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Winemaker's Journal — Wenatchee's Applejack

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Wenatchee, well known as the Apple Capital of the World even if far fewer apples are grown here these days, now has an applejack to call its own.

Twin Peaks Cider House & Distillery, a new venture by the Phillippi family that has grown and packed apples in the valley for six generations, has just released a whiskey-like apple liquor, the first of a line of fruit spirits planned.

Applejack was originally made by freezing fermented apple juice to increase its alcohol content. The freeze distillation process — known as jacking — was responsible for the most popular strong alcohol drink in America in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Twin Peaks Applejack is made in a traditional pot still to create spirits with fresh apple overtones and a fiery nature, like the American spirit, said Chris Phillippi. Phillippi worked with master distiller and winemaker Rusty Figgins to craft the first batch of applejack, made from nine apple varieties, many of them from the family orchard on Fifth Street. The liquor is 40 percent alcohol by volume — 80 proof — and has been finished with oak to achieve its characteristic flavor and golden hue.

Chris and his sister and business partner, Meagan Phillippi Davenport, plan to expand the Twin Peaks line of spirits with European-style schnapps made from cherries and pears, a barrel-aged French Calvados-style apple brandy, hard apple cider and apple wines.

Tastings and individual sales are available at the Twin Peaks tasting room at 1921 Fifth St., Wenatchee. Check out the Twin Peaks Ciderhouse & Distillery Facebook page for more information or arrange a tasting.