Stark Spirits, a micro-distillery based in Pasadena which produces gins, whiskeys, rums, brandy and aquavit, releases new gin “Dragon Spirit” inspired by the flavors of Chinese 5 Spice. The result, a synergy of flavors sweet, bitter, pungent, sour and salty, offers mixologists a creative spirit to pair with a variety of cocktails. The distillery is owned and operated by husband-wife duo Greg Stark and Karen Robinson-Stark since 2013. Dragon Spirit is one of 9 spirits produced at the distillery including the couple’s award winning Skyline Gin, Sunshine Orange Brandy, Peated Whiskey, 151 Rum and more.
Master gin distiller Karen Stark has developed Dragon Spirit to taste very well all on its own, neat or straight. “Orange liqueur or Drambuie are great compliments, and a Dragon Spirit Martini with dry vermouth and a twist of orange is a new take on an old standard. The intertwined flavor elements of Dragon Spirit present myriad opportunities to choose to emphasize any one of them. This is a gin that challenges a mixologist’s creativity and rewards amply.”
Dragon Spirit has also been awarded a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition 2019. The LA County Fair will display the medal from August 30 – September 22 in “The Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace.”
“Dragon Spirit gin’s flavor profile is perfect for any style of sour, autumn seasonals, traditional pre-prohibition cocktails, and especially tiki drinks,” says Los Angeles mixologist “Duke” John Mccaffrey. “My favorite cocktail so far is a Dragon Spirit Gin sour with fresh lemon juice, lemongrass/ginger syrup, toasted peppers, served on crushed ice. This cocktail highlights the gin’s spices and gives the drinker the same flavor profiles that are very common in Chinese cuisine. Matching a cocktail with its Chinese 5 spice characteristics makes this gin so much fun to work with.”
During Negroni Week, the spirit will be highlighted at the Mermaid bar in Downtown LA. There will be a special meet & greet with Karen Robinson-Stark discussing the inspiration for the gin on Thursday, June 27th from 7-10pm. Several more events are to follow across the Los Angeles area in celebration of the release, see complete list of events below.
Recently, Greg and Karen spoke with the TalkTales Podcast about the making of Dragon Spirit. TalkTales co-host and mixologist Shana Leachman says, “It’s really beautiful. On the nose you get a lot of nuances of coriander… It’s so balanced too. When I come across gins like this I personally get really excited. It already gives you the base of the painting. Whenever I encounter spirits like Dragon Spirit, already my mind is turning what I’m able to do with it.” Listen to the full interview on Apple Podcasts here: https://smarturl.it/StarkonTalkTales
Upcoming Events Include:
June 27th – Negroni Week – Meet the Distiller Karen Robinson-Stark
at The Mermaid Bar in Downtown LA 7-10pm
July 9 – Stark Spirits Gin Takeover
at Foothill Restaurant in Pasadena 6-9pm
July 16 – It Takes a Village with Stark Spirits & Guest Bartender Demetrea Dewald at Genever Bar 7-10:30pm
Tours of the distillery take place every Friday and Saturday. Reserve your spot here: https://starkspirits.com/tours/
Stark Spirits’ full list of products includes Skyline Gin, Dragon Spirit Gin, Sunshine Orange Brandy, California Single Malt Whiskey, Peated Single Malt Whiskey, 151 Rum, Silver Rum, Gold Rum and Aquavit. The distillery is also working on an Espresso Liquor, soon to be announced.