14 Apr The Press Democrat- Wine Country Spirits for Spring Cocktails
Wine Country is about a lot more than wine. As a new generation of local spirits producers hones its talents in distilling, they’re finding inspiration for their gins, vodkas, whiskeys in a plethora of local ingredients.
Finding an eager audience in those who appreciate good food and wine, this translates to a wealth of local spirits available in our own backyard, which serve as the perfect base for a wide range of cocktails or aperitifs, especially ideal for spring.
Spirit Works Distillery: The grain-to-glass operation within Sebastopol’s The Barlow center. Run by husband-and-wife team Ashby and Timo Marshall, Spirit Works does everything in-house, from milling the grain to creating the mash to distilling its gin, vodka and sloe gin on site and aging some of it in barrel. Its gin is made from Hard Red Winter wheat infused with juniper berries and then a mix of botanicals, some of them traditional, some inspired by what’s possible in California. There’s a hint of coriander, citrus and cardamom in the propriety blend. spiritworksdistillery.com
The Cocktail: California Negroni
1½ ounces Spirit Works Gin
1½ ounces Vya Sweet Vermouth
1½ ounces Campari
Stir together with ice. Strain and garnish with the orange twist.