Oh, happy day! Blinking Owl Distillery is finally opening TOMORROW in SanTana, Orange County’s first-ever distillery since the days of Prohibition. The bar is gorgeous, the stills imposing, the outdoor area perfect for private events. And the booze! Owners Brian and Robin Christenson plan to offer rye, bourbon and other whiskeys once they age. Gin’s coming in November; their orange-flavored vodka, crafted with Valencias from the Heritage Museum of Orange County’s trees, tastes like a boozy Orange Bang! But for their first official release, Blinking Owl released a wild card: aquavit.
OC ain’t Minnesota: The most prominent Scandinavians ‘round these parts are the Segerstroms, and I wonder if any of them would admit to a tipple or or two of the legendary herbaceous liqueur. But the Christensons have distilled a winner: starts strong, ends sweet, best sipped but can make deeply complex cocktails. Caraway and dill are the main stars here, and there’s even a surprising flourish of hibiscus, because even the official drink of the North needs a Mexi flourish, you know! Congrats to Blinking Owl for an already great start—just remember us little people when they’re selling you at Mr. Hi-Time…HA!
Blinking Owl Distillery, 802 E. Washington Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 542-5928; blinkingowldistillery.com