The Bay Area draws tourists from around the world for its scenic views, ideal climate, and most notably, Napa Valley’s vineyards. However, beyond the vineyards are comparable distilleries in their breadth and exceptionality. A must-see is the Falcon Spirits Distillery in Richmond, CA. When speaking to Farid, the founder of the Falcon Spirits, two things became clear to us: his authentic passion and his precise knowledge regarding the art of distilling. After tasting his spirits, there was no doubt that hard work and quality products were the two key ingredients to these divine liquids.
YEARS OF WORK
Falcon Spirits started with the BOTANICA SPIRITVS GIN. Indeed, it reflects the master distiller’s love affair with local Californian products. The final recipe integrates thirteen different botanicals. However Farid started his one-and-a-half-year quest for the perfect blend he had more than fifty ingredients in mind. To capitalize on the quality and flavor of these seasonal products, the Gin must go through three distinct distillations, each at a specific time of year. After blending all of them together, the final Gin ages for an additional three weeks to let each aroma settle into one multi-dimensional product. Meanwhile, the purified water, added before bottling is infused with frozen cucumber. The result is a very unique, modern Gin, with flowery, fruity aromas and a balanced herbal and cucumber taste.
EXTRACTING THE BEST FLAVORS
“Adding a true value to neutral alcohol” is Farid’s definition of a craft distillery. He admitted to us it’s sometimes hard to get the best products through to the consumer, as packaging is often one of the prime motivations for buying spirits. Our guess is that would change if everyone could try the Falcon Spirits’ Raspberry Dry Liquor. The minimalist, yet elegant packaging is overlooked as your eye catches the red colour of the spirit. The flavor is the perfect balance of fruity and smooth, leaving you to wonder, “is this really alcoholic?”. Moreover, the absence of artificiality and a headache the next day, set this liquor apart from other generic liquors.
A PATH LEADING TO CRAFT DISTILLERY
While studying biochemistry at the University of California in Berkeley, Farid chose to focus on fermentation, working as a barman in the prominent establishments of the Bay area to finance his education. After handling scientific research and quality control in various biotechnological companies in Silicon Valley, he diversified his skills with an MBA in Finance and an occupation as Finance Director. In his spare time, the master distiller has always enjoyed making his own wine. Farid started Falcon Spirits with knowledge in both theory and applied practices- the crafting and business side of distilleries. It explains how he is able to manage the integrality of the Falcon Spirits operations all on his own.
A LABORATORY OF INNOVATIONS
Farid’s scientific background combined with his knowledge of traditional spirit recipes allows him to develop timeless, yet edgy recipes. In fact, Falcon Spirits offers an AMARO made with 25 components from roots to herbs. The two key elements of the AMARO APLOMADO are Californian wine, used for the base of the product and Californian artichokes for a robust finish. After a month-long process of maceration, the master distiller is able to bottle this well-balanced sweet-and-bitter herbal liqueur. Farid’s advice for those who do not wish to have it neat, is to prepare a 50:50 cocktail with his Gin. The result is a drink with a mixture of herbal flavors not not found elsewhere.