Raising spirits—organically and locally—in Revelstoke, BC
monashee spirits distills the essence of big mountains and good times.
“We wanted to bottle Revelstoke,” says Josh McLafferty. The former underwater welder and his wife Jenn McLafferty, a career nurse, opened Monashee Spirits Craft Distillery in an historic building in the very heart of downtown Revelstoke, BC in April 2017. It’s a fun addition to an already great ski town.
The couple and their two toddlers live upstairs (with honeybees on the roof). Downstairs, they make small-batch spirits from scratch, using certified organic ingredients sourced when possible from within a 100-mile radius. “We know the farmers growing our organic grains,” Josh says.
Monashee’s vodka starts with a wheat and barley blend, then gets its ferment from champagne yeast. “It’s like with craft beer,” Josh says. “You don’t want it to just be a pilsner. You want it to have its own little twist and flavor, like ‘Oh yeah! I can taste that! It’s nice.’”
Monashee’s signature blends are inspired by classic après-ski hijinks: The Big Mountain Creamer is an Irish cream—made with fresh, organic cream but without all the usual emulsifiers and shelf-life extenders. Vulcan’s Fire is a Fireball-style spirit, infused with cinnamon and Thai red chiles, and sweetened with some of that rooftop honey.
But the deal is sealed with Monashee’s Ethos gin, which adds local huckleberries, wildflowers, spruce tips and a touch of ponderosa pine to a traditional gin infusion. “We wanted to capture the smell of Revelstoke,” Josh says. “When you’re skiing the trees, when you’re mountain biking after a fresh rain, that whole concept. We wanted to put it into a bottle, so that no matter where you go, you can pour it and smell it and you’ll be like ‘Oh man! Yeah. Remember?! That was awesome. That was so cool.’”
Also cool: Monashee’s tasting room offers free tasting flights by day, but by night turns into a full-on cocktail bar, with pre-prohibition mixology and a solid roster of whiskey drinks. Find Monashee Spirits about ten minutes from the slopes of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, in the heart of downtown Revelstoke at 307 Mackenzie Avenue, Revelstoke, BC. Open Wednesdays thru Saturdays. Tasting room hours: 1 pm – 5 pm. Cocktail lounge hours: 5 pm – 11 pm. www.monasheespirits.com