Hidden in Alameda, CA, is one of the coolest distilleries I’ve ever encountered. If you go, I highly recommend borrowing a GPS to help find your way.
St. George’s Spirits is known for their very nice vodkas – the brand is Hangar 1 – flavored with real whole fruit – the Buddha’s Hand citron flavor vodka was fantastic. Rightly so, the distillery is all located in the old Hangar One building adjacent to the Alameda Naval Station (mostly defunct and reimagined now). They are also known for being the first distiller in the US to make and distribute absinthe. Now don’t get the wrong idea – I like to sip absinthe as a digestif – I don’t knock them back like some idiot club kid. The chemical reaction that results from adding water to absinthe is kind of cool (when the drink becomes cloudy as the water hits the oils).
We had the tasting room to ourselves and a very capable/friendly representative to walk us through the eau de vie’s, 4 of the vodkas, the whiskies, the white tea and black tea liquors, and sweet liqueurs (Aqua Perfecta). Oh, and the absinthe. I drank a bucket of water to try and stay sober. This made the trip back on the Bay Bridge a particular torture (yes, I went before I left – but the damage had already been done). Have you ever done the peepee dance while in traffic? In San Francisco? Oof.
Teh Smitten bought himself a bottle of the Qi Black Tea Liquor, flavored with smoky lapsong souchong tea. It is really nice. I got a bottle of the raspberry Aqua Perfecta – it will be wonderful in Kir royales or drizzled over the top of frozen yogurt and brownies. We also bought matching (!) t-shirts to celebrate our love of their absinthe. We have promised to never wear them at the same time. The St. George Tasting room is really quite nice – they have a direct view across the bay of San Francisco. They’re having a big opening party on the 28th that we so wish we could attend… If you live in the area, get on their mailing list. I get the feeling that their events are quite something.