Green chile vodka? When St. George Spirits comes out with a vodka, you can bet it will be something outstanding. The Green Chile, just one of a trio of vodkas just released, is a real stunner, weaving the scent and tastes of jalapeño, serrano, habanero and red and yellow bell peppers with cilantro and lime. It's got an invigorating snap of heat, and a seductively smooth mouth-feel. A bloody Mary made with this vodka would be an extremely good call.
St. George Spirits in the Bay Area has been distilling extraordinary spirits for some 30 years. But master distiller Lance Winters and distiller Dave Smith don't rest on their laurels. The company founded by Jörg Rupf, who retired in 2010, started with eaux-de-vie, long before there was a craft distilling movement in this country. And over the years, the Alameda distillery has added whiskey, gin, bourbon, absinthe, rum agricole — and now vodka to its portfolio of spirits.
Like the Green Chile, the "all-purpose" vodka is made with a non-GMO base spirit, but in this case, distilled Bartlett pears (the same ones that go into their pear eau-de-vie) give the vodka body and a light floral note without an overt pear flavor. This may be just the bottle for restocking your home bar.
The third vodka in the lineup is St. George California Citrus. The scent has all the finesse of a fine perfume, and floats right out of the glass. Distilled from Valencia oranges, bergamot and Seville oranges, this vodka evokes the memory of orange groves and noses pressed against citrus warmed by the sun. You could sip this one straight.
While the package looks expensive, the three vodkas are $30 for a 750ml bottle — also great for gifting. And don't forget yourself.