Distillery No. 209: San Francisco Bay Area gin resurrected
When you think of gin, don’t just think of it as the quintessential English spirit. With the restoration of Distillery No. 209, get to know it as an enticing piece of San Francisco Bay Area history dating back to the waning days of the California Gold Rush.
Distillery No. 209 began when William Scheffler bought a patent for a new design of pot still in New York in 1870. In 1880, he purchased his own winery in St. Helena called Edge Hill. It was one of the most impressive of its time, but Scheffler was to leave his own mark in Napa Valley by building a new distillery on the property. The Federal Government licenses distillery registration by number only, and in 1882, Scheffler’s was given the number ‘209’. His spirits garnered a medal at the Grand Exposition in Paris in 1889.
Flash forward a century to luxury brands entrepreneur Leslie Rudd’s purchase of Edge Hill. A few weeks after his purchase, Rudd found the old studio and work shop of vintner Louis Martini with the emblem that read “Registered Distillery 209” still legible across the front.
In September 2004 the 1889 French medal turned up on an auction site and after more than a century this medal is back at Distillery No. 209, now located in San Francisco’s China Basin neighborhood, just south of the downtown area. Once again making its mark on spirits history, it’s the only distillery in the world built over water.
209 GOLDEN DAZE
3/4 oz 209 Gin
1/2 oz Peach Brandy
1 oz Orange Juice
Pour ingredients into ice-filled shaker. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.
1 oz 209 Gin
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Cranberry juice
1 oz Lime juice
1 Dash Bitters
Pour ingredients into an ice filled shaker. Shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge