Created by San Luis Obisbo’s Calwise Spirits, Big Sur Gin tastes like a Central California hiking trail. It’s fresh and herbal and even a splash of sea water seems to trickle through the adult beverage’s structure. Made from wine grapes and native herbs, including juniper, sage, yerba santa, bay, and elderberry, the Gin intends to distill a “Big Sur hike in a bottle.”
Most gins seem to be created for the bar or a warm evening on the patio, and Big Sur Gin certainly succeeds in both these facets. But Calswise Spirits believes that “it pairs best with campfires and skinny dipping in hot springs,” and that’s how we first fell in love with Gin ourselves.
In total, Big Sur Gin is crafted with 12 different California herbs. Those, along with the brand’s choice to distill the beverage from premium wine grapes, give the Gin a true sense of terroir. That ‘s something difficult to find in a Gin world that seems more concerned with matching taste to cocktail.
Big Sur Gin is light and floral with bursts of citrus and spice. It possesses a unique, silky-smooth mouthfeel and works well in everything from a Gin & Tonic to a Martini, as long as you’re looking for a bit of that California freshness.
Small batch liquor seemingly runs in the blood of owner Aaron Berg, whose great great grandfather ran a moonshining operation during Prohibition. He opened Calwise Spirits in 2016 in San Luis Obispo and in July 2018 the company opened their flagship distillery in Paso Robles at 3340 Ramada Drive. It features a custom still, tasting bar, cocktail service, light bites and other visitor amenities.
Calwise Spirits also produces a Blonde Rum, a Spiced Rum, an Orange Liqueur, a Barrel Aged Orange Liqueur, and Blue Curacao.
The company is also producing hand sanitizer.