So you’ve made the excellent choice to try one of our Blinking Owl Tasting Flights! This will allow you to sample a series of six of our spirits, and learn a bit more about each one. Here at Blinking Owl Distillery, we value sustainable farming practices, and ALL of the grain we source to create our spirits is certified organic, supplied by California farms. Grain to Glass. Blinking Owl Distillery was the very first craft distillery in Orange County, founded in 2014 by longtime Santa Ana residents Brian and Robin Christenson. The name “Blinking Owl” commemorates the city of Santa Ana by paying tribute to the mid-century “Blinking Owl Bar,” that was originally located on Birch and 3rd street. Founder Brian Christenson had a bootlegging great-grandfather, named Fred P. Armbrust, who hid a still in the basement of his dairy farm, behind secret passageways. The dream behind Blinking Owl Distillery is to carry on Fred’s zealous passion for the craft, and provide “good spirits” to our own community. “Owl” drink to that!

Vodka - 40% ABV [80 Proof]

Our Vodka is distilled in house from organic California wheat as well as malted barley provided by Admiral Malting of Alameda, California. The addition of the malted barley creates a distinct hint of vanilla and caramel and a weighty mouth feel and smoothness that’s enough to tempt even the most hesitant of vodka drinkers.

In September 2020 our Vodka was awarded three UK spirit awards in the Vodka Masters 2020 competition held by Spirits Business. A Master medal in the “Vodka Base - Wheat” category, a Gold medal in the “Premium” category, and a Silver medal in the “World” category. Our vodka was commended for its “lovely nose and crème caramel” likeness as well as it’s texture. We were also awarded a Silver medal in the vodka category of the 2018 Sip Awards.


OC Orange Vodka - 40% ABV [80 Proof]

Our OC Orange Vodka is undoubtedly one of Blinking Owl’s most unique and quintessential spirits. Those of you who grew up in the area will be familiar with the history of the local orange groves and how the citrus industry helped to shape our county. In the mid 20th century there were as many as 67,000 acres (more than 5 million trees) of Valencia oranges within Orange County. Blinking Owl OC Orange Vodka, with its inclusion of “OC” in its name, as well as its creation from local, organic oranges, is a delightful homage to the county our distillery calls home.

To create our OC Orange Vodka we start with our traditional vodka, and then hand cut and juice 150 pounds of whole Valencia oranges. These oranges are provided by the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, as well as the historic Nisson Ranch orchard in Tustin. After adding the juice (and as head distiller Ryan Friesen likes to say, creating the “world’s largest screwdriver”), we add the peels, pit, and seeds(everything)h to soak overnight. This allows both the sweet juice of the oranges, as well as the essential oils, to infuse exquisitely with the vodka. We then redistill the resulting product, adding oranges in our vapor basket within the still. The result of combining natural orange macerations and vapor distillation to our award winning base vodka is a full bodied, bright, citrusy flavored vodka that’s smooth and flavorful enough to be enjoyed alone on ice or in a cocktail.

In the aforementioned Spirits Business Vodka Masters 2020 competition, Blinking Owl OC Orange Vodka claimed a Silver medal in the “Flavoured/Infused Vodka” category, and a Gold medal in the “World” category. In addition, it was also awarded a Bronze metal in the 2019 Sunset International Spirits Competition.


Gin - 42.5% ABV [85 Proof]

Blinking Owl Gin begins with our organic wheat and malted barley base spirit and then is macerated with 13 organic botanicals, including juniper, hibiscus, lemon and orange peel, and sage. This creates a delicate, yet complex and balanced California-style gin, which has less of a juniper intensity and subsequently more of a universal appeal. It works wonders in a cocktail, in a classic martini, or our favorite way - up!

Blinking Owl Gin was awarded a Double Gold medal at the 2019 Sunset International Spirits Competition, as well as a Silver medal in the 2018 Sip Awards.


Aquavit - 42.5% ABV [85 Proof]

One of the most common questions we get about our Aquavit is: What is Aquavit?

Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit iconic to Nordic countries such as Sweden and Denmark. Its name comes from the Latin aqua vitae, meaning “water of life.” Because it is infused with a variety of herbs and botanicals it is traditionally believed to have medicinal qualities, including being a remedy for indigestion. Nowadays, Aquavit is growing increasingly popular with bartenders outside of Scandinavia, and consequently becoming more prevalent in the United States in what the New York Times hailed a “Aquavit Renaissance” in an article from 2018.

When we set out to create our Blinking Owl Aquavit we wanted to create something that was true to its roots in Swedish and Danish styles but with our own signature California twist. We started with our base spirit of organic wheat and malted barely and then macerated 10 organic botanicals. These include the customary caraway, fennel, cardamom, and dill, as well as the unique addition of hibiscus, which is the flower of Santa Ana. Its beautiful golden hue comes from its steep in caraway, which we perform as the final step in production. The result is a complex aquavit that is exceedingly diverse. It can be served chilled, with tonic, as a digestif, or in a broad range of interesting cocktails.

Blinking Owl Aquavit was awarded a Silver medal in the 2019 Sunset International Spirits Competition, as well as a Gold Medal in the 2018 Sip Awards.


Blinking Owl Barrel Vacationed Aquavit - 48% ABV [96 Proof]

Our Barrel Vacationed Aquavit features our standard Aquavit that has been “Barrel Vacationed” for 22 months in late harvest wine barrels sourced from Napa County, California. The residual sémillon left in the barrels lends a much deeper coloring, and sweeter, golden honey and baking spice taste.

This is limited release.


Old Tom Barrel Vacation Gin - 45% ABV [90 Proof]

In a similar process to our Barrel Vacationed Aquavit, we take our Gin and place it in late harvest sémillon wine barrels sourced from Napa. We “Barrel Vacation” it, this time for only 3 months, and comes out with a deep golden color, and sweetness that allows us to qualify it as an Old Tom style Gin.

This is limited release.


California Straight Small Batch Wheated Bourbon - 45% ABV [90 Proof]

We are proud to say that Blinking Owl whiskies are some of the FIRST EVER to be legally distilled in Orange County, California. Cheers to a sip of history!

We begin with organic California corn, malted barley, and some of Santa Ana’s award-winning water to formulate the base mash for our straight Wheated Bourbon whiskey. After distillation we allow it to age for a minimum of 2 years in New American pre-char toasted then charred white oak casks. Once a barrel is filled it is left to rest in our barrel warehouse.

Our Wheated Bourbon is markedly soft and delicate whiskey with a sweeter quality that drinks more mature than its age. It has notes of vanilla, caramel, and baking spices, that play out very delicately on the palette. What we are serving currently in the tasting room (what you are tasting now) is our 2 year old Wheated Bourbon that will continue to develop many additional complex flavors as time moves forward.

Blinking Owl Wheated Bourbon was awarded a Silver medal in the 2019 Sunset International Spirits Competition.

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 30% wheat, 10% barley


California Straight Rye Whiskey - 45% ABV [90 Proof]

Our rye whiskey begins with organic California rye, wheat, and malted barely, as well as award-winning Santa Ana water. It is aged in pre-char toasted then charred white oak casks in our barrel room, alongside our bourbon. Our Blinking Owl rye showcases notes of spicy grain, caramel, and baking spices, which prove to be intriguingly bold and striking on the palette. Currently in the tasting room we are serving our 2 year old batch. However, a 3 year edition of our Rye is available as a Parliament Club exclusive. Ask your server for more information about the perks of the club and how to join!

Our rye has performed exceedingly well, including within The American Whiskey Masters 2020 where it took home a Silver medal in the “Super Premium” category, as well as a Gold medal in the “Rye Aged Up to 7 Years” category. Upon winning these awards. Forbes Magazine published an article which remarked at the quality of our Rye given its young age, a huge honor for us and a testament to our craft.

Mash Bill: 70% rye, 15% wheat, 15% malted barley