labeled as “linje” aquavit. Because this process has not been successfully reproduced in simulated circumstances on land, boats loaded with barrels of aquavit continue to set sail from Norway to Australia and back again.