Yes, there is a Santa Claus. Sorry, I couldn't resist!
Anyway, it would be possible to visit the Crannog Centre and Pitlochry on the same day, while overnighting in Braemar or Ballater. The Crannog Centre is not too far from Pitlochry - from Edinburgh, take the Forth Road Bridge to the M90, the M90 to Perth, then the A9 to Ballinluig. From Ballinluig, take the A827 west through Aberfeldy to Kenmore, then follow the south bank of Loch Tay to the Crannog Centre.
Retrace the A827 back to the A9, then it's less than five miles to Pitlochry.
To maximize your daylight driving time, you'd need to get a relatively early start out of Edinburgh, and not spend too much time at the Crannog Centre or Pitlochry. Therefore, you may have to make a choice between a distillery and the Crannog Centre. Pitlochry to Braemar will take at least two hours, unless it's lashing down rain, as you'll want to stop to take in the scenery. But if you're only going to be visiting the distillery, and not wandering about Pitlochry, you may have time for both.
From Pitlochry, take the A924 west to Bridge of Cally, then turn north on the A93 for Braemar. You can save about 20 miles by taking the B950 east from Kirkmichael, which meets up with the A93 near Blacklunans. On the A93, you'll be heading through Glenshee and over the Devil's Elbow, through some beautiful scenery.
From Balmoral, you can take the B976 north to the A939, which will take you through Tomintoul and Grantown-on-Spey, all the way up to Nairn. From Nairn, it's only a few miles on the A96 to Inverness. However, if you get an early start from Balmoral, you could branch off the A939 at Dava, on to the A940, which would take you to Forres. From Forres (check out the floral garden and topiary in the town park!), it's only a few miles to Findhorn, so you could knock that off of your itinerary instead of having to backtrack from Inverness.
Whichever way you go, you will see some astounding scenery!