St. George Spirits, established in 1982 in Almeda, CA, pre-dates the cocktail craze we find around us. It hasnít been always fashionable, but they have diligently followed a simple passion about making great spirits, and have a superb line-up of products to prove it.
Can this fanaticism go too far, however?
I must admit even I was skeptical when I discovered they make three different types of gin (yup, three). Until I tried them.
Terrior Gin- I used to only believe in ďterriorĒ as it relates to the unique combination of place, soil, weather and grape varietal in wine maing. But distiller Lance Winters, in homage and inspired by his beloved coastal forests uses Douglas fir, bay laurel and coastal sage to gain a sense of place and memory. The result shows citrus, but more noticeable is a surprising wonderful earthy, woodsy aroma.
Botanivore Gin- boasting 19 different botanicals, this well balanced dry style sets the standard for substitution in any gin cocktail. Perfect for a Collins, or Gin & Tonic.
Dry Rye Gin- this gin uses twice the Juniper of the other two, combined with the spicy maltiness of rye as its base grain. This combination is reminiscent of the orginal Genever Dutch style which can be a perfect swap for rye whiskey in cocktails.
What do the pros do with them? Stars Sam Treadway of backbar and Joy Richard of Citizen and The Franklin group sent over a couple of cocktails, both crediting their equally terrific colleagues.
Manhattan Martini by Joe Cammarata of backbar
2oz St. George dry rye
1oz Cocchi Americano
I dash Bittermans Boston Bittahs
Rinse glass with Bulliet Rye
Stir ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
1.5 oz Terrior Gin
.5 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
.75 oz house made orgeat
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz Cinnamon Syrup
4 drops St George Absinthe
Shake and strain over crushed ice
Mint sprig garnish
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