Another Visit to Hangar 1
This truly is one of the greatest ways to kill an afternoon. I’ve been here for multiple tastings by now and there is almost always no one else there! How could this be?! Yes, the only reason to go to Alameda is usually because you missed the onramp and ended up in the tunnel, but once you enter the naval base past the ferry terminal you realize that Alameda is one killer spot in the Bay.
This large scale boutique distillery offers around 14 tastings of vodkas, eau de vies, brandies, whisky, and tea infused liquors for ten dollars. Situated in an old hangar facing the San Francisco skyline at sea level, you can hardly picture a more remote destination that is in full view of the city. The people running the tasting room are usually very friendly and informative, but never quick to give up current projects. On my last visit I tasted the Chipotle Vodka from their alchemist series, which had morphed from a trial batch of Fresno Chile infused vodka that I tasted a year ago, to a spicier smokier, bitier blend! This one I could see as a nice addition to an alternative cocktail, bloody maries are obvious, but the tasting room attendant suggested mixing it with coconut water and lime, that I have to try!
We also sampled the new batch of the Riva Ranch Raspberry Vodka that blew the doors off of last years. As they were out of the pear brandy we were given a sample of a lovely, but slightly overpriced, dessert wine. The label has a subtle, but very funny innuendo. For now I’ll stick with the bottle of Buddha’s hand that is in my freezer and look forward to the Basil Eau de Vie’s release on July 14th.