Recent Posts by The Spirit Chemist

Ginger Lemon Drop

We have been making Ginger Lemon Drop cocktails with our Ginger Liqueur for years and love them. When we decided to make a ready-to-drink cocktail, it was a natural choice. The twist was to use a wine base. Why? To be honest, a big part was so that we could sell it in nicer grocery…
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Hand Sanitizer Update May 2

We've been making sanitizer for a month and a half and, to be honest, it seems longer. It has been a little crazy trying to source the materials, including bottles. We still have 50ml bottles for free at the tasting room and have donated to various first responders and non-profits. More businesses have been needing…
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Hand Sanitizer Update 4/18/20

I guess it's a bad pun to say it is a "fluid" situation with respect to hand sanitizer, but there ya go. Procurement of most ingredients has improved, but supply of little bottles is sketchy and expensive right now. I am making a couple small adjustments in our pricing. This does not affect our free…
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Hand Sanitizer Update #2

We will still be giving out free hand sanitizer at the distillery tasting room tomorrow 3/28 from 12-5pm. With most people staying home, I am allowing an individual to pick up a 2 oz. personal size bottle for each member of their family. Please don't take more than you need so we can protect as…
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Spiritopia donates materials to help homeless

Spiritopia is happy to see that Niels Nielsen is making great progress at turning our donated 55 gallon drums and 5 gallon buckets into hand washing stations for homeless folks in our area. In these difficult times it is especially uplifting to see how people channel their energy into helping others and solving problems.
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Free Sanitizer update

Events around the coronavirus are evolving very quickly. School closures, lockdowns, many scary numbers. A small piece of good news is that the FDA and the TTB have allowed distilleries to help out by making hand sanitizer from alcohol. We will continue to give away 2 oz bottles for free at the distillery tasting room…
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Free Hand Sanitizer at the tasting room!

We are all battling COVID-19 together. Many steps are being taken and Spiritopia is trying to help everyone stay healthy. Due to extreme demand, hand sanitizer is hard to find. It is not a complicated formula and I realized that I could make it pretty quickly. So I am making a batch for free distribution…
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1st Annual Community Cider Crush Update! 9/14/19 10-5PM

We are partnering with Luckiamute Watershed Council for the first annual Community Cider Crush. We have also worked with the EE Wilson Wildlife Area manager to allow special access to the underutilized apple trees in the reserve. Starting at 10AM, teams will form up at Spiritopia and then head out to EEW with fruit baskets…
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First Annual Community Apple Crush

Save the date! September 14, 2019 from 10-5PM. Spiritopia is partnering with the Luckiamute Watershed Council for a apple crush and cider day. We have gotten permission from ODFW to pick apples at the E. E. Wilson Wildlife area and use the proceeds of the cider to raise money for LWC. We will have baskets…
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Mecca Grade Estate Malt

The stereotype of the farmer is not the daring, innovative entrepreneur. One guy that shatters that old mold is Seth Klann, a seventh generation farmer in Madras that is the driving force behind Mecca Grade Estate Malt. He and his father designed a one-of-a-kind, million dollar machine to malt the barley, wheat, and rye grown…
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The Glad Reaper

OK, it's an awkward joke but you must admit that the grim reaper always comes to mind when you see a scythe. And I'm not grim, I'm happy to be back out in the field cutting ryegrass. It's been several years and quite different this time around. During the dark times of regulatory hell when I…
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Spiritopia Sales Help Needed!

Spiritopia is looking for a brand ambassador that will host tasting/sales events such as farmer's markets, holiday events, and liquor store tastings. Musts: Attitude: Team oriented, flexible, positive, enthusiastic about our products, desire to learn. Customer oriented: Has or can obtain alcohol serving permit. Must be 21 years old or over. Must be comfortable talking with and…
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The Wine Channel

No, I am not talking about cable TV. I am talking about a sales channel. Why is this important? Because several Spiritopia products are now classified as fortified wines or cider. Specifically, our Pomegranate, Strawberry-Rhubarb, and Apple products. Part of why we did this is so that you can more easily find your favorite at a store…
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Strawberry Rhubarb Aperitif

Nothing says summer in Oregon like berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries. We got 'em all. Willamette Valley farmers also grow many other things including rhubarb. The classic combination of strawberry and rhubarb has been crafted into a charming aperitif wine from Spiritopia. We start with a rose of pinot noir as the base. Part of the…
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The Spiritopia Puzzle Room

***The Puzzle Room is closed until further notice due to COVID-19*** We will update this page when there are plans to re-open. We've added a puzzle room at Spiritopia! You may be familiar with the 'escape room' concept where you have an hour to solve multiple puzzles to escape some predicament. Well, the Spiritopia room…
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“Classic” Apple Brandy

Our first brandy is the atypical "Bourbon Style" with it's robust flavor and racy 102 proof. That's what charred oak will do to ya. During an infrequent mellower mood, I also put away some of our brandy into toasted oak which is the historic practice. This does not dominate the apple so much and results…
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Ryegrass Whiskey

The world's first ryegrass whiskey is now available. This is not the rye grain that many of you are familiar with - this is ryegrass, the plant grown for turf and forage here in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Actually, we are the ryegrass capitol of the world and produce much of the planet's grass seed. During…
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Peppermint Liqueur

Did you know that Oregon is the #1 peppermint producer in the United States? We work with a local farm just a few miles from the distillery in Corvallis to transform those dark green leaves into a "min-tense" experience. Think of our peppermint liqueur is a local and less sweet version of the classic peppermint…
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The Spiritopia D.I.Y. Gin Kit

Be the Spirit Maker! As the Spirit Chemist, one of my favorite parts of the job is to develop the formula and process for a new spirit. Now you can delve into that part of the work and develop your own gin. I have developed a core recipe using seven wildcrafted and organic botanicals: (juniper,…
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Portland Brand Ambassador/Salesperson Needed

Spiritopia Liqueurs is a small but dynamic company that makes premium artisan spirits in Corvallis. We are looking for a brand ambassador in Portland that will host tasting events such as farmer's markets, holiday events, and liquor store tastings.   Musts: Attitude: Team oriented, flexible, positive, enthusiastic about our products, desire to learn. Customer oriented:…
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Eclipse Totality Event at Spiritopia!

We are very lucky to be near the center of the solar eclipse path right at the distillery! We will be open for extended hours that weekend (11-6pm) and on eclipse day (8/21, 9AM-6PM). We even made a super cool tshirt to commemorate the event. More details on a separate page.
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Holiday release of Bourbon Style Apple Brandy

Special Limited Release just in time for Christmas! Just six cases of our Bourbon Style Apple Brandy have been bottled in the 750ml size. It's a special gift ($54.95) for your favorite whiskey or brandy lover (even if that person is you). The rich flavors from charred American white oak and Pacific Northwest apples are…
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Tasting Room Hours

Greetings! The tasting room has the following hours for drop in visitors: All year: Saturday 12-5PM November and December: Tuesday-Saturday 12-5PM We are often there at other times so you can give a quick call or text to 541-990-0337 to make an appointment. Hope to see you soon. Chris  
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Spiritopia on Garden Time TV

Earlier this spring we were very fortunate to connect with the folks from Garden Time, the NW local gardening show. Fast forward to last Saturday when they came to film a short segment about Spiritopia Liqueurs. We love the short YouTube video they produced, with our own Sebastian Ramirez explaining the liqueurs to host William McClenathan.…
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Best of Show/Double Gold at Seattle International!

June 30, 2016 - Seattle, WA. Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur won the Best of Show / Double Gold Medal at the Seattle International Spirits Competition and Spiritopia Apple Liqueur won a Silver Medal. The blind tasting by a panel of experts took place in May and awards were just announced by event director Christopher Chen. The…
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Spiritopia Pomegranate Liqueur

Spiritopia Pomegranate Liqueur is made from premium California pomegranates! Our amazing pomegranate juice comes from a farm in central California and is never pasteurized which preserves the color, flavor, and antioxidants. Beginning with this brilliant juice and the Philosophy of Balance, we create a liqueur that is "true to the fruit." The pomegranate is merged with our…
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Spiritopia Pomegranate Liqueur release party on June 18, 2016

The release date for our long-awaited Pomegranate Liqueur has arrived - the release party will be June 18 from 1-5PM at the distillery. We are very excited about how it turned out and hope you think it was worth the wait. We get amazingly fresh juice direct from the farm in California and marry it…
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Coconut sugar #1

As the spirit chemist at Spiritopia Liqueurs, I have a vested interest in sugar. I also like it a little too much, like many others. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about a new sweetener - coconut sugar (also called coconut palm sugar). It's a natural product made from the sap of the…
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Bourbon Style Apple Brandy

Our first apple brandy is affectionately called "Bourbon Style." It is aged in charred American oak barrels as opposed to toasted French Oak barrels. While this may seem to be a fine point, it makes a very large difference in the taste profile. Most of what is tasted in an aged spirit comes from the…
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Re-use of Spiritopia Bottles starts now.

I am pleased to announce that Spiritopia will now buy back your empty Spiritopia bottle at the distillery for a dollar. It's good product stewardship and it works out for us as the bottle costs more than a dollar to buy. Using recycled glass saves about 30% of the energy required, but re-filling saves much…
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2015 Portland Food and Wine Festival

This was quite a party again this year. Although I didn't get to sample much, the food and wine looked great. My neighbors from Indio Spirits took pity on me and procured a crazy wonderful waffle bacon sandwich that became dinner. Chris and his partner from Indio got creative and served up great mini cocktails…
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Ginger and Health

Is your cocktail a health food? That's a pretty tough sell. Ginger might be an interesting exception. It has been used as a digestive aid and and anti-nausea medicine for centuries. Studies have also shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties in ovarian tumors (Rhode, 2007). Another recent study (Karna, 2012) showed that ginger extract destroyed…
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Fino Bistro Bar Pizzeria in Portland

Spirit maker's dinner: $3 slice of pizza and an $8 cocktail! After finishing a tasting event in the Kenton district of Portland, I needed to re-fuel before heading home. Just a couple doors down was Fino, a decent looking joint with slices of pizza. When I sat down to order, I also found a surprisingly…
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Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur “Highly Recommended” by BTI

Corvallis, OR - October 13, 2015. The Beverage Tasting Institute (tastings.com) recently reviewed Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur and gave it a "Highly Recommended" rating! Here's what they had to say: "Hazy gold color. Bright, herbal, inviting aromas of ginger flan and ginseng gum with a satiny, racy, moderately sweet medium body and a peppery, complex, medium-long…
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Apple Liqueur Cocktail Contest!

Spiritopia wants your cocktail ideas for its new Apple Liqueur! Earn up to $100 and an embroidered Spiritopia T-shirt. Our “Delicious Dozen” cocktail recipe mini-brochure is so popular that we are building another one for our new apple liqueur. There are 7 slots available for the brochure. Each recipe selected will earn $50 and a shirt. An…
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Apple Liqueur Approved

It's official! TTB and  OLCC have signed off our new apple product. We're are currently getting labels printed and getting the first batch ready to bottle. We should have bottles available in the distillery within about a month and then we will have a release party. We will announce when the OLCC warehouse is stocked…
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Part-time help needed

Update: This position has been filled. Welcome Katie Clifford to the Spiritopia team! Spiritopia Liqueurs is a small but dynamic company that makes premium artisan liqueurs. We are looking for some additional part-time help. Current employees handle many job duties and this is the expectation for new employees also. While most candidates will not have…
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Valentine’s Day Open House Sat. 2/14

Dear Spiritopians! We are having a Special Valentine's Day Open House this weekend!Saturday 1-5. Free tasting and tours as usual plus 25% off glassware and Kylie’s Krafts jewelry. We will also have some "extra-spicy" in stock for the true ginger fiends. Don't forget to try the preliminary batches of the apple liqueur if you have…
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Coming in 2015: Spiritopia Apple Liqueur

If you've been watching our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SpiritopiaLiqueurs), you probably already know that our next product will be apple. It has all happened sort of organically (no pun intended, or, wait, maybe I did). We have made and tried several things, but as soon as we started making apple, it won us over. First, we…
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Spiritopia Fall Open House

Join us Saturday afternoon, November 22, from 1 to 5 for our Fall Open House at the Spiritopia distillery in Corvallis. We will have free tasting of our award-winning ginger liqueur as well as a few potential recipes of the apple liqueur we are planning for 2015. Vote for your favorite! There will also be tours and munchies. Enter…
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So you say you like ginger…..

Ginger flavor is a symphony of compounds derived from the rhizome (root) of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). The leader of the band is known as 6-gingerol. In the Spirit Chemist's lab, we measure 6-gingerol concentration using liquid chromatography to determine the amount of ginger in Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur. The other flavor compounds follow suit as long as…
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Spiritopia Grand Opening May 10!

Come join us for the official opening of the Spiritopia tasting room. We were approved April 1 and have had a couple of small tastings with friends, so now it's time for a party. It's Saturday, May 10, from 1-8 PM. We'll have free tasting of our ginger liqueur, tours, and munchies to enjoy. There…
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Spiritopia Ginger Wins Gold!

March 1-2, Denver Colorado Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur won a gold medal in the liqueurs category at the 3rd Annual Denver International Spirits Competition. The was the first competition for us and we are very happy and proud. As a gold medal winner, Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur will also be featured in the upcoming Pairsine Event, The Taste of…
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Zaya Gran Reserva Rum

Disclaimers: 1) I like sweet things (duh, I make liqueurs for a living). 2) I have no connection to Zaya other than liking it neat or in a Spiritopia Stormy. Zaya The name sounds cool and exotic, but since no history or etymology is given, it may just be some random spins on the alphabet…
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Natural Sweeteners, Part 3: Cane is King.

To me, the best tasting sugar is raw cane sugar. This is basically juice squeezed from cane stalks that has been dried into crystals. It has a blond or pale amber color due to the molasses compounds that are still present. This is what makes raw cane special - the flavor depth is marvelous with…
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Natural Sweeteners, Part 1: The players G, F, & S.

One of the defining characteristics of liqueurs is sweetness -often a LOT of sweetness. Of course, not all sweeteners are created equal. This post is a quick primer on most of the natural sweeters that can be used to make liqueurs (or cocktails, for that matter). Part one will introduce the main players. This post…
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