May 26, 2020
A punchy gin cocktail with a vibrant burst of citrus from St. George Distillery
Wandering through the forest, you stumble upon a crystal-clear stream gushing through a meadow - you take off your shoes, your shirt & your shorts. Submerging into the shallows, a primitive energy takes hold of you. In such a way, St. George’s American Werewolf immerses your olfactory with its earth, its flora, & spices. You can even taste the sunshine.
Stir all of the ingredients with ice to chill, then strain into your High Camp Flask. Serve over ice and garnish with rosemary.
This past weekend my friend Sheena visited from NYC and I had to organize a classic “show me California” tour. Sheena is a climber, which makes showing her the real California a lot easier. To celebrate the occasion and the springtime weather I wanted to make a cocktail that was delicious and light. I consulted one of my friends at St. George Spirits on the other side of the Bay and asked her for her recommendation - It was a “No-brainer,” she said, “the American Werewolf (more on this later)”.
Sheena landed in San Francisco around noon and we drove straight to the trailhead at Castle Rock State Park. Castle Rock is the starting point for the epic Skyline to the Sea Trail backpacking route which traverses the Santa Cruz mountains and stretches all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. For local climbers, it’s famous for its honeycomb crags and steeple shaped aretes. And it isn’t just a destination for climbing - the rock face is surrounded by lush redwood forests and stream-fed canyons with panoramic views of the Monterey Bay.
Sheena and I warmed up on some easier bouldering problems and then worked our way up some longer roped-in pitches. We climbed for two hours, until our forearm strength dwindled and reminded us that we were still rusty from a prolonged winter. Once it was clear the climbing was over, we found a spot to sit amongst the wildflowers and soaked in the last rays of afternoon sunshine.
Now we can talk about that cocktail… The American Werewolf embodies the state itself better than any other cocktail on St. George’s signature cocktail list. It is a California spin on a Negroni. Featuring their local Terroir Gin, it hits your right off the bat with Douglas fir, California bay laurel & coastal sage. The next ingredient, Bruto Americano is a bitter aperitivo liqueur made primarily from gentian root, California-grown Seville orange and woodsy notes from California buckthorn. The last ingredient is sweet vermouth for that rounded Negroni finish. Mission complete.
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