Copperworks Plum Gin began years ago as an experimental, limited-edition release. It was so well-loved and successful that it has now become part of our standard lineup and we release a new batch each year, right around the plum harvest season in late August and early September.
Our latest batch was crafted from 1,400 pounds of locally grown Italian Prune plums from the 2022 harvest that macerated in our Small Batch Gin for approximately nine months. The result is a beautifully (and naturally) colored gin with plummy flavor and candied fruit notes, a touch of sweetness, and low proof. This is a perfect late summertime sipper or base for cocktails (check out a few recipes here).
Read on to learn about the local producers we sourced from, plus where the plums went once we were finished using them (hint: there’s a sweet ending or two).
It’s not clear exactly how Italian Prune plumes, native to the coastal Mediterranean region of Italy, first arrived in the Pacific Northwest. What is clear is that nowadays, these fruit trees are prolific across our region, thanks in part to heavy promotion by the Washington State Fruit Commission from the 1960s through the early 1980s. And, they’re utterly delicious.
Meet our partners from the 2022 harvest:
Warm Valley Orchard | Orcas Island, WashingtonWarm Valley was our very first partner in making Plum Gin. Bob happens to be the brother of Copperworks Co-founder Micah Nutt, and when they had excess plums one season, we knew we had to try something. What began as an experimental cask finished gin in 2017 is now our annual release of Plum Gin, and we’ve sourced plums from Warm Valley every year since. Lazy River Farm | Kent, Washington A few years ago, we grew our Plum Gin production and began sourcing more Italian Prunes from Lazy River, a family owned and operated farm dedicated to sustainable and natural farming. They also operate a small distillery where they craft liqueurs and other specialty spirits from (literally) the fruits of their labors on the farm. City Fruit | Seattle, Washington In 2022, we began working with City Fruit, an independent nonprofit founded to redirect Seattle’s excess fruit from waste. With access to over 7,000 fruit trees and vines on public and private lands in Seattle, City Fruit distributes tens of thousands of pounds of harvested fruit to local food banks and meal programs. And, to prevent waste, they distribute fruit that is not suitable for food banks to local businesses (like Copperworks) who can process the fruit into other products. Local residents | Seattle, Washington A small number of Italian Prunes were generously provided by Seattle area residents during last year’s harvest. Due to a cold and wet spring, plum yields were seriously low. We sent out a call for local plums, they answered, and we made a donation to their local food bank in exchange for their homegrown plums. If you have Italian Prune trees in the Seattle area and are interested in providing fruit for our next batch of Plum Gin, let us know! Please email [email protected] for more information.Established and operated by husband-and-wife team Bob and Maria Nutt,
What’s next for the plums?
After a nine-month long soak in our Small Batch Gin, the plums have absorbed a fair amount of liquid and alcohol content. The easiest thing to do would be to send the plums to compost, but we know they still have a lot of flavor left to offer. We’ve partnered with two local producers to send the plums on the next leg of their journey:Fair Isle focuses on thoughtful mixed-culture saisons that express the bounty of ingredients in the Pacific Northwest and have something in the works with these plums. Keep an eye out soon for what will be a very special (and tasty) release from them.Girl Meets Dirt | Orcas Island, Washington Located just down the road from Warm Valley Orchard where many of the plums are grown, Girl Meets Dirt crafts an array of preserves and cocktail mixers from heirloom fruits.Fair Isle Brewing | Seattle, Washington Given our own origins as brewers, it’s no surprise we wanted to see what these plums could do for a craft beer.
Using our boozy plums, they’ve made the incredibly delicious Ginny Jam, a limited-edition preserve with botanical, floral, mulled wine and candied fruit notes. Enjoy today alongside your new bottle of Plum Gin!