@StGeorgeSpirits made the US’s first Eau de Vies (try the pear) in the 1980s, they made the first absinthe years later (2oz. in a pint glass of ice water, summer drink of head man Lance Winters). So at a #TOTC seminar where Renaud-Cointreau folks could boast their brand kinda, sorta dates back to the 1200s, Alameda, CA’s own mad scientist rightfully shared the stage. //

Whenever Winters got a word in, he showcased an appreciation for tradition supplemented by passion for modern experimentation. If Renaud folks scoffed at white (or new) spirits, Winters noted these showcase central flavors before aging or blending complexes. When they casually mentioned their #drinks soliciting the favor of royalty, Winters breezed through an early support letter from Julia Child. //

But perhaps nothing showcased St. George Spirits’ openness for innovation like its siganture Terroir Gin. While #gin makes a great product for any young #distillery, Winters never planned on it. //

“Dropped my son off and headed for the hills, and I smelled bay laurel, pine trees, the forrest floor, and fennel—that’s not native, but still. I thought, ‘Man, that would smell so good in a spirit. I could distill the shit out of it.’ //

But if you’ve had the misfortune of going into my lab, you know there are shelves of stuff that shouldn’t see the light of day, let alone the public. So at first I shelved it, the spirit of the Oakland hills doesn’t speak to most.” //

Luckily, his wife knew better—she insisted Winters revisit it. Today, Terroir greets drinkers with the aroma of Christmas in a glass yet remains nimble enough for a Negroni or spiked cider. “Don’t tell the other spirits,” Winters insisted. He may have next revealed his favorite child; he definitely introduced a room of industry folk to theirs.

This post first appeared on my Instagram.

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