The decommissioned Alameda Naval Air Station isn't just where the nuclear wessels used to be kept -- it's now home to plenty of businesses who are taking advantage of all the space the old hangars and barracks offer. One of those is Hangar One Vodka, and we can't think of a better place to kill an afternoon. Get a $10 vodka tasting and work your way down the menu with five different tastings -- we liked the "Buddha's hand" citron and mandarin blossom infused vodkas a lot. Drink up the tasty vodka while drinking in a fantastic view of Yerba Buena and the downtown skyline.
Hangar One shares the space with St. George Spirits, and your tasting also buys a few sips of those liquors. Last time, we ended up buying their raspberry liqueur. The tasting room notes do not lie when then assure you, "Its cabernet color and opulent, rolling-in-raspberries aroma only hint at the framboise liqueur's complexity on the palate. Neither sugary nor jammy, it has the tart-sweet balance of fresh berries, and a swaggering finish with notes of pomegranate and blood orange."
A word of warning: you may want to line up a designated driver or prepare for a brisk 30-minute walk to and from the Alameda ferry terminal. The good folks at Hangar One have thoughtfully put out signs to help you find the distillery on the base, but getting in -- and out of -- the base without getting lost requires a clear head. We suggest setting aside an afternoon to let the tasting room staff mix you a few drinks and offer you a few crudites. Watch the birds wheel over the cracked pavement on the runways, and admire the city by the Bay. Then buy a half-dozen bottles of vodka or liqueur and consider your Christmas shopping done.
Image from Hangar One Vodka
SFist Lisa, contributing