Vivacity Spirits, a Corvallis-area distillery, recently won an award for its Turkish Coffee Liqueur at a culinary contest in San Francisco.
Married owners Caitlin Prueitt and Chris Neumann hope that the medal from the Good Food Awards will help them tap into California’s liquor market and lead to more sales.
“We’ve won other awards, but I didn’t realize how big of an award this was until my sister called me and she was almost in tears,” Prueitt said.
The Good Food Awards had more than 2000 entrants in 2017, but only 193 companies earned awards. The honors are based not only on flavor, but also on sustainability and responsible food production.
Old Blue Raw Honey from Philomath also was a winner at the contest for its Bigleaf Maple & Harlan: Wild Blackberry honey.
Vivacity Spirits has been producing spirits since 2011, and their current lineup includes two types of gin, vodka and rum. Brandy from Pinot Noir wine will be released soon.
The company’s bottles are in more than 100 liquor stores in the state, including those in the mid-Willamette Valley.
Vivacity’s yearly output has been growing and currently stands at about 2,000 cases. (A case has 12 bottles of liquor, so that’s roughly 24,000 bottles.)
The Turkish Coffee Liqueur uses specially roasted coffee from Oregon Coffee and Tea in downtown Corvallis, which is then ground with cardamom and cinnamon. Those spices are traditionally used in Turkish coffee.
“It’s not as sweet as some of the other liqueurs, which tend to be super sweet. Ours is really coffee forward,” Prueitt sad.
The liqueur can be drank straight, or used in mix drinks such as a white Russian — or in this case, a white Turk — or put in hot chocolate.
“I like it on the rocks,” Prueitt said. She also said it can be used in baking for brownies, tiramisu, cheesecake or drizzled over cherry ice cream.
Neumann said that, in general, Vivacity is known for smoothness. “I always felt that a well-crafted spirit, you should always be able to sip,” he added. “You can sip a good vodka, and it’s amazing how warm you can sip a good vodka.”
Linn and Benton counties have five distilleries. Besides Vivacity, there is Spiritopia Craft Spirits, which is in the same business complex, 4 Spirits Distillery in Adair Village, Sinister Distilling Company in Albany and Hard Times Distillery in Monroe.
Prueitt said there’s plenty of cooperation between the companies.
Like craft beer and wine, there’s interplay with foodie culture when it comes to artisan distilling, Prueitt and Neumann said.
Vivacity also does custom distilling for wineries that make brandy, port and cider.
The Corvallis-area company actually started off as “Veracity,” but Prueitt and Neumann had to change their company’s name due to trademark issues.
Vivacity currently has two full-time employees, besides Prueitt and Neumann, who, like many business owners, are far more than full-time.
Besides bottled liquor, Vivacity’s tasting room also offers a gin spice rub for meats, a hot buttered rum mix and Turkish Coffee Liqueur sprinkles.
Vivacity Spirits is at 720 N.E. Granger Ave. Suite C, north of Corvallis, in Kammerer Industrial Park. Tasting room hours aren’t set. For more information, call 541-286-4285 or go to vivacityspirits.com.