The process of distilling spirits is long, arduous and incredibly meticulous. Those who can call themselves a ‘distiller’ spend years perfecting their craft and honing these skills in order to create some of the purest forms of liquor the world has ever seen – or consumed.
We are lucky enough to have a few of these experts in our midst, ensuring all our products are of the highest possible quality. Shannon Bohachik initially joined Lucky Bastard with a different goal in mind, but soon found a higher calling.
“Back when I started in 2017, I was 19 years old and had just moved to the city – so I actually started in retail,” she said. “Within a couple months I was bartending and mixing all these incredible drinks, and then a spot opened up in production and I jumped right on it!”
“I’ve wanted to be a bartender since I was in my early teens, because I loved the idea of combining different flavours and ingredients to create something delicious that also promotes good times. Now that I’m actually making those ingredients, rather than just combining them behind the bar – it is so much more fulfilling.”
Shannon said her appreciation for hard liquor only came when she was introduced to the Lucky Bastard brand. She said, “Before I worked here, I hated vodka… And I didn’t think I could ever be much of a spirit-drinker. Then once I started trying our products, I had the realization that I had just been drinking the wrong ones.”
Her position is noteworthy because Shannon is one of few female distillers in the country, and even fewer in the province of Saskatchewan. She is proud to be in such a progressive position saying, “I was entering a very male dominated field when I started distilling, so it’s been nice to bring in a female presence.”
This distinction is one she considers a great honour, which only contributes to the immense pride Shannon takes in her work. She said:
“I love being able to see how everything comes together when creating these flavours, knowing that I am making this great product that people all over the country will be able to enjoy.”
When asked for her personal favourite, Shannon said one particular spirit won her over. “The Vanilla Espresso Vodka is pretty much the only hard alcohol that I have ever been able to drink straight and enjoy. You can drink it on the rocks, or pour it in your morning coffee!” she said.
Having crafted many of them herself, Shannon mentioned a few other flavoured vodkas before moving on to another staple. “All the liqueurs are so versatile – you can drink them straight, add them to champagne, or even put them on ice cream or pancakes. The possibilities are endless with our products,” she explained.
Shannon is looking forward to receiving her official Certificate in Distilling through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) this Fall. The course will build on her existing skills and experience, reiterating the fundamental distilling processes that she has become so accustomed to.
IBD qualifications are the most widely recognized distilling qualifications in the world. We have every confidence that she will do Lucky Bastard proud, and we look forward to hearing all about her experience as she continues her work on the production line.