Botanica Gin

 photo by brandon a. smith

photo by brandon a. smith


Yes, the hilly slopes of San Francisco play host to a lion’s share of up-and-coming distilleries the likes of which cater to just about any palatable request – from whiskey to absinthe to beer.  But it requires a trek across the Bay Bridge to a barn-inspired Richmond industrial park to find a true hidden treasure.

It is here, among the two-story board and batten structures that a sunlit space, home to the small batch distillery Falcon Spirits, can be found. A visit to Falcon Spirits is not unlike entering the realm of the Mad Hatter.  There are no under-scaled doors through which to enter or over-zealous rabbits guarding the time.  Instead, a gleaming copper still, designed specifically to harness the complex flavors found in their mainstay product – the Botanica Spiritvs Gin – keeps watch over the heart of Falcon Spirits.  

Tucked away, in a small corner of the non-descript space, founder Farid Dormishian works his magic, the Hatter of liquorious biochemistry.  Putting to task facets of his former life as a biochemist and research scientist, Dormishian blends vibrant concoctions from fermented desert fruits, gathered herbs, natural flora, and a few unidentifiable elements.  These labeled glass-encased experiments line the shelves above Farid’s laboratory.  Relying on a palette defined by both childhood experience and a once-upon-a-time life as a vintner of Zinfandel, it is from these glass containers that Farid chooses his seasonal flavors.

The results?  For one, a highly-evolved and complex clear liquor that is light on the nose and deserves to share a crystal tumbler with nothing more than a few shavings of ice and a sliver of lime.  The other, an ever-changing catalog of one-off liqueurs that are nothing like anything found on the shelves of BevMo which leaves us wondering … just what will his taste buds think of next?

Falcon Spirits