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The Spirit World

Readying to launch Native Spirits—a North Park emporium of artisan cocktail ingredients—this fall, chef Logan Mitchell and mixologist Gary McIntire of supper club Cellar Door (cellardoorsd.com) gave us the skinny on four new homegrown bottles that’ll soon be on their shelves and yours.

Old Harbor Distilling Co.

Southwest Gin
“These are not your typical gin botanicals,” says Mitchell, referring to the taste of fresh cilantro and parsley in this East Village newcomer. Old Harbor founder and distiller Michael Skubic is dedicated to local flavor, even hiring a botanist to help identify and source S.D. herbs. His company’s upcoming 1542 Gin will go a step further, featuring only herbs found locally when Cabrillo landed in San Diego during the year that gives the gin its name. Old Harbor spirits will be carried at KnB Wine Cellars starting this summer.

Rx Bitters Co.

Sarsparilla Bitters

A new generation of bitters comes with a variety of flavors that turn the idea of “bitter” on its head, including this delicate trip to the candy store—one in the Rx Bitters Co. line recently launched by S.D. bartenders Ryan Andrews, Eric Lockridge and Brett Winfield. Mitchell calls the sarsparilla, which will soon find shelf space at Native Spirits, “superfun, approachable and far less bitter than expected,” adding that the slightly sweet, minty, root-beer taste could add a heavy-handed punch to a Kentucky Buck or Dark and Stormy to up the spice ante.

Kill Devil Spirit Co.

RX Vodka
Coming off the success of its award-winning Ugly California Moonshine, Spring Valley’s Kill Devil Spirit Co. followed up with their handmade, unfiltered RX Vodka. According to McIntire, its heavy sugar gives RX a grassy and sweet palate with a mild heat, which would fit nicely in a Vodka Collins with a bit of muddled parsley or shiso leaf. Find it at City Heights’ Boulevard Wine & Spirits, and behind the bar at Stingaree and Seven Grand.

Twisted Manzanita Spirits

SoCal Moonshine
Santee’s Twisted Manzanita made a name for itself with craft beers before recently branching into distilling, launching their spirits line with this award-winning SoCal Moonshine. McIntire says its sweet notes could replace rum in a daiquiri, or pisco in a pisco sour. Already finding fans in such far-flung locales as Italy, SoCal Moonshine (available at KnB and Boulevard Wine & Spirits) will take on tradition later this summer when it hits shelves in one of moonshine’s traditional homes, Tennessee.