Distillery delights

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    LOREN BENOIT/Press Bartender Kyle Graves makes a lemon drop cocktail for a customer at Cricket’s Oyster Bar and Grill on Monday. The inaugural Idaho Craft and Spirits Festival starts at 5 this evening.

  • Boyd

  • 1

    LOREN BENOIT/Press Bartender Kyle Graves makes a lemon drop cocktail for a customer at Cricket’s Oyster Bar and Grill on Monday. The inaugural Idaho Craft and Spirits Festival starts at 5 this evening.

COEUR d’ALENE — Liquor might not solve all your problems.

Still, it’s worth a shot.

The Coeur d'Alene Downtown Association is inaugurating the Idaho Craft and Spirits Festival from 5 to 8 this evening. Festival-goers 21 and older may sample more than two dozen hand-crafted spirits from eight Idaho distilleries while visiting eight downtown locations: Ironhorse Bar and grill, MoMo Sushi, Coeur d'Alene Taphouse Unchained, Crafted Tap House + Kitchen, Beacon, Cricket’s, Kaiju Sushi and Spirits, and Honey Eatery and Social Club.

"The Idaho Distillers Association came to us with the idea," Downtown Association events coordinator Emily Boyd said. "July is Idaho Craft Spirits Month, and they had the idea to do an event to kick off the celebration and share about local craft spirits with the community. We thought it was a great idea and felt it would be a fun way to experience downtown’s food and bar scene while sharing about local distilleries.

"I am incredibly excited to help bring a new event on board, especially one that is so unique and celebrates our local area," Boyd said. "This event has great potential to grow each year, and we are excited to do so in partnership with the Idaho Distillers Association.”

The festival will feature eight local distilleries — Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery, Koenig Distillery and Winery, Warfield Distillery and Brewery, 44° North Vodka, Up North Distillery, Mill Town Distillery, Grand Teton Distillery and Drinc Inc. Industry professionals will be on site at each location to share information about the spirits.

"Distilling is a neat process that I think will captures people’s interest," Boyd said. “Hearing about where and how the spirits you are indulging in are created makes it a much more personalized experience. Some of the distillers on site actually grow the potatoes or grain they use and hand pick the fruits they are infusing the spirits with. It’s a fun aspect of the event to have interaction between the distillers and community.”

And, she added, "the cocktails that are being featured aren’t your standard spirit with a splash of soda."

Up North Distillery, for example, will serve a "Centennial Summer Punch" at Taphouse Unchained. It’s barrel-finished honey spirit, black tea, lemon juice, Pimm's Cup liqueur, Cointreau and Campari.

"The cocktails will be featured through July at the establishment they are paired with to celebrate Idaho Craft Spirits Month, so you have multiple occasions to give them a try," Boyd said.

Tickets are $20 and include a commemorative shot glass and tastings at all stops. Mini-cocktails will be available for purchase at each location. Tickets are limited. Check-in will take place in the Plaza Shops, 210 E. Sherman Ave. Visit craftspirits festival19.eventbrite.com to buy tickets online.

Alcoholic beverages must be consumed at the locations where they’re served.

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