Vodka can be made from almost anything and often is. There`s potato-based vodka. Wheat-based vodka. Grape-based vodka. There`s even vodka made from milk and honey. But Bay Area-based Hangar 1 distillery has taken this potable art to a level of elaborate novelty that makes $4 pieces of toast boring by comparison: their team has produced a limited-edition batch of vodka made from actual San Francisco fog.
It`s called Fog Point, and it will cost curious spirit connoisseurs $125 a pop. The idea behind the project, says head distiller Caley Shoemaker, was partly to create something that embodies values the Bay Area worships: sustainability and local production. She also wanted to make something that nods to the drought that has starved the state for several years running.
`We really wanted to come up with some sort of sustainable water, like can we collect rain water?` Shoemaker says, while hosting a component tasting as the distillery on Alameda, an island between Oakland and the San Francisco peninsula. They considered desalinating sea water. Then her team came across a non-profit called FogQuest which has worked to collect water from fog to help sustain remote communities in more sober fashions, like hydrating monks in the mountains of Nepal. And, really, what is more local than a cloudy mass of water droplets that Bay Area natives have anthropomorphized as a guy named Karl?
FogQuest helped them set up fog catchers—sheets of mesh that get water-logged as fog floats through them, sending drops down into a trough—at four spots around the Bay Area, the star of the bunch being San Francisco`s iconic Sutro Tower. Over six months, they collected enough fog water to make 2,400 bottles. But the California sky isn`t the only thing in the mix.
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