Best Place to Find the Divine Spirit: Tastiest alcohol infusions
The idea wasn't to just make flavored vodka, but to make the best-tasting vodka in the world. And Hangar One, produced in Craft Distillers' airplane hangar at Alameda's former Navy base, may be just that. Hangar One is heavenly by itself. To make the niche vodkas, the distillers let the pure stuff soak with whole fruit, rather than just adding flavorings. The resulting flavors pop in your mouth: kaffir lime, Buddha's hand citron, raspberry, and mandarin blossom. There's also a new, divine, white-tea-and-orange-flavored brandy called Qi (say chee). The Craft folks like to play with flavors and occasionally mix up something in what they call the Alchemist series, the latest being a spicy wasabi vodka. On a recent visit, distiller Dave Smith brought out a small batch of Thai basil infusion to sample. (It tasted like licorice.) This type of personal touch at a tasting isn't unusual: The staff here is extraordinarily accessible. Tastings happen Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m., and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Ten bucks gets you a full lineup of St. George's Spirits, and you can take your tasting glass home with you.