Gin By St. George Spirits

St. George Spirits is at it again

Given gin's reliance on juniper for taste, a few bad memories of cheap bottles is all it takes to dismiss it as a spirit with a narrow range of flavor.

So, to showcase how distinctive and expressive gin can be, St. George Spirits distiller Lance Winters has created a brand-new liquid triptych with three distinctive variations. We got a preview taste of each:

St. George Botanivore Gin

Because of its broad botanical recipe, this gin is the most versatile of the three, with floral coriander seeds balanced by juniper and earthy California bay laurel. Botanivore also features fresh ginger, dill and celery seed, and cilantro, giving it an herbaceous brightness.

Best use: A Gin and Tonic

St. George Dry Rye Gin

Made with pot-distilled rye and a minimal recipe of cracked juniper berries, caraway, black peppercorn, grapefruit and lime peel, this gin has a pear aroma with deep malty, woody flavors.

Best use: A dry rye Negroni (click here for the recipe)

St. George Terroir Gin (Mt. Tam Edition)

This drinks like a walk in the woods. It's made with hand-harvested juniper berries, wild Douglas fir from Mt. Tam, California bay laurel and coastal sage. It's what John Muir would have carried in his flask.

Best use: Drink straight, ice-cold

The three gins ($35 for 750ml; $12 for 200ml) will debut September 9. They will be available at St. George Spirits' Alameda distillery (2601 Monarch St., Alameda; 510-769-1601 or and area liquor stores.