About St. George Absinthe Verte
Founded in 1982 by German-born Joerg Rupf, St. George Spirits is one of the oldest craft distilleries in the United States. The distillery, housed in an old World War II airplane hangar on a former naval base on the edge of San Francisco, is home to Lance Winters, mad scientist and St. George's master distiller. Winters, who is widely-known for experimenting with different types of spirits, has a laboratory dominated by a 10-liter test still in addition to the glass beakers and graduated cylinders that cover every inch of his counter space. Next to the dusty chalkboards caked with equations for the conversion of sugar to alcohol and intricate diagrams of molecular structures are bottles of experimental whiskies, vodkas and even an aging balsamic vinegar (it's 14 years old already).
In 1996, Winters began experimenting with the distillation of absinthe using a recipe he found in Scientific American (while it was illegal to sell
absinthe until 2007 in the United States, the law was not extended to the distillation
of absinthe). For eleven years, Winters tinkered with the recipe looking to find the perfect balance of ingredients in order to "create a symphony of flavor,"he says. "It was just a manic obsession with the ingredients that drove me to tweak the formula."As the ban on the sale of absinthe was being repealed, Winters finally perfected his recipe and in 2007, he released the first American-made absinthe in almost a century.
"The key to the process of making absinthe,"Winters says, "is to use a two-step process."First, Winters distills a grape-based brandy together with grand wormwood, anise and fennel through a 1,500-liter copper-pot still. Then, Winters infuses the absinthe with a secret blend of botanicals, including lemon balm, hyssop, mint, opal basil and tarragon.
As a result of this recipe, St. George Absinthe has a heady, herbaceous aroma, with hints of citrus, anise and fennel. The aroma opens up to notes of meadowsweet, tarragon and hyssop on the palate, and the addition of water creates an opalescent louche that subtly brings out the flavor of the lemon balm.
St. George Absinthe Verte earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010 and was called "one of the most eloquent absinthes on the market today."
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About Other Spirits
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For those people, many other unique spirits are not listed in the main categories but are still worth the mention, such as absinthe, aperitivos, and other Special spirits.
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