Raincity’s mountain spirits

After only a year, the Squamish distillery is already earning international recognition

Raincity Distillery’s locally inspired spirits include, from left: Barrel Aged Gin, Last Garden Gin, Iron Buddha Gin, Loving Dusk Raspberry Gin and Black Tusk Smoked Vodka. Alenka Mali photo

At Raincity Distillery, founders Alex Mumm and Johnny Xu are bringing new, award-winning spirits to the mountain community of Squamish. Spirits flavoured with the delicate notes of tea and spring flowers, emboldened by the aromas of smoke and oak, and underpinned by the crystal clear taste of glacial water.

Mumm is the distiller, with Iron Buddha Gin his baby—a first-of-its-kind Chinese oolong-tea-infused gin. Xu is head of sales, with eyes on producing his beloved baijiu.

At Raincity, they make quality craft spirits, mostly gin, from scratch. They also have whisky aging in barrels; the first batch is expected to be ready in two to three years. Unlike many small producers who buy their neutral grain spirit from larger corporations, Raincity makes their own base in house from B.C. winter wheat following a triple distillation and two-week long proofing process. “We choose quality over speed, every step of the way,” Mumm says. “This is noticeable in the flavours that come through that often get lost in a more hurried process.”

This slow and steady approach has paid off. This year, they picked up a barrel of awards at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023: a trio of silvers for the delicately floral Last Garden Gin, caramelly Barrel Aged Gin and smooth, subtle Iron Buddha Gin (which won bronze in 2022) as well as a bronze for the smouldering Black Tusk Smoked Vodka (which won silver in 2022).

Added to the lineup this June is their first bottled ready-to-drink cocktail in a bottle: the Ginseng Rye Old Fashioned. It’s a twist on the classic cocktail, featuring spicy rye whisky infused with the earthy bitterness of ginseng, an Asian root with healing properties. The drink is sweetened with maple syrup, made complex with their own housemade aromatic bitters and best served on ice with an orange twist.

Come taste all they are producing at their world-class cocktail lounge and tasting room, nestled in the heart of the Coastal Mountains. Or purchase your favourites through the online shop on the Raincity website.

Raincity Distillery

You may also like