Sorry snowy New York, spring has sprung here in California and the shorts and sunnies are on!  Here are some of the best locally distilled spirits that will have you California Dreamin’.



What: California Estate Grown Sweet Potato Vodka
Where: San Joaquin County
Alcohol: 40% abv
Price: $38
Score: 93 Pts

Made from 8 unique varietals of raw sweet potato, its sublimely creamy yet sturdy structure flirt with the palate by way of subtle sweet potato flavors and a touch of fig with lingering undertones of caramel and cinnamon.  Great for mixing or just as nice on its own.


Low Gap

What: California Whiskey
Where: Mendocino County
Alcohol:42.8% abv
Price: $65
Score: 91 Pts

Made from a base of 100% Bavarian hard wheat, this beefs up its sleek surface with a bit of peat and flaunts a peppery palate with hints of wood dust, a faint whisper of amber and butterscotch, and then finishes off with a touch of oaky spice and raisins.


Greenbar Distillery

What: Tru Organic Garden Vodka
Where: Downtown Los Angeles
Alcohol: 35% abv
Price: $33
Score: 93 Pts

Infused with botanicals, this silk-like vodka whisks you away to a lush garden of celery, dill, thyme, and a touch of mint leaf followed by lingering remains of crushed pepper.  Like a Bloody Mary without the blood.  This is fantastic to sip neat; I can only imagine the potential in a well-made cocktail.


Ascendant Spirits Distillery

What: Silver Lightning Moonshine
Where: Santa Barbara County
Alcohol:49.5% abv
Price: $34
Score: 94 Pts

The pretty girl of moonshines, it has pleasant floral aromas of orchid, rose water, and lemon thyme.  Lavishly smooth textured with flavors of smoky pepper, tobacco leaf, and some chalky minerality that finishes off with cool tingling menthol that literally makes you smile.  Just like a pretty girl.

No209 Gin

Where: San Francisco
Alcohol: 46% abv
Price: $35
Score: 93 Pts

Sourced from some of the best botanicals from all over the globe, it unleashes perfumes of juniper berry, cardamom, and fresh angelica herb.  Seamlessly handcrafted, this sexy gin finishes the palate with licorice spice and a grainy kick to wow you.