The place to pattern spirits in sonoma county

Hanson is from Sonoma, Sonoma

The primary shock for the common customer is that Hanson’s vodka is comprised of grapes. Not potatoes or cereals, however grapes. It’s not unprecedented, however it’s extraordinary.

The second shock is the flavour with hints of vanilla and citrus. This isn’t the old fashioned vodka that’s distilled till it’s fully flavorless. It is subtly scrumptious.

And the third could also be that Hanson’s spirits are natural.

“The farm-to-table motion has actually impacted us,” mentioned Alanna Hanson, the corporate’s co-owner and advertising director. “Everybody was speaking about what was on the plate, however they weren’t speaking about what was within the again bars, and their cocktail packages did not have the identical form of beliefs.”

So Hanson of Sonoma has adopted an “ingredient-driven strategy,” she says. Hanson makes conventional vodkas and a number of other infused vodkas, together with mandarin, cucumber, and meyer lemon with natural citrus fruits from Sebastopol which can be good for making lemon drops.

Positioned about 5 miles southeast of Sonoma Plaza, Hanson’s has an out of doors bar and backyard space good for summer time tastings. In Hanson’s ethereal, high-ceilinged tasting room with a 10-seat bar and excessive tables, I’ve received the most important kick from a vodka Habanero, good for tasting a cocktail just like the Bloody Mary.

Hanson options seasonal spirits and in April launched their spring specialty, a vodka infused with ginger. Monsoon Summer time is the essence of Pink Grapefruit Vodka. All of the flavors are pure: Hanson opened a jar and revealed the seven peppers used to make their habanero vodka.

We put that in vodka, like tea, she mentioned. For the flavored vodka, they chop cucumbers, lemons, and oranges by hand.

Hanson is a household operation. Alana works with three siblings, and her mother and father offered some funding and mentoring for the start-up, which opened in 2014.

Whereas the household values ​​consistency, Hanson mentioned, standing subsequent to a towering copper pot, they take a chef-driven strategy, so chili can produce a spicier habanero vodka this 12 months than final. Due to alcohol rules, she mentioned, spirits can not include vintages like wine, however that “we view our spirit extra as a classic product.”

And whereas the enterprise is rising (gross sales quantity not disclosed), it is nonetheless small in its strategy, and the neck of each bottle is hand-marked.

“It is a labor of affection, nevertheless it appears to be like so good,” she mentioned, admiring a bottle. And it tastes scrumptious too.

Tour and tasting begins at $75 per particular person and is offered 11am Friday by way of Sunday. 22985 Bourndale Rd, Sonoma; 707-343-1805,

Barber Lee, Petaluma

It began with winemakers who love rye – whiskey, not bread.

“We might been making wine for 17 years, after which we actually received into rye,” says co-owner and distiller Lorraine Barber in Barber-Lee’s tasting room.

She and her husband, Michael Barber, the winemakers behind Barber Cellars, experimented with half-barrel making. Their good friend Aaron Lee tasted it and mentioned, “That is nice. What is the plan?”

They didn’t have a plan, however Lee supplied to companion with them to ascertain a distillery. It opened in a century-old brick warehouse in downtown Petaluma in 2017.

Their primary spirit is Barber Lee’s single-grain salted rye with notes of maple and baking spice amid echoing charred American oak barrels. Additionally attention-grabbing is that their Heirloom Corn Bourbon and eight-herb clear absinthe gained better of their class on the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competitors. Barber Lee’s apple brandy from Gravenstein apples distilled from Sebastopol gained two golds in the identical competitors.

Like different North Bay distillers, Barber Lee has a number of secrets and techniques. They may proudly inform you what goes into their copper biceps nonetheless and reveal the alchemical processes that make their spirits so satisfying.

Summing up the neighborhood strategy of North Bay Unbiased Distillers, Barber mentioned, “We’ve got no rivals. We’ve got natives.”

Open 3-9pm Wednesday and Thursday, 3-10pm Friday and Saturday and 1-7pm Sunday. 120 Washington Road, Petaluma; 707-971-7107,

Need to use a few of these do-it-yourself spirits at dwelling? Strive these summer time cocktail recipes straight from the distillers.

Strawberry Crush Gin from Spirit Works

Makes 1 serving

1½ oz Spirit Works Distillery Gin

1/2 ounce recent lemon juice

¾ ounce strawberry syrup (akin to Liquid Alchemist)

7 mint leaves plus 1 for garnish

14 drops Spirit Works Distillation Firm “The One” Fragrant, Citrus Bitter

Strawberry for adornment

Mix all components in a blender with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double pressure, utilizing a fine-mesh strainer, right into a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with strawberries and mint leaves.

Rye Mai Tai at Griffo Distillery

Makes 1 serving

2 oz Griffo Restricted Launch Rye Whiskey

¾ ounce Creole Orgeat El Guapo

1 ounce of lemon juice

1 ounce of pineapple juice

A couple of dashes of FloraLuna Honey Fragrant bitters

Dried lemon slice for garnish

Add all components to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Pour right into a cup of your alternative and high with a number of sprinkles of bitter fragrant honey.

Hanson’s Salty Canines Punch of Sonoma

Makes 6 to eight servings

1/4 cup of Hanson’s Natural Vodka

2 cups of squeezed grapefruit juice

2 cups of coconut water

2 cups of soppy drink

1 vanilla bean, reduce in half

Grapefruit slices for garnish

Add all components to a small bowl. Garnished with grapefruit wheels.

My Barber Fuzzy Buzzy Julep

Makes 1 serving

1½ oz Barber Lee Spirits Heirloom Corn Bourbon

½ ounce of egg white

½ ounce of honey syrup

Juice of half a lemon

Handful of mint, leaves solely, crushed, plus extra for garnish

Pour all components and crushed mint leaves right into a shaker. Shake with out ice for 30 seconds. Add ice and shake for an additional 30 seconds. Pressure into glass and serve with mint garnish.

Michael Shapiro’s newest e book “The Artistic Spark” has been awarded the 2021 Unbiased Publishers Prize. Contact him by way of his web site: www.michaelshapiro.web.

Leave a Comment