Boston Globe: St. George Spirits offers cocktail flight school, July 1, 2012


ALAMEDA, Calif. — I didn’t visit Lance Winters, the master distiller at St. George Spirits, with the expectation of going on a stroll through the redwoods. But that’s what you get when you visit a guy who has spent the last three years distilling the aromatics of Mount Tam — the Bay Area’s iconic hiking peak, characterized by dry, dusty chaparral, Douglas fir, coastal sage, wild coastal California juniper berries, and coyote mint — into a bottle.
The distillery at St. George Spirits.

The walk in the woods was, of course, olfactory: I had my nose in a glass of Winters’s new Terroir Gin. The idea, he told me, was to evoke a hike in the foggy northern California landscape. The whole project was inspired by a trip he took to pick his son up from camp in the Oakland hills.

“There was a lot of redwood, fennel, and bay laurel, and I just started thinking about the synergies between that parkland and gin,” said Winters, who is known for creating California spirits with ingredients from the area: fruits, vegetables, herbs, grasses, grains. “Gin also has all those foresty aromas. With this, I was almost working like a perfumer, to capture that sense of place.”