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Orange County’s First Craft Distillery Serves Spirited Dishes


Orange County's first craft distillery is now serving up "spirited" dishes to go with its lineup of grain-to-glass spirits.

Blinking Owl Distillery's new kitchen means guests can now enjoy food with their craft cocktails and it's not your average bar food, thanks to chef Luis Perez and Eddie Perez of Lola Gaspar, who are running culinary operations for the distillery.

Expect tasty bites infused but what else but Blinking Owl spirits, from lovely endive, fennel, cauliflower, and apple salad with vodka citrus ginger vinaigrette to the juiciest lil baby burger with a Utah-inspired bourbon fry sauce to beautifully blistered pizza pies with handmade rye dough (made from the same grains that go into their award-winning whiskeys!)

For those who might be familiar with California's Type 74 craft distiller's license, that meant only 1.5 oz of alcohol could be served per person, with the exception being private parties/private groups, except ABC would not define what constituted a group, which led to several skirmishes, citations and a shutdown for Blinking Owl Distillery last fall right before the pandemic hit.

The distillery was only able to survive thanks to a rapid pivot to hand sanitizer production, which they continue to do today and which provided the funds needed to build a kitchen. Having their own kitchen now means they are no longer bound to the 1 drink per person rule, which will now hopefully draw more guests who likely regarded that as a hindrance.

The distillery's spacious outdoor patio also now has custom-built modular sectional style seating with wheels that can be configured any which way, all the better to ensure proper social-distancing. And since the distillery pivoted to making hand sanitizer during the beginning of the pandemic, each table will receive a small bottle of hand sanitizer during their visit as well.

Open Hours 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Sat; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

802 E Washington Ave, Santa Ana.

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