Sustainable California Liquor

Ahh, it’s summer. Who doesn’t want to sit outside, on a fabulous patio, with the late afternoon sun in their hair, sipping a cool cocktail? And what better way to order it (or make it and serve to your guests) than with a locally made liquor? I have plans to do an article for every major city in the US, but for now, I’m starting with my own neck of the woods, Northern California.

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1. Roth California Vodka, by Roth Distilleries
2. Hangar One, by St. George Spirits
3. Charbay by Charbay

1. No. 209 by Distillery No. 209 – The story here is intriguing, take a break and read it.
2. Junipero by Anchor Steam

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1. Charbay by Charbay
2. Agua Libre by St. George Spirits
3. Eurydice by St. George Spirits and exclusive to San Francisco’s Smuggler’s Cove
4. Sergeant Classic by Essential Spirits Alambic Distillery of Mountain View

1. St. George’s Single Malt Whiskey by St. George Spirits
2. Old Potrero by Anchor Distilling, the makers of Anchor Steam beer
3. Charbay by Charbay

And to answer your next question: All scotches, bourbons and whisk(e)ys are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are scotches or bourbons. Are you feeling like you’re in a gray area the color of charcoal? Never fear, I’ll explain it here so that you can actually remember (or at least have somewhere to go look it up and sound smart next time someone asks you the difference). First off, the spelling thing. Whisky is from Scotland only. WhiskEy is from anywhere else. Whiskey (since I’m American, I’m going to spell it with an “e”) is a spirit made from distilled grain mash, usually barley, rye wheat or corn. Scotch whisky comes only from, you guessed it, Scotland, and Kentucky and Tennessee whiskeys from their respective states. Bourbon whiskey has to be made from at least 51 percent (and no more than 79 percent) corn, must be no more than 160 proof and must be aged for at least two years (most are aged for at least four years) in a charred oak barrel. That’s it. Simple as pie. There are myriad differences in each type of whiskey, based on proof, age, malt and type of barrel, mix of grains, etc. If you’re interested, Wikipedia has the most comprehensive article on the differences between Scotch and Whiskey and Bourbon I found.

Now that you know what kind of booze to order, what drink should you put it in?


“A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else,” declairs Terry Lennox in Raymond Chandler‘s The Long Goodbye. Today, the standard is 3:1 – three parts gin to one part Rose’s Lime.


Three measures dark rum, two measures spiced light rum, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning, 1 lemon twist, 1 cinnamon stick. Boil water. Into a glass mug, pour rums and spices. Stir. Add six measures hot water, a tab of butter and the cinnamon stick.


a la James Bond in Ian Flemming‘s Casino Royale:
“Three measures of Gordon’s [gin], one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.
Got it?”

HOT TODDY RECIPE: Six ounces organic apple cider, two ounces whiskey. Heat the cider, pour into glass mug with handle, add whiskey.

If you’re looking for another type of green drink, you might have a good time at San Francisco’s Green Drinks, a monthly meeting of green-minded folks who come together in a social setting to talk about cool green stuff. Order yourself a gimlet with No. 209 and start a trend, or at least do Marlowe proud.

- Jocelyn Broyles

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KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B.4 years ago

Noted with thanks.

Valerie G.
Val G.4 years ago

Noted, with interest,

Valerie G.
Val G.4 years ago

Thank you Greennii!

May Howie
may Howie4 years ago


Annemarie W.
Annemarie L.4 years ago

great info!

Howard C.
.4 years ago

I have tried whisky from many different places, those from Scotland tend to be quite distinct. Bourbons are, to my palate, totally different as is sour mash whiskey. One final thing if you ever get the chance try the Welsh Whisky (without the 'e') called Penderyn (I think that it is the only whisky distillery left in Wales), another unique product and, to my taste, a real treat which comes only a couple of hundred miles from where I live, not so green for those living elsewhere in the world!

Ian R.
Ian R.4 years ago

"Whisky is from Scotland only."

Or Canada, Japan, England, Wales, mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, South Africa, Taiwan - pretty much anywhere in the world since it is only Ireland and the U.S that add the 'e'.

Maker's Mark produce Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky - without an 'e'!

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers4 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

Aha! So that's the difference(s). Thanks for straighten that out.

rene davis
rene davis4 years ago

thank you.