Blinking Owl Distillery Premieres a New Spirited Menu to Pair With Craft Cocktails

With its own kitchen and delectable bites to pair with award-winning spirits, the Santa Ana distillery is now classified as a bona fide eatery.
Photograph by Ron De Angelis

Orange County’s first distillery will now offer a solid menu of appetizers and fresh-fired pizzas on its spacious, heated patio. With the help of chef Luis Perez and Eddie Perez of Lola Gaspar, you can indulge in nibbles such as wasabi deviled eggs with crab and wasabi roe or a baby chorizo minidog covered in cream cheese and topped with caviar, créme fraîche, and chives.

For something heartier, try one of the pizzas featuring dough handcrafted from scratch daily by Eddie Perez. Just like other dishes incorporate the distillery’s spirits (vodka-infused citrus ginger dressing in the endive salad or Utah-inspired bourbon fry sauce in the burger), the pie dough is made with the same California-grown organic rye grain used in their whisky. You can even add a honey picante drizzle made with Calabrian chiles marinated in local honeycomb for a sweet-spicy kick. Dessert is in the works.

The distillery also offers a variety of tempting craft cocktails delivering a grain-to-glass experience. Order an owl tasting flight to sample spirits such as the OC orange vodka or the barrel vacationed aquavit. The first batch, Bottled-in-Bond straight bourbon whiskey is also available to taste.

Prior to this, Blinking Owl was only allowed to serve 1.5 ounces of alcohol per person as a craft distiller (essentially one drink). For owners Brian and Robin Christenson, the dream of operating a restaurant at the distillery—and not having to worry about violating the serving limit—is finally realized.

Photographs by Ron De Angelis

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