The Old Ballard Liquor Co. is an artisan nano-distillery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Paying homage to the area's history as a Scandinavian fishing and blue collar neighborhood, our focus is on forgotten and neglected traditional old-fashioned liquors and liqueurs. We produce high quality products that are approachable and pragmatic. Our products rotate and change with the seasons, and there's always something new to try in our tasting room.

We encourage you to check out our Facebook Page for the latest announcements and information. Also feel free to stop by the shop to say hello, try some booze, or just check out the operation. If you stop by outside of regular hours, just try the door: if it's unlocked, come on in!


- The Team at Old Ballard Liquor Co.

Currently on the Shelf

Riktig Aquavit - Classic Norwegian-style Scandinavian liquor flavored with caraway, mustard and two secret spices, then aged on local alder. Caraway forward and meant for pairing with rich, fatty meats like smoked lamb, sausage or duck.
Älskar Aquavit - Southern-Swedish Aquavit in the style of Skåne or Hallands Fläder, this citron flavored aquavit is nuanced with notes of caraway, coriander, grains of paradise and other spices. For oyster and mussel pairing.
Midsommar Aquavit - Distilled caraway, vanilla bean & three kinds of dill, then infused with even more dill for a rich, woodsy, flavorful summer Aquavit. Perfect for pairing with crayfish, crab and salmon.
Taffel #1 (Seasonal) - First in a line of rotating taffel (clear, unaged) aquavits. Each batch is completely unique and when it's gone, it's gone forever. Batches will be named by number (#1, #2, etc...). This first batch is quite complex and is made from about 15 different botanicals, including a small amount of fennel. It's a dry, classic aquavit flavor that is very slightly spicy - fantastic with steak.
Bounce - Aged Sour Fruit Liqueur, based on 200 year old heritage recipes.
Cherry Bounce* - Fresh cherry pie flavor with notes of caramel, maple and almond.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Bounce - Very complex, strong strawberry flavor with a Lillet-type tart/bitter finish. Mixes beautifully.
(*2012 or 2013 vintage Cherry Bounce available upon request until sold out)
Well Vodka
Corn Distilled - Very neutral and a just a touch sweet. Great for mixing. Do we distill this? Nope, not a drop, but it's terrific vodka for a fraction of the store price.
Bottle Pack - Have any full size bottle wrapped in a gift box that includes two 1.5oz glasses.
Snaps Glass Pack - 6 Snaps (aquavit) glasses wrapped and ready to gift.

Upcoming Liquors

Strawberry-Rhubarb Brandy - We're going to turn some of the Strawberry-Rhubarb Bounce into Brandy. It's so crazy it just might work! Test batches have us cautiously optimistic.
Hood Strawberry Brandy - Brandy distilled from heirloom Skagit Valley Hood Strawberries.
Farm Vodkas - Unflavored vodka distilled from a variety of fruits and veg.
Pumpkin & Brown Sugar
Melange Vodka - distilled from mixed dregs including raspberry, aquavit, corn and cherry.
Sour Cherry Vodka - distilled from sour cherries.
Nymodig Aquavit - Our version of the licorice forward Northwest Style aquavits commonly found in local bars.
Skogen Aquavit - Yup, the season for spruce-tip aquavit is coming soon! Look for it in June.
Julbock Aquavit - Planned Christmas 2015 release. Bourbon Barrel aged Fig and Vanilla Aquavit. If it's not ready by 2015, it will definitely be on in 2016.

Out of Season Liquors (check back next year)

Skagit Valley Strawberry Vodka (July/Aug)- Vodka distilled from heirloom Hood Strawberries from Mount Vernon
Raspberry Brandy (Aug/Sep) - European style clear brandy distilled from Skagit Valley Raspberries. Rich and hot, with spice, Jam, and Black Tea notes.
Distilled Blend - Sour Cherry & Strawberry, blended before distillation. Very neutral.
Sour Cherry Distilled - Complex and savory, with a subtle nutty, umami flavor. Best in Bloody Marys.
Cherry Brandy - Distilled from leftover boozey cherry pressings, this is an earthy-fruity cross between a Cherry Grappa and a Kirschwasser.
Pumpkin Brandy - Yes, you read that right. Clear brandy. Made from pumpkins and brown sugar. Tastes like tequila-soaked carrot cake.
Raspberry Vodka - Slightly hot, made from Skagit Valley raspberries.
Bourbon Barreled Cherry Bounce - Aged in a used Oola Bourbon Barrel. More tart, higher proof and more complex.
Skogen Aquavit - Locally picked spruce tips from right here in Ballard & Caraway. Small batch seasonal release only.
Ragnarok Aquavit (Seasonal) - Serious Aquavit. Weighing in at 120 proof, and packed with extra spices, this dark, very strong edition is for hardcore vikings only.
Tomten Aquavit (Seasonal) - Our winter holiday release, just like back in Sweden! Yultide caraway aquavit flavored with sweet baking spices like allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Spicy and slightly sweet.
(December Only) Aquavit 6-Pack (Nubbar) - 100ml Bottles of all 6 2014 aquavits packed in a colorful holiday carrier.
(December Only) Gift Wrapped 4-Pack - Your choice of any 4 nips (50ml bottles), wrapped and ready to gift.
Mirabelle Plum Brandy (Mirabellen Wasser) - A seasonal Autumn tradition from Southern Germany, made with plums from a customer's tree in Ballard. The flavor is not sweet and plummy, but more nutty, almost like hazelnuts.
Quince Brandy - Beautifully fragrant, made from fresh Camano Island Quince. If an apple, pear and rose had a baby together, it would be a quince.


BALLARD MARITIME DISCOUNT: 10% off for maritime workers with a TWIC Card or recent paystub from vessel employment

SCANDIHOOVIAN SPECIAL: 10% off for Scandinavian Language Speakers

Payment Types Accepted

No Cash or checks (sorry!)
Credit/Debit Cards accepted: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Winter Hours: Jan 1 - May 30

3pm - 7pm
3pm - 7pm
3pm - 7pm

Contact & Location

4421 Shilshole Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Visit our Facebook Page

In Bottles
All products can be purchased at the distillery. We have Full Size Bottles and 50ml Nips.
Ballard Liquor Store
Crown Hill Liquor and Wine
Ken's Phinney Ridge Market
Wine World
Downtown Spirits
Bob's Lake City Liquors
Capco Beverages West Seattle
Capco Beverages Issaquah
Cleaview Liquor and Wine
Back Porch Spirits Everett
Beyond the Bottle, Puyallup
Seatac Spirits
Northwest Liquor and Wine
Total Wines Lynnwood, Northgate, Bellevue, Federal Way, Southcenter, Puyallup, Olympia, Spokane North, Spokane Valley
Whole Foods Downtown
In Glasses
Tom Douglas Restaurants: Etta's, Lola, Serious Pie, Seatown, Bravehorse Tavern, Tanakasan, Ändra Loft
Ballard: Brunswick & Hunt, Bad Albert's, Zayda Buddy's, The Ballard Station, The Bridge Cafe, The Bal-Mar, Volterra, The LockSpot, Brimmer & Heeltap, Hattie's Hat, Bloom, The Tractor Tavern, Stoneburner, The Sexton, The Ballard Annex, La Isla, Olaf's, Wingmasters, The Leif Erikson Lodge, Skillet Diner, The Golden Beetle
Fremont: The Whale Wins, Brower's Cafe, The Back Door at Roxy's
Tangletown: Elysian Brewpub
Downtown: The Swedish Club, The Columbia Tower Center Club, Von's 1000 Spirits, Local 360, Elysian Bar, Queen City Grill
Queen Anne: Tin Lizzie Lounge
Capitol Hill: Tavern Law, Lark
Massachussetts: OBLC is distributed through Ruby Wines in Massachusetts. Ask for it at your local store.
International: Øl & Brød, Copenhagen, Denmark
George and Martha
2 Parts Rye Whiskey
1 Part Cherry Bounce
Dash Cherry or Orange Bitters
Garnish with an orange peel twist
Cherry Kir
Add a splash of Cherry Bounce to champagne or sparkling white wine
Ballard Standard
Shot of Riktig Caraway Aquavit served with a Budweiser chaser
Ballard Fancy
1 Part Cherry Bounce
1 Part Riktig Caraway Aquavit
Splash of Ginger Beer
Norwegian Blonde
Juice of 1/2 lemon + simple syrup to taste (sub good quality lemonade) to equal 4 oz
4 large springs fresh dill, chopped roughly
2 oz Riktig Caraway Aquavit
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, and shake HARD. Strain into a glass and serve with a garnish of fresh dill sprig.
Knotty Viking
2 oz Riktig Caraway Aquavit
Lime Wedge
Splash Simple Syrup
Dry Cucumber Soda
Cucumber slice (for garnish)
Muddle the lime, Aquavit and simple syrup with ice. Top with Dry Cucumber soda and garnish with a cucumber slice.
Bloody Helga
2 oz Riktig Caraway or Midsommar Dill Aquavit
Dash Scrappy's Celery Bitters
Your Favorite Bloody Mary Mix
Mix and serve with a dill infused salt rim.
Viking Funeral (via Justin Godsey / The Sexton)
2 oz Riktig Caraway Aquavit
1 Tbl Maple Syrup
Hot Cider
Squeeze of Lemon
Mix and serve in a hot toddy glass.
Black Forest Cake
1 oz Cherry Bounce
1 oz Sound Spirits Depth Cacao Liqueur
1 oz Vodka
Vanilla bean infused cream (room temp)
Shake the Bounce, Cacao and Vodka over ice and strain into a martini glass. Float the vanilla cream on top.
Oslo Mule (via Amy Frothingham, Volterra)
2 oz Riktig Caraway Aquavit
1/2 Fresh Lime
Ginger Beer
Muddle the Aquavit and lime together with ice. Top with Ginger Beer, garnish with a sprig of mint.
Ingmar Bergman
2 oz Älskar Citron Aquavit
Dash Scrappy's Celery Bitters
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon
Soda Water
Celery Garnish
Mix and serve in a tall glass over ice. If available, use Cel-Ray soda instead of bitters and soda water.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Mint Julep (via Jessica Weathersby / Volterra)
1.5 oz Bourbon
1 oz Strawberry-Rhubarb Bounce
5 mint leaves
Simple Syrup, Soda Water
Muddle the mint and simple syrup in a tall glass. Fill with ice, add bourbon, Strawberry Rhubarb Bounce and top with soda water. Garnish with sliced strawberries and fresh mint.
Cherry Gastrique (for pork)
1 Cup Cherry Bounce
1 Cup Veal or Pork Stock
1 Tbl Finely Chopped Shallot
1/2 Cup dried sour cherries
Bouquet Garni
2 Tbl Butter
Saute the shallot in a saucepan with 1 Tbl butter until softened. Add the Cherry Bounce, Stock and Bouquet Garni. Simmer until reduced by one quarter. Add the sour cherries and simmer until reduced by another quarter (sauce should be reduced by half from the original starting amount). Remove the Boquet Garni and finish with salt and pepper to taste, and a pat of butter if additional thickener is desired. Spoon over pork loin.
Swedish Oyster Chasers
Serve oysters on the half shell with tiny glasses of frozen Älskar Aquavit and a lemon wedge. Squeeze the lemon into the Aquavit glass and chase each oyster with a sip.
Älskar Aquavit Oyster Mignonette
3 parts Älskar Aquavit
1 part White Vinegar
Finely chopped Shallot
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Aquavit Oyster Shooters
Place one raw oyster in a shotglass.
Add a splash of Älskar Aquavit and a small dot of horseradish. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
What is Old Ballard?
Old Ballard is the historic portion of the Ballard Neighborhood of Seattle. More importantly, it's a culture. Old Ballard embodies midcentury Scandinavian-American Blue-Collar values like simplicity, honesty, pragmatism, hard work, and humility. Also drinking and fighting, but we don't fight much these days.
Do you make Whiskey?
No, we think there's enough out there already. Try something else for a change.
Do you ship products?
Yes and no. Shipping is complicated due to federal liquor laws and we can not ship directly to consumers. Stores, bars or restaurants may be able to receive shipments and should contact us.
Aquavit (AH-kwa-veet or AH-ka-veet) is a caraway-flavored Scandinavian digestif meant to be sipped with a meal. Different Aquavits are paired with different seasonal foods. For example, our Riktig Aquavit pairs with rich, heavy meats like smoked lamb. None of our aquavits contain fennel, anise or licorice unless specifically mentioned. Also, we always have simple, traditional Aquavit glasses on hand for purchase. Aquavit educational classes are available upon request.
Cherry Bounce
Cherry Bounce is an old-fashioned, aged sour-cherry liqueur inspired by Colonial American recipes. A close cousin to Guignolet and Cherry Heering, it's rich and flavorful without being syrupy or overly sweet. We're proud to be the only American distiller making authentic Cherry Bounce.
Do you have a mailing list?
Not right now. Check our Facebook page for product releases and updates.
Do you offer tours?
Sometimes - please call ahead or email to schedule. It's a small space, so maximum size is 6-12 people per group, depending on the season.
Do you offer workshops?
We can offer workshops and education on a limited basis. Please contact us for more information.
Do you offer Internships?
Yes, we do. Internships area available for individuals looking to start their own small-scale distillery. The program is 3 months long and very intensive. Interns work in partnership with the owner/operator for a chance to learn every aspect of the distilling business including production, bottling, reporting, taxes, compliance, marketing, sales, event planning, PR, legal issues and business plan development. Because this is a true job-training internship and not just a floor-mopping job, interns are chosen very carefully, and only one at a time. Please contact us by email for more information.
Will you donate product to [XYZ]?
We get a lot of donation requests, and although we'd love to support everyone, we just can't. OBLC only donates to Ballard and Scandinavian Cultural schools and charities. Please contact us by email for more information.


"One of the best classes I've taken in 37 years of bartending" - Murray Stenson

This workshop covers Aquavit history, production, modern interpretations, styles by region, flavor profiles, food pairing, cocktailing, and includes tastings of both domestic and imported Aquavits. Ages 21+ only. 15 seats available per class.

Classes are scheduled upon request. 5 Person minimum.

Next Workshops at the Nordic Heritage Museum: June 7 and June 14 2015. More Info here.

Press Inquiries: please contact the distillery via email before visiting. For security reasons, no unnanounced press visits are allowed. Thank you for your cooperation.

"Spotlight: Old Ballard Liquor Co.'s Riktig Aquavit", Seattle Magazine, February, 2015

"What I'm Drinking: I Will Give You A Thrashing", Spiked Punch, February, 2015

"Recipe: The 12th Fandinavian", Pink Patisserie, January, 2015

"5 Boozy Presents Sure to Please This Holiday", Seattle Magazine, December, 2014

"10 Best Spirits End-Of-Year List", Seattle Magazine, December, 2014

"Old Ballard Liquor Co. Älskar Aquavit", Sip Northwest, October, 2014

"The Spirit of Ballard", Seattle Magazine, September, 2014 --> Read the full interview here.

"Must Try Cocktail Recipe: Blood and Sand", Seattle Magazine, September, 2014

"Five Questions for the Bartender: Grog's Chris Cheesman", Seattle Met Magazine, August 15, 2014

"Daily Sip: Strawberry-Rhubarb Bounce", Sip Northwest, August, 2014

"Tom Douglas Opens Scandinavian-Styled Ändra Loft on Monday", Seattle Met Magazine, July 2014

"Local Distillers Fear Loss of Freedom of Choice", King 5 News, July 2014

"New Local Spirits and Liqueurs to Try this Summer", Seattle Magazine, July 2014

"Local Proof: Skål to Aquavit!", Sip Northwest Magazine, May 2014

"Now Open: The Beautiful Elysian Bar in Downtown Seattle", Zagat, May 2014

"At Large in Ballard: Generosity", Ballard News Tribune, Apr 9, 2014

"Recipe: The Knotty Norwegian", Pink Patisserie, April 2014

Roads Less Traveled: Imbibe Magazine, Mar/Apr 2014

"5 Holiday Gifts for the Spirit and Cocktail Lover", Seattle Weekly, Dec 19, 2013

"A Deluge of New Aquavit", Liquidity Preference, Dec 2, 2013

"High Proof Talent", The Stranger, Nov 27, 2013

"8 Locally Made Liquors Go Head-to-Head in the Greatest Seattle Spirits Face Off Ever", Thrillist, Nov 20, 2013

"Old Ballard Liquor Co. Grand Opening Oct 30", Ballard News Tribune, Oct 18, 2013

"Old Ballard Liquor Co. Gets Rolling with New Cherry Vodka",Ballard News Tribune, Jul 15, 2013

"Old Ballard Liquor Co To Open its Doors Today", My Ballard, Jun 20, 2013