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Distilled Wisdom

Flavored vodkas reclaim their street cred.


Published:

By Ellie Winters

While mass vodka producers have been giving flavored vodkas a bad name, with Frankenstein flavors ranging from crème brûlée to bacon, St. George Spirits continues to turn out brilliant craft spirits. The Alameda distillery—which paved the way for infused vodkas when it founded Hangar One more than a decade ago—recently released two fresh bottles that pack a punch: California Citrus and Green Chile.

California Citrus combines two types of orange peel and bergamot for an assertive but layered juicy kick. The green-tinged Green Chile vodka, crafted with five types of sweet and hot peppers, hits hot on the nose and has a subtly spicy finish, making it a no-brainer for a Bloody Mary. Both are causing local bartenders to rethink their liquor shelves.

Courtesy of St. George Spirits

“[St. George’s vodkas] are the first flavored vodkas we’ve had in-house,” says Jenny Schwarz, co-owner and bar manager of Oakland’s Hopscotch restaurant, where the cocktail menu features both of the new spirits.

“I always thought if I was going to do a flavored vodka, I would do an infusion myself,” she says. “But I don’t know how I could get that green chile flavor into a cocktail any better. It’s just so pure.”


stgeorgespirits.com, hopscotchoakland.com. For cocktail recipes, scroll down.

 

Recipes courtesy of St. George Spirits.

ST. GEORGE GREEN CHILE VODKA

The sweet/savory heat makes it ideal for the best Bloody Mary, a spin on a Margarita, or whenever you’re craving something fresh and spicy in your glass.

Green Chile Gimlet

1½ oz St. George Green Chile Vodka
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime twist.

 

The Best Bloody Mary

2 oz St. George Green Chile Vodka
2 oz tomato juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ tsp horseradish
2 or 3 dashes each hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch each salt, pepper, celery salt

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a celery stalk, pickled vegetables, and a lemon slice.

 

ST. GEORGE CALIFORNIA CITRUS VODKA

Enjoy on the rocks, with a splash of soda, or as a hit of fresh-squeezed goodness in your own original creation.

Citrus Rosemary Spritz

2 oz St. George California Citrus Vodka
club soda
fresh rosemary

Shake citrus vodka with ice to chill, then strain into a tall glass over ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

 

Shameless Cosmo

1½ oz St. George California Citrus Vodka
½ oz orange liqueur (we like Leopold’s)
¾ oz cranberry juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz simple syrup

Shake all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lime twist

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