Getting ‘Nauti’ at Everwild SpiritsSandusky distillery introduces Nautika Vodka to go along with its bourbons

Established in 2020 and opened two years later in downtown Sandusky, Everwild Spirits has made a name for itself with four bourbons.

“It’s gone phenomenally well,” says Rick Lynch, its president and owner. “We’re making great, award-winning bourbon. We’re providing a great customer experience. And I think if we keep doing those things, we’re going to get where we want to go.”

To that end, Lynch says the business has a five-year roadmap. The next marked spot on it? Vodka.

So say hello to Nautika Vodka, which the business began selling May 1 for $19.99 per bottle.

“We chose the name, obviously, to connect to the fact that we’re on the waterfront and that we have a huge boating community that docks their boats along the Sandusky Bay and tends to walk up to our distillery,” he says. “Vodka’s also clear. It’s a lighter spirit. So something – from a branding standpoint – that alludes to that makes a lot of sense.”

Courtesy of Everwild SpiritsEverwild Spirits' latest product, Nautika Vodka, went on sale May 1.Don’t let the arguably reasonable price – the same as a bottle of Tito’s – fool you.

“It’s a six-times distilled vodka, so it’s a more premium vodka because of the multiple distillations,” Lynch says. “Many vodkas are just one-, two- or three-times-distilled. (Everwild’s) is a more intensive process.

“More importantly, we charcoal filter the vodka. That’s not a required step; we do it intentionally to mellow the palate of the vodka to take away the bite, to make a smoother tasting experience for the consumer. I think the product we’ve put out has a very approachable, smooth palate. It’s not harsh. It’s not off-putting. There's no sharp bite to it. And that was really by design.”

Everwild is hosting what Lynch called “a daylong party” on May 11 to celebrate the launch of Nautika, complete with live music, decorations and vodka-forward cocktails: the Nauti Martini, the Nauti Bloody Mary and the Nauti Mule.

“I should point out that our marketing campaign for the Nautika product is going ‘Get Nauti,’” Lynch says. “It’s a little irreverent – nothing too bawdy, but a little irreverent.”

So … back to that roadmap. What’s the next stop? Perhaps a gin?

“We are open to everything,” he says. “I think probably the next thing that we would produce would be either an American single malt or, possibly, a rum. Gin is also on the roadmap, as well as tequila, but the American single malt and the rum are the two we see the stronger demand for.”

But, for now, he hopes patrons will be willing to “Get Nauti.”

“We invite customers to give it a try – and be prepared to be surprised at how good it is,” Lynch says. “When people try our bourbons, we often see the eyebrows pop up and people are startled and think, ‘Well, I didn’t know somebody could make a great bourbon like this in Sandusky.’ And I would say the same thing for our vodka – it’s startlingly good.”