My Award for "Most Brilliant Capture of the True Essence of Fruit in a Spirit" in The First Annual Independent Food Festival Awards goes to Jörg Rupf and Lance Winters of St George Spirits for their startlingly good Limited Edition Hangar One Fraser River Raspberry Vodka
St George Spirit's jammy-tasting, pretty, pink Vodka smells incredible. One sniff and you'll be hooked before you've even taken a sip. Click on the photo for a closer look
As a raspberry lover, the only cocktails that ever really satisfied me in the past were ones which were made with real fruit and no added sugar. Then, one day last year, I read the following recommendation:
"Hangar One (the raspberry is dynamite)"
on Chowhound's Bay Area Message Board. I checked it out and I was blown away. It's not sweet, but its so fruity, so like real raspberries, it's been my tipple of choice ever since.
What makes Hangar One so special and why is so much better than other fruit Vodka?
Unlike other Vodka makers, St George use only real fruit for all of their Vodkas instead of fruit flavouring. They only source top notch ingredients. The raspberries they use are fresh, ripe, Meeker raspberries from the Fraser River Valley. The unique pink colour comes from the reintroduction of raspberry juice following the distillation process. The raspberry vodka is photosensitive so, in contrast to their other flavours, they bottle it in dark glass so it keeps its delicate colour. St George only did one bottling of their Raspberry Vodka last season, which makes it a very limited edition. Be warned, before you form an addiction, stocks are already low.
"You made me taste [it], now it's my favourite liqueur too... before [I discovered it] I avoided the after dinner drink!" Del, Dec 2004
St George have recently opened a tasting room so now you can go and check out their liquors and Hangar for yourself. They are situated at the Alameda Naval Base, just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. The adjacent Caddell & Williams store, one of the few places, at the time of writing, that still has Raspberry vodka availability in the Bay area, will open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 7pm. Further details and directions can be found here. The address is 2601 Monarch Street at Alameda Point.
Those who are unable to visit can check out my views of and from St George's Hangar here. Click on the picture to enlarge.
Once the raspberry runs out, you'll have to wait until later in the year for the next batch of this heavenly nectar. In the meantime you can always satisfy any needs you might have for an insanely fruity vodka with one of their other unique and glorious flavours.
Mandarin Blossom, Buddha’s Hand Citron and Kaffir Lime Leaf.
Hangar One is currently only available in the United States. Be sure to pick up a bottle as your duty free allowance if you are on travels in America.
Hangar One Raspberry retails at $36 a bottle. Buy online (US only) here. Jammy Vodka