Gin, hard kombucha, sweet vermouth from California-based producers

Stay home, drink local? Here are three California-based producers that are well positioned to capitalize on current trends.

JuneShine hard kombucha

JuneShine hard kombucha

It’s been a banner year for hard kombucha, which, similar to hard seltzer, has sought to appeal to a growing segment of “health-conscious” drinkers (the brew is produced by fermenting sugar-enriched tea until it reaches about 6% alcohol by volume).

JuneShine, a startup San Diego brewery best known for its floral print cans, has generated strong buzz this year with flavors such as blood orange mint, dry-hopped tropical citrus and charcoal-infused pineapple-coconut. It can be found at grocery stores such as Whole Foods or beverage retailers such as Total Wine. The company also plans to open a tasting room in Santa Monica next year.

About $15 for a six-pack.

Lo-Fi Aperitifs sweet vermouth

Lo-Fi Aperitifs

E. & J. Gallo Winery, one of the largest wine producers in California, partnered with Hendrick’s Gin creator Steven Grasse in 2016 to launch Lo-Fi Aperitifs, a line of new-wave vermouths and amaros aimed at a younger, hipper demographic with a taste for negronis and spritzes. After gaining a bar industry following in San Francisco and New York, Lo-Fi hit the L.A. market in 2019, popping up in the aisles of Whole Foods and Total Wine. The timing couldn’t have been better — according to alcohol delivery company Drizly, orders for vermouth shot up 1,200% in March.

About $26 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Future Gin

Future Gin

Ideal for simple, non-fussy cocktails at home, gin has sold well during the pandemic. Even well before the outbreak, the botanical-infused spirit had seen a strong resurgence in the craft distillery world. One such brand in L.A. is Future Gin, a women-owned collaboration among wine importer Amy Atwood, beverage director Mary Bartlett, distiller Morgan McLachlan and Coolhaus founders Freya Estrella and Natasha Case. Their bright and citrus-forward, classic-style dry gin is infused with a wide range of California botanicals: juniper, fennel, avocado leaves, elderflower and Meyer lemon peel, to name a few. It can be found at most craft liquor retailers in L.A. or ordered online at K&L Wines.

About $33 for a 750-milliliter bottle.