(03/02/17 – SWAAY) While craft breweries are hot to trot these days, the distillery or winery has been around since a bygone era. Making your own alcohol and bringing joy to visitors (and people who buy your booze, far and wide) is as time-honored as drinking itself is, but we’re kind of loving that ladies are at the helm. Here are 15 standout women-run spirit companies that are changing the game for drinkers all over the country.
Blinking Owl Distillery was the first craft distillery located in Orange County, California, which is just a short train ride or drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. There are 3 owners, two of which are women. The owners are: husband and wife team Brian and Robin Christenson, and actress Kirsten Vangsness (well known for her role on Criminal Minds). Any or all three can be found behind the bar on any given day. Blinking Owl is chic, yet comfortable and the spirits are as unique as they are delicious, making it perfect for a date-night or evening out with friends. Blinking Owl currently produces a Vodka, OC Orange Flavored Vodka, an Aquavit and just released its Gin, which features the primary flavors of Juniper, Hibiscus (as it is the flower of Santa Ana), Lemon Peel, Orange Peel, and Sage. The team is committed to using local and organic ingredients, enhancing the quality of each spirit. In addition to tastings and tours, guests can enjoy cabana service—perfect for private parties and celebrations. At Blinking Owl, the love of cocktails runs deep—Brian’s great grandfather was a bootlegger in Nebraska, so the love of hand-crafted spirits is in his DNA. And while neither Robin nor Kirsten have bootleggers in their family trees, both are passionate about this business. After a successful career in the medical industry, Robin put all her efforts towards the spirt industry and now has a level 3 degree from Wine and Spirit Education Trust (as does Brian).