Bummer & Lazarus Dry Gin is a classic London Dry … with a twist.
Carter Raff started making wine when he was a student at Sonoma State University. He spent several years working for the local wine producers and home brewing Mead, then graduated to work at another craft distiller in the area — all the while, honing his skills. He jumped at the chance to start his own micro distillery, and so Raff Distillerie was born in 2011. One of his side talents is metalworking, and that comes in handy since he has hand-fabricated his own equipment — including the stills — which he uses to produce his signature Absinthe, Gin, and Rhum.
Another thing that sets Raff Distillerie apart is that all of their products are distilled from local grape spirit. This makes them a bit lighter and more aromatic than grain-based spirits. Bummer & Lazarus Dry Gin starts as new-make Wine Brandy that is redistilled with the classic botanicals of a London Dry — juniper, orris root, coriander, angelica, bitter orange and lemon zest, cinnamon, and licorice. But Carter dials the juniper back to let the citrus and florals shine through.
Smartass Corner: Bummer and Lazarus were two stray dogs in San Francisco during the 1800s that were exceptional rat hunters, so the city passed a special exception to their “no stray dog” law that allowed them to roam free. They were so beloved that more than 30,000 people attended Lazarus’ memorial service, and when Bummer passed, Mark Twain himself wrote the eulogy.