After the Great Recession, John Lundin and his wife, Jessica, were ready for a change of pace. Due to a lifelong love for sailing, the couple purchased a boat, moored it in Seattle, and moved in.
While living aboard that boat, Lundin attempted to distill liquor on a whim. The result was a “repulsive brandy made from very cheap wine,” Lundin recalled. Through much trial and error, however, Lundin perfected his craft.
Today, he is the owner of Bluewater Distilling, an organic distillery, cocktail bar, bistro, and event space in Everett known for its dry vodka and flawless cocktails.
Bluewater is one of the first organic distilleries, the success of which has prompted other companies to evaluate their own processes and fall in line, according to Lundin. In fact, a point of pride for Lundin, 45, is that Bluewater isn’t just organic alcohol, but sustainable alcohol.
“I really worked hard to develop a brand that was justified in its existence,” Lundin explained. “The one thing that was completely missing in the world of spirits was any notion of sustainability.”
Lundin’s life is a collage of passions. When he’s not welding the traditional copper pot stills to create his divine libations, he’s skiing, hiking, kayaking, and even building a 45-foot-long aluminum expedition boat.
“Sailing has become this ultimate adventure for me,” said Lundin, whose passion for sailing led him to name his business Bluewater. “It’s just really an exciting and incredible way to explore our environment.”
Wake up, make a cup of coffee and bowl of muesli, catch up on the news, and then get ready for the day.
Out the door for another round of coffee and morning emails at Narrative Coffee in downtown Everett.
I swing by the Sound Machine Works shop to discuss upcoming metal projects with the owner.
After arriving at Bluewater, I fire up the copper kettles; we are going to distill Bluewater Vodka all day.
I sit down for a brand strategy meeting with Samantha Hill, my chief brand officer.
Next, it’s time for a weekly meeting with the team to recap the previous week and plan for next week.
Head down to the kitchen to test a new sausage with Bryanna Mateo, our executive chef.
One of the best job perks: tasting and approving the upcoming cocktail specials with cocktail director Maggie Burton.
I take a stroll around the marina with chief operations officer Amy Vernette to discuss holiday events and restaurant operations, and the fresh air is great.
Now Maggie Burton and I are working on developing a new vodka infusion.
Once all the work is managed, I spend the next few hours working on Wolf, my expedition sailboat.
I enjoy a dinner of sunburst salmon at the Bar + Bistro.
photos courtesy John Lundin