A few months ago, Ben and I went on a super fun date night to St. George Spirits in Alameda. I credit Ben's dad with starting my gin habit after leaving ice cold gin and tonic in my fridge last summer. I finally tried it one hot August night and I've never looked back. We sampled some amazing gins while at St. George, and several other spirits including a coffee liqueur that we ended up buying. The most interesting, hands down, was learning the history of the licorice-tasting absinthe.
Anyhow, if you're local, and you like spirits, you should definitely look into doing a tour and tasting. It's worth all the interesting facts you learn about the process of making gin, vodka, whiskey, liqueur, brandy, etc. plus seeing their amazing space. It's a converted war airplane hangar with redwood ceilings and some pretty amazing copper stills:
The absinthe changes color as it mixes with ice. Super cool:
Cheers, St. George! Thanks for the super fun date night!