What to Drink

Cocktails from the Bend Distillery

Add a Crater Lake gin, vodka, or whiskey to your shelf and create some delicious cocktails at home.

Bend, Oregon might not be the first place you would look for an award-winning distillery, but then you would miss out on the creative and thoughtful efforts of Crater Lake Spirits (Bend Distillery). Bend city is known for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, white-water rafting, skiing, paragliding, and golf. But the Crater Lake Spirits owns the city with their vodka, whiskey, and gin. 

At the annual USA Spirits Ratings, Crater Lake distillery’s spirits brought home three medals. The competition was judged by some of the country’s best bartenders, spirits professionals, and experts from the field. At the competition, the spirits were judged on the basis of their quality, value for money, and their packaging and design. Crater Lake Spirits’ Northwest Berry Vodka won a silver medal by earning 85 points, the Crater Lake Straight Rye Whiskey bagged the silver medal by securing 82 points and the Crater Lake Reserve Gin got a bronze medal by earning 76 points. 

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Inside the Crater Lake Distillery, source: Facebook

Known originally for their vodka and gin, Crater Lake Spirits has grown their business since 1996 into an acclaimed distillery distributing spirits to 26 states and building two full-time tasting rooms where visitors can sip and buy a multitude of products from infused spirits to their more select reserve offerings. Whether you want to sip it neat or mix it in a cocktail, head to the Crater Lake Spirits’ tasting rooms and have a magical experience.

Try these award-winning spirits in a cocktail:

Crater Lake Northwest Berry Vodka

Distilled from corn, Crater Lake Northwest Berry vodka is infused with a seasonal blend of berries sourced from local farms across the Northwest. The bottle has aromas of berries and jam. The berry flavor tastes incredibly natural and intense on the palate, driven by cranberry and blueberry nuances. Think of it as the perfect summer day in a bottle.

Try it in a cocktail:

Lemon Berry Meringue Martini

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Crater Lake Northwest Berry Vodka and Lemon Berry Meringue Martini, source: website

Ingredients - 

  • 2 oz Crater Lake Northwest Berry Vodka
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz vanilla syrup
  • 0.5 oz half & half creamer

Combine the ingredients in a pint glass with ice, and shake until cold and frothy. Strain into a chilled martini/coupe glass rimmed with sugar. Garnish with a lemon.

Crater Lake Straight Rye Whiskey

A true American rye whiskey, Crater Lake Rye revives the tradition of pre-prohibition small-town family brands. Aged in the American oak barrels to a rich honey color, this classic spirit is milky on the palate with baking spice on the nose. Balanced with age and hints of toffee and roasted caramel corn.

Try it in a cocktail:

Blackberry Sour

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Crater Lake Rye Whiskey and Blackberry Sour, source: website

Ingredients - 

  • 2 oz Crater Lake Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup (if using simple syrup below, cut to 0.75 oz)
  • 4-6 fresh blackberries muddled OR 0.75 oz blackberry simple syrup

Muddle blackberries and add the rest of the ingredients to a pint glass with ice. Toss back and forth in a shaker to chill, and pour an entire drink on the rocks to serve. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Crater Lake Reserve Gin

Crater Lake Reserve Gin is a new wave-style spirit in a league of its own. The gin is distilled from corn and filtered 50 times through charcoal and crushed red lava rock for a soft, creamy aspect. Expect has notes of green olives, assorted citrus peels, and fresh rose petals. The palate is both fruity and peppery with herbal nuances. The result is a spirit that earns its spot on the top shelf.

Try it in a cocktail:

Not Your Grandma's G+T

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Crater Lake Reserve Gin and Not Your Grandma's G+T, source: website

Ingredients - 

  • 1 sugar cube (or 1/2 oz of simple syrup)
  • 2 slices of fresh blood orange
  • 1 full sprig of thyme, stemmed
  • 2 oz Crater Lake Reserve Gin
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • 2 dashes of Orange bitters

Muddle all ingredients, and add 2 ounces of Crater Lake Reserve Gin and ice, and shake. Strain all the contents into a glass filled with ice then top with a splash of club soda and 2 dashes of orange bitters.

Header image, source: Crater Lake Spirits

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