Local distillery calls for plums for gin amid low harvest yield from local farms

Copperworks releases the second batch of their experimental plum gin as they plan for next year’s.

The award-winning local craft spirits maker, Copperworks Distilling Co. is on the hills of releasing their second-ever batch of Plum Gin and they are looking for plum donations from the community amid low harvest yields this year.

The Copperworks Plum Gin, 2021 Harvest was produced by infusing Copperworks Small Batch Gin and Copperworks Cask Finished Gin with sixteen hundred pounds of whole Italian Prune Plums from two local family farms, Warm Valley Orchard on Orcas Island, and Lazy River Farm in Kent.

“There’s nearly a pound of plums in every bottle,” said Jeff Kanof, co-owner and vice president of Copperworks Distilling Co. “The plums were in contact with gin for ten months to create a yield of more than 1,700 bottles of our latest Plum Gin.”

For the past few years, Copperworks received a batch of Italian Prune Plums from Bob and Maria Nutt, who founded Warm Valley Orchard in 1990. Bob is the brother of Micah Nutt, one of the founders of Copperworks.

“In the early 1900s, Orcas Island produced thousands upon thousands of pounds of Italian Plums,” said Bob Nutt, co-founder of Warm Valley Orchard. “They were dried locally and shipped to the East Coast and around the world. There is still an original Italian plum tree from the early 1900s in our orchard.”

More than three decades ago, when the Nutts founded Warm Valley Orchard, they planted 110 fruit and nut trees.

Bob Nutt said one early Fall a few years back, he and his wife Maria picked the plums, brought them to the Copperworks Distillery and put them in a barrel with Copperworks Gin as an experiment.

The distillery described the flavor profile of the at-first experimental gin to contain notes of mulled wine, candied fruit, and baking spice aromas that “explode” from the glass. They say the flavor is equally bold, with stewed fruit, red wine, and big, fresh plum juice notes followed by tannins and dark cherries.

“Our time in the world of craft brewing taught us that collaboration often leads to exciting new flavors,” said Jason Parker, co-owner and president of Copperworks Distilling Co. “Those first batches we called our ‘Experimental Gin Series’ and sold them to the public. The result was so well loved, we’ve now made this unique spirit a mainstay. Once an experiment, we now proudly present Copperworks Plum Gin ongoing.”

You can order Copperworks Distilling Co.’s Plum Gin here.

This year, due to low yield from the current harvest, Copperworks is sourcing whole Italian Prune Plums from the public. For each pound of plums received, Copperworks will donate $1 to the grower’s local food bank.

“We also want to ensure plums are not wasted,” said Parker. “We’re seeking pest-free, market-quality fruit. We can accept plums with mild bruising, but we cannot accept any plums with broken skin or large soft spots, as they will mold quickly and contaminate the other plums during storage.”

People interested in supplying plums to Copperworks in exchange for a donation to their local food bank may contact PlumGin@CopperworksDistilling.com for more details and to schedule a drop-off appointment.

All drop-offs must be pre-arranged to ensure that a Copperworks team member is available to provide assistance.

Copperworks expects to release Copperworks Plum Gin, 2022 Harvest in the late summer of 2023.

The distilling company is based in Seattle, but has announced plans to open a venue and brewery in Kenmore, which you can read about here.